Japanese auto sales fall 6.6% in November for 11th monthly decline


Auto sales in November fell 6.6 percent from a year earlier as a pick-up in passenger car sales was overshadowed by persistent weakness in minivehicles, data showed Tuesday.

Marking the 11th straight monthly decline, vehicle sales reached 388,817 units, according to data from the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association and the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

Sales of minicars with engines no larger than 660 cc marked a 15.8 percent year-on-year slide to 149,002 units, apparently because consumers shied away due to the application of higher tax rates.

For the second month, sales of vehicles excluding minicars grew, up 0.3 percent from a year before to 239,815 units, the data showed.

The increase in the ownership tax in April has added to the gloom for automakers in the aftermath of the consumption tax hike in 2014, though they have enjoyed strong sales overseas.