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Bestselling Cars of Japan in 2020

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Toyota remained by far the best-selling car brand in Japanese domestic market (JDM) during the year 2020 which saw an 11.5% reduction in vehicle sales due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Toyota saw sales of 1,454,524 units in Japan securing the number 1 slot followed by Suzuki at the second place with 630,842 units. Honda was at the third position with 619,132 units followed by Daihatsu, which is the wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota at the 4th place with 592,346 units sold in 2020.

# Brand Sales (2020) Sales (2019)
1 Toyota 1,454,524 1,547,173
2 Suzuki 630,842 696,014
3 Honda 619,132 722,075
4 Daihatsu 592,346 658,849
5 Nissan 468,544 568,743
6 Mazda 177,087 203,580
7 Subaru 105,540 131,261
8 Mitsubishi 70,281 103,486
9 Isuzu 66,748 81,442
10 Hino 60,051 69,791

Not only this, in terms of individual models, all the top 3 slots were grabbed by Toyota with all new Yaris and Raize becoming the top-selling models in Japan for the first time ever. The Corolla was at the third position whereas Prius, the regular bestseller and the highest selling car of 2019 with 125,587 units got slipped out of the top 10 charts. With sales almost cut to half with 67,297 units in 2020, the Prius was able to secure the 12th position.

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

The bestselling vehicles in Japan during the full calendar year 2020 according to statistics released by JADA (Japan Automobile Dealers Association) were as follows:

# Brand Model Sales 2020 Sales 2019
1 Toyota Yaris 151,766 81,554
2 Toyota Raize 126,038
3 Toyota Corolla 118,276 104,406
4 Honda Fit 98,210 74,410
5 Toyota Alphard 90,748 68,705
6 Toyota Roomy 87,242 91,650
7 Honda Freed 76,283 85,596
8 Toyota Sienta 72,689 110,880
9 Nissan Note 72,205 118,472
10 Toyota Voxy 69,517 88,012

The list of Japan’s top-10 cars frequently change as the Japanese car buyers are keen to buy the latest models with cars often falling out of favor if an update is due. However, even by Japanese standards the changes in the composition and rank order of the top 10 bestselling cars in Japan in 2020 were extreme. Not a single car among the top-10 in 2020 was in the same rank position in 2019. The top 5 car models were either new or saw an increase in sales volume.

Related: 2020 Toyota Yaris- The Good and the Beast

Yaris became the highest selling car in Japan for the first time. 4th gen Yaris came as a successor to Vitz, as Toyota decided to drop the Vitz nameplate with the introduction of latest generation model. Although Vitz remained in the top-10 charts most of the times, it never made it to the top.

The second-bestselling car in Japan was the Toyota Raize the sales of which increased by more than 500% as it was introduced in the final weeks of 2019. The third-best in terms of sales was the evergreen Toyota Corolla. Although a handsome sellers for several years, the Corolla was thrown out of the top-10 sales chart in Japan in 2017 and was the 4th bestseller last year, it managed to creep up among the top-3 in 2020. The new generation Honda Fit was also well received and re-entered the top-10 list after a span of 12 years.

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. These cars are classified separately and are not included in the regular sales chart posted above.

# Brand Model Sales 2020 Sales 2019
1 Honda N-BOX 195,984 253,500
2 Suzuki Spacia 139,851 166,389
3 Daihatsu Tanto 129,680 175,292
4 Daihatsu Move 104,133 122,835
5 Nissan Days 87,029 157,439
6 Suzuki Hustler 80,114 57,840
7 Daihatsu Mira 73,462 94,527
8 Nissan Roox 72,820 New
9 Honda N-WGN 69,353 32,382
10 Suzuki Wagon R 66,061 90,046

Honda N-Box remained Japan’s favorite kei car model for the 5th consecutive year. Not only this, the N-box outsold Toyota Yaris— Japan’s top-selling regular car model by 44,000 units. However, all five top-selling kei cars in Japan sold in lower numbers in 2020 compared to 2019. Towards the end of the table new Nissan Roox which was launched early in the year entered the top-10 charts, Honda N-WGN saw its sales doubled while the Suzuki Hustler also witnessed a sharp increase in sales volume.

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