Japan's auto sales fall 4.1% in October for 10th monthly drop


New car sales in October slid 4.1 percent from a year earlier to 380,089 units, data showed Monday, as consumers held off on buying minicars in the face of an ownership tax hike earlier this year.

For the 10th straight monthly year-on-year drop, sales of minivehicles which have engines no larger than 660 cc fell 10.8 percent to 139,200 units, the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association said.

Sales of vehicles other than minivehicles, however, rose 0.2 percent to 240,889 units from the previous year, data by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association showed. It followed a 3 percent decline in September.

Domestic demand for new cars has been hit by the double whammy of a consumption tax hike in April last year and a higher ownership tax on minivehicles.