• Kyodo


The Daihatsu Tanto was Japan’s best-selling vehicle in April, the first time in a year that a minicar has topped the rankings, industry bodies said Thursday.

Sales of the Tanto doubled from the previous April to hit 19,390 units, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association said. The last minicar to top the list was the Move, also made by Daihatsu Motor Co., which did it in April 2013.

The Tanto’s ascent to No. 1 was its first since it debuted in November 2003.

Fuel-efficient minicars, defined as those with engines no larger than 660cc, accounted for seven of the 10 cars in April, highlighting their popularity.

The other minicars included Nissan Motor Co.’s Dayz in fourth, Suzuki Motor Corp.’s Wagon R in fifth and Honda Motor Co.’s N Box in sixth.

The regular cars that made the list included Honda’s Fit in second and Toyota Motor Corp.’s Aqua and Voxy models, which took third and ninth.

Toyota’s Prius hybrid, a longtime fixture in the top 10, fell to 11th as sales plunged 52.8 percent to 8,692 units.

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