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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
|Total Mini Vehicles||503,667||12.1|
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.