2019 (Full Year) Japan: Best-Selling Car Brands and Market Analysis

In 2019, Toyota remained by far the best-selling car brand in Japan New vehicle registrations contracted by -1.5% but remained above 5 million.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless - Lexus was the most-improved best-selling car brand in Japan in 2019.

In full calendar year 2019, new vehicle registrations in Japan contracted by 1.5% but was a relatively high 5,195,216 vehicles. Toyota remained by far the largest carmaker in Japan and gained market share. Honda and Suzuki had weaker sales. Lexus was the most-improved brand and Mercedes-Benz the top imported brand in Japan in 2019. The Toyota Prius was the best-selling car model in 2019 and the Honda N-Box the top-selling minicar.

Japan Car Sales Statistics: 2023 — Q1; 2022 — Brands, Models, Minicars; 2021 — Brands, Models, Minicars; 2020 — Brands, Models, Minicars; 2019 — Brands, Models, Minicars

Japanese New Vehicle Market in 2019 (Full Year)

In 2019, total new vehicle registrations in Japan contracted by 1.5% to 5,195,216 vehicles – around 80,000 fewer than in 2018. The numbers include passenger cars, commercial vehicles and buses.

The Japanese new vehicle market remained above 5 million units for the third consecutive year. A small tax increase in the final quarter had less influence on the market than previous increases although it did shift buying patterns slightly during the year.

New vehicle registrations in Japan have been as follows in recent years:

YearVehicle Sales% Change
20195,195,216-1.5
20185,272,0670.7
20175,234,1665.3
20164,970,260-1.5
20155,046,511-9.3
20145,562,8883.5
20135,375,5130.1
20125,369,72127.5
20114,210,220-15.1
20104,956,1367.5
20094,609,255-9.3
20085,082,235
Source: JADA

Best-Selling Car Brands in Japan in 2019 (Full Year)

The top-selling vehicle manufacturers in Japan during the full calendar year 2019 were as follows according to JADA statistics:

BrandSales 2019Sales 2018% 18/19
Total 5,195,2165,272,067-1.5
1Toyota1,547,1731,508,6472.6
2Honda722,075747,226-3.4
3Suzuki696,014714,594-2.6
4Daihatsu658,849646,7811.9
5Nissan568,743616,033-7.9
6Mazda203,580220,743-7.8
7Subaru131,261148,453-11.6
8Mitsubishi103,486104,591-1.1
9Isuzu81,44276,7476.1
10Hino69,79170,811-1.4
11Mercedes-Benz66,55367,554-1.5
12Lexus62,39455,09613.2
13BMW46,81450,982-8.2
14Volkswagen46,79451,961-9.9
15Mitsubishi Fuso41,27242,348-2.5
16Audi24,22226,473-8.5
17Mini23,81325,984-8.4
18Volvo19,00717,8056.8
19Jeep13,36011,4386.8
20Peugeot10,6269,8817.5
21UD Trucks10,3889,9744.2
22Porsche7,1927,1660.4
23Renault6,8057,253-6.2
24Fiat5,9886,014-0.4
25Land Rover4,5603,97214.8
Source: JADA

Top-Selling Car Brands in Japan in 2019 (Full Year)

Most top carmakers in Japan had weaker sales in 2019 but market leader Toyota increased sales by 2.6% to 1,547,173 vehicles. Toyota continued to sell more vehicles in Japan than second and third-placed manufacturers Honda and Suzuki combined.

Both Honda and Suzuki had weaker sales in Japan in 2019 while Daihatsu increased sales by 2%.

Nissan and Mazda sales in Japan in 2019 were 8% lower than a year ago while Subaru was the worst-performing top brand in Japan. Mitsubishi sales were only slightly weaker.

Isuzu was the best-performing top-ten brand in Japan in 2019. Hino sales were slightly weaker but maintained its tenth place.

Mercedes-Benz had weaker sales in Japan in line with the broader market but remained the best-selling foreign brand. Lexus was the most-improved car brand in Japan in 2019 with sales up 13%.

BMW and Volkswagen swapped rank places. Both had weaker sales in Japan in 2019 and the difference over the full calendar year was only 20 cars.

Audi, Mini, and Renault also had much weaker sales in Japan in 2019 but other smaller foreign brands including Volvo, Peugeot, and Land Rover had strong sales. However, sales of these foreign car brands are minuscule compared to the largest Japanese carmakers.

In 2019, the Toyota Prius regained top position as the best-selling car model in Japan while the Honda N-Box was again the best-selling minicar.