Nikkei. New-car sales in Japan dropped 2% in the first six months of 2008 to 2.78 million units, down for a third straight year and dropping to the lowest level since 1983.
Registered-vehicle sales, which covers autos with engines over 660cc—i.e., not mini-vehicles—declined 0.9% to 1.77 million units, marking a third consecutive drop for a first half to a 31-year low. Minivehicle sales fell for a second year, slumping 3.8% to 1.14 million units.
On top of consumers delaying new-car purchases as gasoline prices climb, some say there will be even more reasons for sluggish demand during the second half of 2008, with automakers considering hiking prices.