2017 (Full Year) Japan: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands

In 2017, Toyota followed by Honda and Suzuki were again the top-selling car brands in Japan. New passenger vehicle registrations in Japan increased by 5%.

Toyota Hybrid 8

Toyota easily maintained its traditional position as Japan鈥檚 largest carmaker by selling more than double the number of vehicles in 2017 than second-placed Honda. The Japanese new vehicle market grew by 5% in 2017 to just over 5.2 million cars, trucks and buses. Almost all top car brands in Japan managed to increase sales in 2017 with the exception of Lexus. Mercedes-Benz was again Japan鈥檚 favorite imported car brand.

The Japanese New Vehicle Market in 2017 (Full Year)

The Japanese total new vehicle market expanded in 2017 by 5.3% to 5,234,166 vehicles. This was the first expansion of the Japanese vehicle market in three years and the highest total since the record 5,562,888 vehicles sold in 2015. However, car sales in Japan were negative during the final quarter of 2017.

In 2017, new passenger vehicle registrations in Japan increased by 5.1% to 2,943,010 cars. This figure does not include mini cars (Kei) that increased sales by 6.8% to 1,843,272. Commercial truck sales increased by a more modest 1% to 432,221 vehicles while bus sales were flat at 15,593 buses (+0.6%).

Total new vehicle registrations in Japan including mini cars, passenger cars, trucks and buses were as follows in recent years according to JADA figures:

Year Vehicle Sales % Change
2017 5,234,166 5.3
2016 4,970,260 -1.5
2015 5,046,511 -9.3
2014 5,562,888 3.5
2013 5,375,513 0.1
2012 5,369,721 27.5
2011 4,210,220 -15.1
2010 4,956,136 7.5
2009 4,609,255 -9.3
2008 5,082,235
Source: JADA

Best-Selling Vehicle Manufacturers in Japan in 2017 (Full Year)

The 25 largest vehicle manufacturers in Japan in 2017, including mini and passenger cars, trucks and buses according to JADA were:

Brand Sales 2017 Sales 2016 % Change
Total 5,234,166 4,970,258 5.3
1 Toyota 1,587,062 1,528,173 3.9
2 Honda 724,834 707,044 2.5
3 Suzuki 665,871 622,866 6.9
4 Daihatsu 630,856 586,972 7.5
5 Nissan 591,000 534,415 10.6
6 Mazda 209,689 201,404 4.1
7 Subaru 176,737 155,779 13.5
8 Mitsubishi 91,621 85,720 6.9
9 Isuzu 80,984 81,128 -0.2
10 Mercedes-Benz 68,221 67,386 1.2
11 Hino 67,778 63,310 7.1
12 BMW 52,527 50,571 3.9
13 Volkswagen 49,040 47,234 3.8
14 Lexus 45,605 52,150 -12.6
15 Mitsubishi Fuso 44,134 45,210 -2.4
16 Audi 28,336 28,502 -0.6
17 Mini 25,427 24,548 3.6
18 Volvo 16,120 14,914 8.1
19 UD Trucks 10,858 10,529 3.1
20 Jeep 10,102 9,392 7.6
21 Peugeot 8,242 7,403 11.3
22 Renault 7,121 5,304 34.3
23 Porsche 6,923 6,887 0.5
24 Fiat 6,523 6,717 -2.9
25 Smart 4,638 4,508 2.9
Source: JADA

Top-Selling Car Brands in Japan in 2017 (Full Year)

For the third consecutive year there was no change in the rank order of the ten largest carmakers in Japan. In 2017, with the exception of Isuzu, all top ten motor manufacturers increased sales.

In 2017, Toyota remained the largest carmaker in Japan by selling more than double the number of vehicles than second placed Honda managed. However, while both Toyota and Honda underperformed the broader market, Suzuki, Daihatsu and especially Nissan managed to increased market share in Japan.

Mazda sales in Japan in 2017 increased by just less than the market average. Subaru was the most improved of the top brands while Mitsubishi also performed better than the average. Isuzu sales were flat.

Mercedes-Benz was again the best-selling imported car brand in Japan in 2017. However, Mercedes-Benz sales were only moderately better than a year ago.

The only rank order change in the list of the top 20 largest carmakers in Japan in 2017 was Lexus slipping two positions. Lexus was the worst performing brand of the top 25 brands in Japan in 2017. As a consequence, BMW and Volkswagen both improved a position with sales just below market average.

French manufacturers Renault and Peugeot had a good year in Japan with Renault increasing sales by more than a third. However, the actual volume numbers remained dismally low.

Sports and Exotic Car Sales in Japan in 2017

A few of the exotic and sports car registrations in Japan in 2017 reported by JADA include:

Brand Sales 2017 Sales 2016 % Change
Maserati 1,824 1,323 37.9
Ferrari 775 678 14.3
Lamborghini 475 382 24.3
Bentley 418 434 -3.7
Aston Martin 321 186 72.6
Rolls Royce 225 223 0.9
McLaren 164 179 -8.4
Bugatti 2 5 -60
Source: JADA

The Toyota Prius was again the top-selling passenger car model in Japan in 2017 although the Honda N-Box mini car sold in higher numbers.