Sales of imported cars surge 21%

Kyodo

Sales of new imported vehicles, including those built abroad by Japanese firms, soared 20.8 percent in January to 17,937 units, thanks to fuel-efficient models, an industry body said Monday.

Compared with the previous January, sales of foreign-brand cars, trucks and buses surged 28.9 percent to 13,093 units, while those of Japanese-brand vehicles rose 3.3 percent to 4,844 units, the Japan Automobile Importers Association said.

By brand, Nissan overtook Volkswagen to clinch the top spot in sales with 3,330 units, although the number marked a 4.9 percent fall. Nissan’s market share was 18.56 percent.

The March compact manufactured at Nissan’s Thai factory accounted for most of the sales, the association said.

VW ranked second in sales at 3,307 units, up 19.9 percent and good for a market share of 18.44 percent. Mercedes-Benz was in third with 2,155 units, up 36.7 percent for a 12.01 percent share.