2022 (Full Year) Japan: Best-Selling Carmakers, Brands and Market Analysis

In full-year 2022, the new vehicle market in Japan contracted by 5.6% largely due to a weak performance by the best-selling car brand Toyota.

In full-year 2022, the new vehicle market in Japan contracted by 5.6% largely due to a weak performance by the best-selling car brand Toyota.
Toyota Prius © Toyota

2022 (January to December): car sales in Japan were weaker with the entire vehicle market contracted by 5.6% to only 4,201,321 vehicles. Passenger car sales were 7.4% weaker while mini car sales were down 4% with mini commercial vehicles the only industry segment with growth in Japan in 2022. Toyota remained the largest vehicle producer by far in Japan in 2022, with the Toyota Yaris the top-selling car model, and the Honda N-Box the best-selling minicar.

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

Japan New Vehicle Market Analysis in 2022 (Full Year)

Total new motorized vehicle registrations in Japan in 2022 (January to December) contracted by 5.6% to only 4,201,321 vehicles (from 4,448,340 in 2021). The number includes the following major vehicle categories:

Category20222021% 22/21
Passenger Cars2,223,3032,399,862-7.4
Mini Cars1,224,9951,275,836-4
Commercial Vehicles334,401389,076-14.1
Mini Commercial Vehicles413,142376,6869.7
Buses5,4806,880-20.3
Total Vehicles4,201,3214,448,340-5.6
Source: JADA

The Japanese new car market contracted further in 2022 largely as a result of the continued shortage of computer chips and other components that led to supply chain shortages and lower production.

In 2022, the Japanese new vehicle market contracted for the fourth consecutive year total sales were even lower than in 2011 when a tsunami led to severe damage to manufacturing and transportation infrastructure. The outlook for 2023 is more positive with manufacturers having strong orders and if production issues could be solved, strong growth is likely not only in Japan but worldwide.

Annual Car Sales Volume in Japan (2008 to 2022)

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

YearVehicle Sales% Change
20224,201,321-5.6
20214,448,340-3.3
20204,598,615-11.5
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 2022 (Full Year)

The top-selling vehicle manufacturers in Japan during the full calendar year 2022 were as follows according to JADA statistics:

BrandSales 2022Sales 2021% 22/21
Total Vehicle Market4,201,3214,448,340-5.6
1Toyota1,247,5851,424,380-12.4
2Suzuki602,721608,379-0.9
3Daihatsu575,559572,4010.6
4Honda568,003579,771-2.0
5Nissan449,458451,6710.5
6Mazda161,308157,3112.5
7Subaru100,858101,312-4.0
8Mitsubishi90,55577,67416.6
9Mercedes Benz52,39151,7721.3
10Isuzu42,95163,061-31.9
11Hino41,68660,010-30.5
12Lexus41,25251,118-19.3
13Volkswagen32,22935,215-8.5
14BMW30,88735,905-14.0
15Mitsubishi Fuso27,36432,106-14.8
16Audi20,75022,535-7.9
17Mini19,20818,2115.5
18Volvo16,62816,9972.2
19Jeep9,87114,294-30.9
20UD Trucks9,7379,3404.3
Source: JADA

Top-Selling Car Brands in Japan in 2022 (Full Year)

Toyota’s dominance of the Japanese vehicle market continued and due to the company’s sales volume, a 12% decline in sales in Japan in 2022 had a huge effect on the overall performance of the total market. However, Toyota easily remained the largest carmaker in Japan and sold more than double the number of the next two vehicle manufacturers combined.

The other top car producers in Japan had mostly flat sales and with the exception of Isuzu, all the other top ten carmakers in 2022 gained market share from Toyota. Suzuki sales were slightly weaker but it remained the second-largest carmaker in Japan in 2022. Daihatsu and Honda swapped rank positions while Nissan remained fifth.

Mazda sales in Japan increased by 2.5% but Japan’s sixth-largest carmaker remained significantly smaller than the top-five brands. Mitsubishi was the most-improved top-20 brand in Japan in 2022 while Isuzu had the strongest decline in sales. Hino and Jeep sales were also over 30% weaker.

Mercedes-Benz remained the largest foreign car brand in Japan in 2022 and gained ninth place from Isuzu. In contrast to the other large European brands, Mercedes actually managed to increase sales in Japan in 2022.

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