Nikkei. The expiration of a Japanese government subsidy program on 7 September for green vehicles slowed domestic sales in September. The Japan Automobile Dealers Association (JADA) reported a 4.1% drop in new car sales, the first decrease in 14 months. Sales of subcompacts fell 12.2% to 137,728 units.
Last-minute demand drove up overall sales between Sept. 1 and Sept. 7—the final day that subsidy applications were accepted. Sales for that period nearly tripled on the year to around 63,000. But this was wiped out by the sharp downturn beginning midmonth.
Industry watchers had speculated that the decline would initially manifest itself in October’s numbers. But this proved incorrect as buyers stayed away from dealerships once the subsidy program ended. “It was horrible” in the second half of September, says an employee of a Nagoya dealership affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp.