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Nikkei. Japanese sales of new automobiles, excluding minivehicles, fell 0.7% to 3.913 million units in fiscal 2005, marking their third straight year of decline and the lowest total in the last 10 years. New car sales missed the 4 million mark for the second year in a row, according to data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

Toyota, excluding Lexus luxury, declined 2.1%; Nissan lost 5.4%; Honda gained 0.5% and Mazda gained 0.4%. Lexus, introduced to Japan last summer, sold 15,936 units.

In contrast, minivehicle sales surged 3.6% to 1.94 million units, according to the Japan Mini Vehicles Association. This represented the third straight year of growth, topping the old record set six years ago.

Suzuki, the segment leader, saw unit sales up 4.2%, as did No. 2 firm Daihatsu. Third-ranked Honda lost 3.9% while fourth-place Mitsubishi posted 10.5% growth. Nissan gained 39.6% despite struggling in other segments.



Mike GR

Interesting. Do they try to explain it? Oil prices?


Notice that with these figures, minicars sold are nearly a third of total auto sales.


Perhaps there are two reasons for this. First, people don't want to spend as much money on car purchases so they are getting smaller cars, and, second, keeping their existing car longer, aided in part by the increase in reliability of newer cars.


That, and the fact that they can get a touch screen g-book lcd display in their yaris's (sorry vitz's) to display everything from music info to satellite navigation. Also their Yaris gets an sd card reader to preset all those settings you like to set in your car.

These things would never be put in a small car in the US...

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