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Sales volume of leading car brands in Japan 2018

Leading car manufacturers in Japan in 2018, based on sales (in 1,000 units)

by Julia Engelmann, last edited Nov 12, 2019
Sales volume of leading car brands in Japan 2018 Toyota was the leading car manufacturer in Japan in 2018, selling almost 5.3 million vehicles during the measured time period. Despite a negative growth of almost five percent compared to the previous year, Toyota still reported more than twice as many unit sales as the runner-up. Honda, who came in second, sold approximately 725 thousand vehicles in 2018, including passenger cars, commercial vehicles and buses.
Which car brands and models are most popular among Japanese?

Almost all car manufacturers in the ranking were Japanese brands. It is noticeable, that those foreign brands listed among the country’s major market players were entirely German car manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and BMW. However, none of those German brands made it in the top ten entries, indicating that Japanese consumers do value German engineering, yet choose to invest primarily in domestic vehicle technology.
Japan’s preference for domestic car brands becomes even more obvious when looking at the country’s bestselling car models. The ranking exclusively listed car models of domestic manufacturers, with Nissan’s Note in first place, followed by the Aqua and Prius models, both manufactured by Toyota. Besides Nissan and Toyota, Honda was the only other brand to be found within the top ten ranks.

What are future car trends in Japan?

Japan has been increasingly branching out in electric vehicle technologies. In early 2018, several Japanese vehicle manufacturers joined the newly founded company EV C.A. Spirit Corporation. The venture established by Toyota, Mazda and Denso is a joint effort across Japan’s top automotive players to collaborate on affordable EV technologies to catch up on the knowhow of global competitors.
Efforts are likely to pay out, since EV registrations continue to rise in Japan, reaching almost 27 thousand newly registered passenger cars in 2018.
The most commonly known electric car models among Japanese were, again, predominantly manufactured by domestic brands, such as the Nissan Leaf or Toyota’s Prius PHEV.
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Leading car manufacturers in Japan in 2018, based on sales (in 1,000 units)

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