Sales of imported vehicles in September dropped 15.8 percent from a year earlier to 32,026 units, the sixth monthly decline in a row, the Japan Automobile Importers Association said Oct. 6.Domestic and foreign automakers have been suffering from sluggish sales in Japan following the consumption tax hike in April. Sales of imported vehicles produced by foreign automakers fell 8.5 percent to 28,260 units in September, while those of imported vehicles produced by Japanese automakers in their overseas plants dropped 47.1 percent to 3,766 units.The JAIA officials said there was a sign of recovery for imported foreign models because the September figure was better than the double-digit, year-on-year drop posted in August. Sales of foreign models are expected to improve after October following the introduction of new models ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, officials said.However, lackluster sales of imported Japanese models will continue for a while, they predicted. Sales of imported passenger cars slid 12 percent to 30,439 units in September while those of imported trucks fell 53.5 percent.For the January-September period, accumulated imported vehicle sales came to 279,662 units, down 12.6 percent from the previous year. Sales of Mercedes-Benz AGs grew 20.9 percent to 5,168 units, capturing the top share, at 16.98 percent, among foreign automakers.

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