• Bloomberg


Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., Japan’s two biggest carmakers, led the 11th straight monthly increase in domestic auto sales as government incentives boosted demand.

Sales of cars, trucks and buses, excluding minicars, rose 21 percent to 293,537 vehicles in June from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said in a statement Thursday. Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, sold 140,207 units, excluding Lexus-brand cars, up 27 percent.

Auto sales began recovering from a yearlong slide in August as government rebates and tax cuts for fuel-efficient vehicles rekindled demand. The incentives helped raise sales by about 600,000 vehicles last year and may increase them by about 900,000 this year, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said in December.

June’s sales rose 19 percent at Honda to 44,377 units, while Nissan Motor Co., the nation’s third-largest automaker, sold 43,313 vehicles, up 12 percent.

Under a government program started in June 2009, consumers in Japan can apply for a rebate of as much ¥250,000 if they scrap a car more than 13 years old to buy a new one, and ¥100,000 for a new car purchased without scrapping an old one. The program expires at the end of September.

Electric, hybrid, natural-gas and some diesel vehicles also qualify for an exemption from weight and purchase taxes.

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