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Sales of new automobiles in January dropped 6.2 percent from the corresponding period last year, marking the 22nd consecutive month of year-on-year decline, an industry group said Monday.

According to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association, the sale of automobiles, except minicars, was 241,511 units, representing a 19.5 percent decrease from December. By categories, passenger cars dropped 0.9 percent to 178,880 units on a year-on-year on basis, trucks fell 18.7 percent to 61,993 units, and buses dropped 20.2 percent to 638 units, the association said.

Suzuki Motor Co., the No. 1 minicar maker, suffered the sharpest drop. Sales of cars excluding minicars fell 44.1 percent to 2,183 units compared with the same month last year.

Sales of imported new automobiles meanwhile increased 3 percent to 15,919 units from the same month last year, the association said.

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