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Sales of imported cars in Japan rose 3.4 percent in April compared to the same month the previous year.

The 19,351 sales marked the first rise in eight months, the Japan Automobile Importers Association said Wednesday, adding that the introduction of new models helped boost the April figure.

Sales of vehicles made by foreign automakers rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier to 18,438 units. Sales of Japanese vehicles manufactured overseas made up the remainder, 913 units, logging growth of 6.9 percent. The rise was boosted by solid sales of Honda Motor Co.’s Civic produced in Britain, the group said.

By brand, Volkswagen AG was the top seller for the fourth straight month with 4,129 vehicles, a 13.2 percent year-on-year rise. The carmaker’s share of the foreign auto market was 21.49 percent. Brisk sales of its smaller cars, such as the Polo, contributed to Volkswagen’s performance.

Mercedes-Benz came in second, capturing a 15.45 percent market share with sales of 2,989 units. That is down 21.7 percent compared to the same month last year.

BMW AG was third, logging a 10.82 percent market share. Its sale of 2,093 units represented a drop of 0.8 percent. It was followed by Volvo Car Corp., which held a 6.75 percent market share with 1,306 units; down 1 percent.

PSA Peugeot Citroen came in fifth, logging a 5.3 percent market share and sales of 1,025 units to rise 0.9 percent.

Toyota, Honda tops

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. dominated the ranking of Japan’s best-selling cars in April.

They took all but one of the top 10 spots, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Wednesday.

Honda’s Fit compact regained the title of best-selling car in Japan with 17,600 units sold, after losing the position to Toyota’s Corolla in February and March.

The Corolla came in second with sales of 13,664 units. It was followed by Nissan Motor Co.’s March compact car at 13,470 units; Toyota’s Vitz compact at 8,952 units; Toyota’s Noah minivan at 8,900 units; and Toyota’s Premio sedan at 6,913 units.

Honda’s Mobilio compact minivan was seventh with 6,866 units, followed by Toyota’s Voxy minivan at 6,861 units; Toyota’s Estima minivan at 6,582 units; and Toyota’s Mark II sedan at 5,721 units.

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