(Nikkei: November 3, 2015 – p. 11)
According to statistics released on Nov. 2 by Japanese automobile dealers associations, domestic sales of new cars (including minivehicles) slid 4.1 percent in October from a year earlier to 380,089 units. This was the 10th consecutive month of year-on-year decline. With the
hike in the tax on minivehicles in April, sales of these vehicles struggled, recording a 10.8% drop. Sales of imported vehicles also plunged, by 10.1%, decreasing for the second straight month, with Volkswagen sales recording about half of their year earlier figure.
Sales of vehicles subject to the automobile tax, namely, vehicles which have engines larger than 660 cc, climbed by 0.2 percent to 240,889 units. Although this was the first year-on-year increase in two months, the rise was negligible. The Japan Automobile Dealers Association reports, “We are still feeling the effects of the spring 2014 consumption tax hike.”
Minivehicles dropped for the 10th consecutive month to 139,200 units. The reverse effect of last year’s sales wars and rush purchases before the sales tax hike continues. Looking at total sales figures, only two of the nine domestic passenger car manufacturers – Toyota Motor (excluding Lexus) and Mitsubishi Motors – saw sales increases.