Tokyo, Aug. 3 (Jiji Press)–Sales of new automobiles in Japan in July fell 13.7 pct from a year before, down for the 10th straight month, due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, industry data showed Monday.
Sales totaled 396,346 units, according to the data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association.
The pace of decline slowed from 44.9 pct in May and 22.9 pct in June. But the outlook is uncertain due to the recent resurgence in new coronavirus cases in the country.
Six of the eight major Japanese automakers reported lower sales. Suzuki Motor Corp. <7269> and Daihatsu Motor Co., a unit of Toyota Motor Corp. <7203>, were the only two that saw increases.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. <7211>, which has been reducing production, saw its sales plummet 37.4 pct.
Excluding minivehicles with engine displacements of up to 660 cc, sales of new vehicles slumped 20.4 pct to 239,355 units after strong sales in July last year ahead of October’s consumption tax increase.
Minivehicle sales saw a smaller decrease of 1.1 pct to 156,991 units as Suzuki was curbing production a year earlier in response to improper vehicle inspections.
“Sales are highly likely to continue falling,” an official of the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association said, noting that the number of orders declined drastically between April and May, when Japan was under a state of emergency over the outbreak.