Sales of imported motor vehicles in Japan turned upward in fiscal 2000 for the first time in four years, rising 0.8 percent to 276,999 units, the Japan Automobile Importers Association said Thursday.

The figure for the business year that ended Saturday consists of 258,235 foreign-brand vehicles, up 2.1 percent, and 18,764 Japanese units manufactured overseas, down 14.1 percent, it said.

The association attributed the growth mainly to the introduction of new models, particularly compacts, and price cuts in Mercedes-Benz and BMW luxury cars.

As for March, the latest reporting month, the association said sales posted the first upturn in two months, increasing 3.9 percent from a year before to 36,315 units, with 34,458 foreign-brand vehicles, up 6.6 percent, and 1,857 Japanese units made overseas, down 29.7 percent.

By brand for the reporting fiscal year, Volkswagen took the largest share of Japan’s import market at 22.06 percent and sales of 61,101 units, up 20.9 percent. Mercedes-Benz came second with 19.11 percent and sales of 52,947 units, up 3.1 percent.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.