• Kyodo


Toyota Motor Corp.’s Aqua hybrid was the top-selling car in Japan in October, selling 24,192 units to top the rankings for the first time since its debut last December, industry bodies said Tuesday.

The small hybrid replaced Toyota’s Prius hybrid, which had remained the best-seller for 16 months in a row through September.

The ranking data were compiled by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association.

The Prius retreated to third place, with sales totaling 18,116 units, down 38.9 percent from a year earlier.

Hybrid cars remained popular, but the Aqua, which is smaller than the Prius and has a lower price tag, attracted more interest following the end of the government’s subsidy program for purchases of environmentally friendly cars in September.

Coming in second in the October rankings was Honda Motor Co.’s N BOX minivehicle, which sold 18,203 units.

Newly launched models sold well, with Nissan Motor Co.’s fully remodeled Note compact coming in seventh.

Six of the top 10 sellers were minivehicles.

Import sales up 20%

Sales of new imported vehicles in Japan, including those built abroad by Japanese automakers, rose 20.1 percent in October from a year earlier to 23,597 units, the Japan Automobile Importers Association said Tuesday.

Of the total, sales of Japanese-brand vehicles rose 44.9 percent to 7,983 units, boosted by Nissan Motor Co.’s newly released Latio model and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s Mirage small car, according to the association.

Sales of foreign-brand cars, trucks and buses increased 10.5 percent to 15,614 vehicles.

By brand, Volkswagen returned to the top spot with sales of 4,064 units.

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