2023 (Full Year) Japan: Best-Selling Carmakers, Brands and Market Analysis

In full-year 2023, the Japanese vehicle market expanded by 14% to 4.8 million vehicles with Toyota by far the best-selling car brand in Japan.

In full-year 2023, the Japanese vehicle market expanded by 14% to 4.8 million vehicles with Toyota by far the best-selling car brand in Japan.
© Toyota 2023

2023 (January to December): Toyota remained the largest vehicle producer by far in Japan in 2023 with sales up by over a quarter while total new vehicle registrations increased by 13.8% to 4,779,086 vehicles. Passenger car sales increased by a strong 19.3% to 2,651,397 vehicles. The Toyota Yaris was again the top-selling car model and the Honda N-Box the best-selling minicar.

Latest Japan Car Sales Statistics: 2023 — Brands, Models, Minicars; Data for 2022 – 2009.

Japan New Vehicle Market Analysis in 2023 (Full Year)

Total new motorized vehicle registrations in Japan in 2023 (January to December) increased by 13.8% to 4,779,086 vehicles compared to 4,201,321 in 2022 and 4,448,340 in 2021. The number includes the following major vehicle categories:

Category20232022% 23/22
Passenger Cars2,651,3972,223,30319.3
Mini Cars1,341,3301,224,9959.5
Commercial Vehicles374,360334,40111.9
Mini Commercial Vehicles403,589413,142-2.3
Buses8,4105,48053.5
Total Vehicles4,779,0864,201,32113.8
Source: JADA

The Japanese new car market expanded in 2023 for the first time since 2018 with total new vehicle registration at the highest since 2019. Despite continuous production issues, the shortage of computer chips and other components which led to supply chain shortages and lower production in 2022 and 2021 were largely overcome. the scandal at Daihatsu related to falsifying safety test records came too late in December 2023 to severely affect the market.

Regular passenger car sales increased by a strong 19.3% while buses were up by half. Minivehicle registrations were notably weaker in comparison but still showed an overall increase of 6.5%

Annual Car Sales Volume in Japan (2008 to 2023)

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

YearVehicle Sales% Change
20234,779,08613.8
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 2023 (Full Year)

The top-selling vehicle manufacturers in Japan during the full calendar year 2023 were as follows according to JADA statistics:

BrandSales 2023Sales 2022% 23/22
Total4,779,0864,201,32113.8
1Toyota1,578,1051,247,58526.5
2Suzuki650,567602,7217.9
3Daihatsu594,507575,5593.3
4Honda594,285568,0034.6
5Nissan480,673449,4586.9
6Mazda177,864161,30810.3
7Subaru106,002100,8585.1
8Mitsubishi103,72590,55514.5
9Lexus94,64541,252129.4
10Isuzu64,59042,95150.4
11Mercedes Benz51,23852,391-2.2
12Hino37,75641,686-9.4
13Mitsubishi Fuso37,68527,36437.7
14BMW34,50130,88711.7
15Volkswagen31,81532,229-1.3
16Audi24,63220,75018.7
17Mini17,79619,208-7.4
18Volvo13,88216,628-16.5
19Jeep11,5359,87116.9
20UD Trucks10,1289,7374.0
Source: JADA

Top-Selling Car Brands in Japan in 2023 (Full Year)

The strong growth in vehicle sales in Japan in 2023 was largely due to the strong recovery of Toyota. Toyota’s dominance of the Japanese vehicle market continued with sales up by 26.5% for a market share of 33%. The top three (and eight of the top ten) best-selling car models in Japan in 2023 were made by Toyota.

The eight best-selling vehicle brands in Japan in 2023 were in the same rank order as in 2022. Except for Toyota and Mitsubishi, all had higher sales but underperformed the growth of the general market.

Daihatsu outsold Honda by only 222 vehicles — the rank order surely would have been reversed if the Daihatsu scandal had broken a few days earlier.

Lexus was the only new entrant on the top-ten list — up from 12th a year ago. Lexus sales increased by 129.4%. Isuzu also outperformed with sales up by half.

Mercedes-Benz slipped out of the top ten with sales down 2.2% but Mercedes remained by far the most popular foreign car brand in Japan in 2023 with a 1.07% market share. Of the foreign car brands in Japan, only Audi and Jeep increased market share in 2023 but the actual numbers involved are fairly insignificant compared to Japanese carmakers.

Latest Japan Car Sales Statistics: 2023 — Brands, Models, Minicars; Data for 2022 – 2009.