Subsidies help lift new vehicle sales

Kyodo

New vehicle sales excluding minivehicles in 2012 posted a sharp rise of 26.1 percent from the previous year to 3,390,274 units on the back of government subsidies for eco-friendly vehicle purchases, an industry body said Monday.

Car sales increased 26.3 percent to 3,014,651 units, said the Japan Automobile Dealers’ Association.

Truck sales went up 24.4 percent to 363,685 units and bus sales rose 12.1 percent to 11,938 units.

In December alone, vehicle sales fell 3.4 percent from a year earlier to 214,429 units for the fourth straight monthly decline, affected by the termination of the subsidies in September.

Meanwhile, the Japan Mini Vehicles Association said sales of minivehicles with engine displacements of up to 660cc in 2012 expanded 30.1 percent to 1,979,447 units.

In December, minivehicle sales decreased 2.5 percent from a year earlier to 124,075 units for the first year-on-year fall in 15 months.