Monthly sales of new minicars rose 2.4 percent to 139,621 vehicles in October, marking the 13th consecutive year-on-year increase, the Japan Mini Vehicles Association reported Friday.

The rise compared with an increase of 40.3 percent for September, the association said.

Among minivehicles, sales of passengers cars fell 1.4 percent to 93,836 units — the first decline since September 1998. In contrast, commercial vehicles sales jumped 11.2 percent to 45,785 units.

By automaker, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. reported sales declines and all other automakers showed sales growth, according to the association.

Meanwhile, sales of imported motor vehicles in Japan in October declined 9.8 percent from a year earlier to 17,634 units, falling for the first time in three months, the Japan Automobile Importers Association said Friday.

The figure consists of 16,195 vehicles manufactured by foreign automakers, down 6.2 percent, and 1,439 vehicles made by Japanese makers at their overseas plants and shipped to the home market, down 36.7 percent.

Sales of imported vehicles from January to October came to 228,091, up 0.4 percent from the same period the previous year, the association said.

In October alone, sales of German vehicles numbered 9,760 units, down 6.6 percent, U.S. vehicles 3,626 units, down 29.2 percent, and British vehicles 1,107 units, down 10.9 percent.

Sales of Swedish vehicles rose 22.9 percent to 1,094 units and French vehicles 27.2 percent to 888.

By brand, German automakers took the top three places for the month. Volkswagen took the biggest share in the imported market at 22.38 percent, with sales of 3,947 vehicles, up 9.3 percent.

Mercedes-Benz was second with a market share of 14.23 percent, selling 2,509 vehicles, down 9.2 percent.

BMW came third with a 11.43 percent share and sales of 2,016 vehicles, down 17.6 percent.

Sweden’s Volvo was fourth with a 7.38 percent share and sales of 1,302 vehicles, up 23.4 percent, followed by Honda with a market share of 6.6 percent and sales of 1,163 units, down 9.7 percent.

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