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2018 Best Selling Cars in Japan

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Used JDM cars are considered a popular choice by many car buyers in our market. JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market and the term JDM is applied to cars that were built and intended to be sold in Japanese domestic market.

Related: Local Assembled vs JDM- Which One You’ll Buy?

According to sources, almost one million vehicles are sold in the market annually in which about 250,000 vehicles are local assembled models and around 70,000 are used JDM imports. The rest of the public is dependent on buying five to 20-year-old used cars from the market.

During the previous decade even a 10 year old JDM was allowed to be imported, the age though has reduced to up to 3 years today. However even a decade old JDM shows a better built quality, and offers better features and equipment than a car assembled locally.

Related: Understanding JDM, Imported & Local Assembled Cars

In all these years all sort of cars including hatchbacks, sedans, crossover etc have reached our market among which the 660cc kei cars dominate the lot. Several JDM cars have seem tremendous success in our market and have become a household name including Toyota Vitz, Daihatsu Mira, Honda Vezel, Toyota Aqua and Nissan Dayz to name a few.

But how do these cars perform in term of sales in their own market? According to the data by JADA (Japan Automobile Dealers Association), following are the top 10 best selling cars in Japanese domestic market.

Top 10 Best Selling Cars in Japan

Rank Brand Model Sales in 2018
1 Nissan Note 136,324
2 Toyota Aqua 126,561
3 Toyota Prius 115,462
4 Nissan Serena 99,865
5 Toyota Sienta 94,048
6 Toyota Voxy 90,759
7 Honda Fit 90,720
8 Toyota Corolla 89,910
9 Toyota Vitz 87,299
10 Toyota Roomy 86,265

In 2018, the Nissan Note was the best-selling car in Japan followed by the Toyota Aqua and Prius. It was also the first time in a decade that Japan’s favorite car model was not a Toyota.

Top 10 Best Selling Mini (Kei) Cars in Japan

Rank Brand Model Sales in 2018
1 Honda N-BOX 241,870
2 Suzuki Spacia 152,104
3 Nissan Dayz 141,495
4 Daihatsu Tant 136,558
5 Daihatsu Move 135,896
6 Daihatsu Mirror 108,013
7 Suzuki Wagon R 107,283
8 Suzuki Hustler 77,241
9 Suzuki Alto 65,291
10 Honda N-WGN 63,009

Mini cars (kei-jidousya) or simply kei cars in Japan are vehicles defined by amongst others being shorter than 3.4 m with a maximum height of 2 m and a maximum width of 1.48 m. The engine capacity is restricted to 660cc measured by the Japanese standard.

Related: Ubiquitous Kei Car Penetration

The Honda N-Box remained the most-popular mini car in Japan for the third consecutive year. Sales of the second generation N-Box, which was launched towards the end of 2017, increased by a further 11% with full year sales in 2018 of over 100,000 units even more than the top-selling Nissan Note.

Sales of the Suzuki Spacia increased by 45% to improve from 6th position to 2nd while the Nissan Dayz with a slight improvement of 2.9% mover up from 4th to 3rd place.

Toyota continued to dominate the Japanese new vehicle market in 2018. With 16 out of top 30 bestselling models being Toyota. Although Toyota is a minor player in the mini car market – the company’s interests are well represented by Daihatsu which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota.

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