• SHARE

Domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses in the first half of 2000 increased 2 percent from the same period last year to 2,113,357 vehicles, the first year-on-year rise in three years, an industry association said Monday.

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association said the sales results are a sign of economic recovery in Japan.

During the January-June period, sales of passenger cars with engine displacement greater than 2,001cc rose 15.3 percent to 401,413 vehicles, the first increase in three years. Sales of passenger cars with engine displacement between 661cc and 2,000cc, however, fell 3 percent to 1,145,101 vehicles, down for the third consecutive year.

Sales of trucks with a carrying capacity of 3.4 tons or more decreased 3.4 percent to 43,724 vehicles, down for the third consecutive year. But sales of smaller trucks, including multipurpose vehicles and sport-utility vehicles, rose 4.7 percent to 512,638 units, the first increase in four years.

Bus sales jumped 28.5 percent to 10,481 vehicles, the first increase in five years, the association said.

In the month of June alone, overall sales of new vehicles increased 8.5 percent year-on-year to 375,679 units, up for the second consecutive month, the association said. By category, sales of passenger cars with engine displacement between 661cc and 2,000cc increased 2.1 percent to 197,564 vehicles, the first increase in 17 months. Sales of larger passenger cars also rose 18.6 percent to 73,648 vehicles, up for the ninth consecutive month.

Overall truck sales climbed 15 percent to 102,986 vehicles, up for the second consecutive month. Bus sales surged 50.1 percent to 1,481 vehicles, up for the eighth consecutive month.