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Bestselling Cars in Japan- H1 2020

Since the previous decade, JDM cars have become quite popular in our market and are considered a prime choice by many car buyers. JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market and the term JDM is applied to cars that were built and intended to be sold in the Japanese domestic market.

Related: 2019- Bestselling cars in Japan

According to the data by JADA (Japan Automobile Dealers Association), car sales in Japan contracted by 20% during the first half of 2020 primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic with total sales down to 2.2 million vehicles. This is almost 0.5 million less vehicles sold during the first 6 months of the previous year. This number includes all standard passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and buses but excludes Kei cars. Toyota however easily managed to secure its position as the largest carmaker in Japan by volume and gained highest market share despite weaker sales. It was followed by Honda at the 2nd and Suzuki at the 3rd place.

Related: Bestselling Cars in Japan- Q1 2020

The top 10 bestselling brands in Japan (January-June 2020) by volume are:

Brand 2020 HY 2019 HY % Change 19/20
1 Toyota 685,090 799,552 -14.3
2 Honda 313,213 403,364 -22.3
3 Suzuki 293,427 378,040 -22.4
4 Daihatsu 272,131 345,176 -21.2
5 Nissan 236,965 312,742 -24.2
6 Mazda 89,348 103,810 -13.9
7 Subaru 53,168 69,330 -23.3
8 Mitsubishi 37,767 58,253 -35.2
9 Isuzu 33,454 41,543 -19.5
10 Hino 30,148 35,346 -14.7

In terms of passenger cars, 7 out of the top-10 models belong to Toyota. The new Toyota Raize came on top as the highest selling car in Japan thus far in 2020. The evergreen Toyota Corolla which entered its latest generation in Japanese market late last year was in second place from sixth a year ago with sales up by 20%. The new Honda Fit launched earlier this year was very well received too, managing to re-enter the top ten (from 11th place last year) with sales were up by 11% as the third bestselling model in Japan thus far in 2020. Fourth place was secured by the new 4th gen Yaris, which moved from 10th place last year. Rest of the models in the top-10 list (sparing Alphard) saw a decline in sales compared to the data from previous year.

Make Model 2020 HY 2019 HY % Change 19/20
1 Toyota Raize 58,492 New
2 Toyota Corolla 57,235 47,836 19.6
3 Honda Fit 50,029 45,089 11.0
4 Toyota Yaris 48,129 New
5 Nissan Note 41,707 68,543 -39.2
6 Toyota Sienta 40,194 50,926 -21.1
7 Honda Freed 38,844 45,548 -14.7
8 Toyota Rumi 37,622 45,544 -17.4
9 Toyota Prius 36,630 70,277 -47.9
10 Toyota Alphard 36,597 35,265 3.8

Related: Why JDM Cars Are Considered a Threat to Local Assembled Ones

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

Make Model 2020 HY 2019 HY % Change 19/20
1 Honda N-BOX 101,454 131,233 -22.7
2 Suzuki Spacia 65,323 89,750 -27.2
3 Daihatsu Tanto 62,253 81,828 -23.9
4 Nissan Days 55,239 79,789 -30.8
5 Daihatsu Move 48,283 68,833 -29.9
6 Daihatsu Mira 37,894 55,439 -31.6
7 Suzuki Hustler 37,413 29,712 25.9
8 Honda N-WGN 34,083 22,687 50.2
9 Suzuki Wagon R 32,079 51,377 -37.6
10 Suzuki Alto 30,570 38,139 -19.8

Kei car sales in Japan contracted by a fifth during the first half of 2020 but the top-selling models were still selling in higher numbers than regular passenger cars. Honda N-Box retained its top position followed by Suzuki Spacia in second and Daihatsu Tanto at the third place. Overall there were 2 Honda, 3 Daihatsu, 4 Suzuki and 1 Nissan in the top 10 kei cars charts.

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