2023 (Q1) Japan: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers, Brands and Models

2023 (Q1): New car sales in Japan increased by 15% with Toyota as the best-selling brand while the Yaris and Corolla were the favorite models on the Japanese new car market and the Honda N-Box the top-selling minicar.

2023 (Q1): New car sales in Japan increased by 15% with Toyota as the best-selling brand while the Yaris and Corolla were the favorite models on the Japanese new car market and the Honda N-Box the top-selling minicar.
Toyota Corolla 漏 Toyota

During the first quarter of 2023, the Japanese new vehicle market expanded by 15% to 1,381,558 vehicles — still well below the long-term average. Toyota was the leading car brand and increased sales by 28%. The Toyota Yaris was the top-selling car model in Japan followed by the evergreen Toyota Corolla. The Honda N-Box was the favorite minicar (kei) in Japan and during the first quarter of 2023 outsold the Yaris too.

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

Japanese New Vehicle Market in 2023 (Q1)

New vehicle registrations in Japan increased by 15.4% to 1,381,558 vehicles compared to 1,197,229 during the first three months of 2022. Sales were still lower than the 1,429,743 registered at the start of 2021 but better than the 1,371,726 sold during the first quarter of 2020. The long-run average for vehicle sales in Japan during the first quarter of the year has been above or near 1.5 million units.

These numbers include all motorized vehicles including cars, minicars, trucks, and buses.

Best-Selling Car Brands and Manufacturers in Japan in 2023 (Q1)

The 25 top-selling vehicle manufacturers in Japan during the first quarter of 2023 were as follows:

MarqueQ1/2023% 22/23
Total1,381,55815.4
1Toyota465,71027.9
2Suzuki181,26015.6
3Daihatsu176,28519.0
4Honda167,008-4.2
5Nissan144,2073.6
6Mazda57,2946.0
7Subaru28,5439.0
8Mitsubishi28,2585.8
9Lexus28,137141.8
10Isuzu19,07180.0
11Mercedes Benz13,1332.6
12Hino10,931-29.9
13Mitusbishi Fuso8,71724.2
14BMW8,43611.3
15VW6,644-10.9
16Audi6,57148.8
17BMW Mini4,616-8.6
18Volvo4,2409.5
19Jeep2,95047.1
20UD Trucks2,67521.3
21Renault2,52916.0
22Peugeot2,52021.7
23Porsche2,066-1.7
24Land Rover2,03860.6
25Citroen1,74323.9
Source: Jada

Top Car Brands in Japan in 2023 (Q1)

The recovery in the Japanese new car market was led by the top three manufacturers. The market leader Toyota, increased sales by 28% while Suzuki and Daihatsu also outperformed the general market.

Honda was the only top-ten brand with weaker car sales at the start of 2023. Only five brands sold fewer cars in Japan thus far this year compared to the first quarter of 2023: Honda, Hino, Volkswagen, Mini, and Porsche.

Lexus was the best-performing car brand in Japan thus far in 2023 with sales up by 142% while commercial vehicle specialist Isuzu increased sales by 80%.

Mercedes-Benz remained the largest foreign car brand in Japan followed by BMW and VW.

Top Ten Best-Selling Car Models in Japan in 2023 (Q1)

The ten best-selling car models in Japan during the first quarter of 2023 were as follows:

MakeModelQ1/2023JanuaryFebruaryMarch
1ToyotaYaris52,85414,77215,76022,322
2ToyotaCorolla50,60514,46314,73821,404
3ToyotaSienta37,13111,03811,76714,326
4NissanNote36,7519,87510,70916,167
5ToyotaRoomy28,9887,6748,64512,669
6ToyotaVoxy26,5227,0688,52310,931
7ToyotaNoah26,3616,8598,51810,984
8ToyotaAqua26,2667,1308,19110,945
9HondaFreed25,0715,8087,07112,192
10ToyotaHarrier23,7504,8797,84311,028
Source: Jada

The Toyota Yaris and the evergreen Toyota Corolla were the most popular car models in Japan every month thus far in 2023. The third-best-selling car model in Japan during the first quarter of 2023 was the Toyota Sienta.

Eight of the top-ten models in Japan during the first three months of 2023 were Toyotas. The only other brands with top-selling cars were the Nissan Note at fourth and the Honda Freed at ninth.

Best-Selling Kei Minicars in Japan in 2023 (Q1)

The five top-selling Kei (minicars) in Japan during the first quarter of 2023 were:

BrandModelQ1/2023% Change
Total Mini Vehicles503,66712.1
1HondaN-BOX67,2558.9
2SuzukiSpacia33,11646.4
3DaihatsuTanto42,32457.1
4NissanRoox27,28837.1
5DaihatsuMove32,87153.6
Source: Zenkeijikyo

As is often the case in Japan, the best-selling Kei minicar in Japan outsold the top-selling standard car model by quite a distance. Although Honda has been struggling with lower car sales, the Honda N-Box remained the favorite mini car by far.

The total mini-vehicle market in Japan expanded by 12.1% — slightly less than the overall vehicle market during the first three months of 2023.

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

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.