• Kyodo

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Sales of new imported vehicles in Japan, including those built abroad by Japanese automakers, rose 31.0 percent in May from a year earlier to 19,238 units, up for the 19th consecutive month, an industry body said Monday.

Of the total, sales of Japanese-brand cars, trucks and buses rose 296.1 percent to 4,626 units, while sales of foreign brands gained 8.1 percent to 14,612 units, according to the data released by the Japan Automobile Importers Association.

Volkswagen was the top manufacturer, securing a 20.1 percent share of the market for imported vehicles with 3,859 units, up 6.2 percent from a year earlier.

Nissan ranked second with sales of 3,274 units in the reporting month for a market share of 17 percent, compared with just four units a year earlier.

BMW followed Nissan with sales of 2,292, down 11.8 percent, giving it a market share of 11.9 percent.

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