New car sales fell 4.6% in January

Kyodo

New car sales in January fell 4.6 percent from a year before in the 13th straight month of decline as sluggish demand for minivehicles lingered, industry data showed Monday.

New vehicle sales stood at 382,876 units, according to data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association.

Sales of minicars with engines no larger than 660 cc fell 11.6 percent to 145,215 units, as consumers apparently remained reluctant to buy in light of last year’s hike in the minicar ownership tax and the 2014 consumption tax hike.

Sales of cars other than minivehicles, meanwhile, inched up from a year earlier to 237,661, rising 0.2 percent.