Domestic sales of new motor vehicles excluding minivehicles and specialty vehicles fell 1.4 percent in May from a year earlier to 284,826 units, down for the ninth consecutive month, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Monday.

Although sales of cars were boosted by the popularity of some models, sluggish truck sales bogged down the total figure, association officials said.

Sales of cars rose 7 percent to 227,307, up for the second straight month. Of those, sales of cars with engines of more than 2,000cc fell 8.5 percent to 45,294, while those of smaller cars climbed 11.8 percent to 182,013.

Sales of trucks declined 25.3 percent to 56,567, the lowest for May, marking the 13th consecutive month of year-on-year decline. Meanwhile, sales of buses rose 1 percent to 952.

Toyota Motor Corp. remained the top seller, with 122,290 vehicles sold, but posted a 3.6 percent fall from a year earlier.

Nissan Motor Co. ranked second, with sales up 6.6 percent to 54,639 vehicles, followed by Honda Motor Co., whose sales climbed 23.2 percent to 45,376.

Meanwhile, sales of new minivehicles rose 3.9 percent in May from a year earlier to 136,456, up for the second straight month, the Japan Mini Vehicles Association said.

Suzuki Motor Corp. topped the minivehicle list with sales of 44,047 vehicles, up 3.9 percent from a year earlier.

Daihatsu Motor Co., a Toyota subsidiary, ranked second with sales of 35,167, down 8.7 percent, followed by Honda with 19,638 vehicles sold, up 9.3 percent.

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