Nikkei. Hybrids represented 12% of new light-duty vehicle sales—excluding minicars—in Japan in May, according to figures from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.
With a total of 21,601 units sold, this was the first time that the monthly new vehicle share of hybrids topped 10%. By comparison, in the US hybrids represented 2.8% of new vehicle sales for the month, with 25,693 units reported sold. (Earlier post.)
Toyota’s Prius topped the May sales rankings with 10,915 units. Honda’s Insight hybrid came in third with sales of 8,183 units. (Earlier post.)
After staying at around 4% since last year, the domestic market share of hybrid vehicles began rising gradually following the launch of the Insight in February. The introduction of eco-vehicle tax breaks in April and the release of the new-generation Prius in May further lifted the market share. With back orders already exceeding 130,000 units, sales of the new Prius should remain high for some time.
The number of minicars in the top 10 overall sellers fell to four in May from five in April. This likely occurred because the eco-vehicle tax breaks nudged buyers toward compact cars that qualify for the incentive program.