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Domestic sales of cars, trucks and buses in October fell to 298,888 units, down 7.3 percent from the same month last year and the 31st consecutive year-on-year decline, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association reported on Monday.

But amid the gloom, sales of large passenger cars — those with engine displacements of more than 2,000cc — increased 5.4 percent to 61,997 units in October, marking the first year-on-year increase since September 1998.

That wasn’t much of a silver lining, however, as overall sales of passenger cars dropped 9 percent for the same period to 216,544 units, due to a decline in sales of smaller passenger cars.

Cars with an engine displacements between 660cc and 2,000cc, dropped 13.7 percent to 154,547 units.

Accumulated sales of cars, trucks and buses between January and October stood at 3,366,218 units, down 9.2 percent from the same period last year.

All automakers, except for Toyota Motor Corp. and Hino Motors, suffered year-on-year declines in October.

Toyota’s sales increased 0.8 percent to 142,349 units due to favorable sales of the remodeled Crown, relaunched in late September, as well as the introduction of the new FunCargo in August.

In contrast, sales by Nissan Motor Co. dropped 19.1 percent to 49,995 units, while Honda Motor Co. saw sales decline 11.1 percent to 31,128 units. Sales of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. decreased 8.8 percent to 21,369 units.

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