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Sales of new imported vehicles, including those produced by Japanese markers, rose 1.2 percent in August from a year earlier to 16,605 units for the first rise in two months.

The Japan Automobile Importers Association said Monday that sales of foreign-brand imports totaled 14,902 units, up 0.7 percent, and those of Japanese imports came to 1,703 units, up 5.9 percent.

The August figures brought the year’s cumulative sales of imported vehicles to 177,738 units, up 0.6 percent from the first eight-month period last year.

Volkswagen remained the top-selling imported brand for the eighth straight month, selling 3,220 units, down 0.7 percent from a year before, giving it a 19.39 percent share of the imported car market.

Mercedes-Benz stayed in second place for the second consecutive month, selling 2,448 units, down 11.7 percent, for a 14.74 percent share. BMW followed with a 12.62 percent share on a 19.0 percent rise in sales to 2,096 units.

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