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ECONOMY > Economic Indicators

Japan new vehicles sales slow in Feb.

  • March 1, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 7:27 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, March 1 (Jiji Press)–New automobile sales in Japan rose at a slower pace in February than the previous month after the government declared a fresh state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic for parts of the country early this year, industry data showed on Monday.

 

Sales of new vehicles excluding minivehicles declined for the first time in five months, falling 2.2 pct from a year before to 262,372 units, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

 

Customer traffic to dealerships fell following the emergency declaration in January, an official at a major automaker said.

 

Overall new vehicle sales grew 0.5 pct to 432,299 units, rising for the fifth consecutive month, after a 6.8 pct increase in January.

 

Sales of minivehicles with engine displacement of up to 660 cc gained 5.0 pct to 169,927 units, according to the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association.

 

But minivehicle demand was still weaker than levels before the pandemic. February’s rise came in response to the suspension of production of some models a year before, an association official said.

 

Automakers are curbing production due to shortages of semiconductors, and worries are mounting that sales may slump.

 

“We don’t think the impact appeared in February’s sales,” a Honda Motor Co. <7267> official said of the production cuts. “But we will closely watch the situation for March and beyond,” the official said.

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