Nikkei. Sales of new minivehicles in Japan rose for a fourth straight month in April, while sales of all other types of automobiles dropped for the 10th consecutive month, according to data released Monday by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.
Minicars sales climbed 5.2% to 149,367 units in April, led by Suzuki with 48,000 units (2.1% increase) and by Daihatsu Motor’s 45,000 units (1.6% increase).
Total sales of new vehicles, excluding minicars, fell 7.8% from a year earlier to 242,596 units. Sales of passenger cars dropped 10.8% to around 201,000 vehicles. Toyota, Nissan and Honda all suffered declines. Nissan’s 27% plunge was its seventh straight monthly decrease.
Truck sales, however, jumped 11.3% to roughly 40,000 units on the growing purchases of trucks that conform to tighter emission regulations.
Gasoline prices in and around Tokyo and Osaka shot up about ¥10 per liter on Monday—the beginning of the Golden Week holidays—with prices for regular gas ranging between ¥132 and ¥140 per liter (US$4.40–$4.67 per gallon).
Japanese oil wholesalers have raised their prices in response to rising crude oil prices, and retailers have raised their prices to pass costs on to consumers.