• Kyodo


Toyota Motor Corp.’s Aqua hybrid was the best-selling car in 2015, while six minicars made it into the top 10 ranking, data from industry bodies showed Friday.

The Aqua clinched top spot for the first time since 2013 with sales of 215,525 units, down 7.6 percent year-on-year, while Honda Motor Co.’s N-Box ranked second with 184,920 units sold, up 2.8 percent, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association.

Daihatsu Motor Co.’s Tanto came third with 157,756 units, down 32.7 percent, ahead of Nissan Motor Co.’s Dayz, selling 150,696 units, down 11.0 percent. Toyota’s Prius was fifth with 127,403 units, down 30.6 percent.

The N-Box was the only car in the top 10 rankings that marked a year-on-year increase in sales, the data showed.

Japanese automakers are scrambling to shore up domestic sales for new cars as consumer sentiment was dampened by the introduction in April 2015 of a higher ownership tax on minivehicles with engines no larger than 660 cc. The tax hike came a year after the consumption tax was raised.

For the month of December alone, Toyota’s Prius moved into the top spot with sales of 16,406 units, up 55 percent, as the Japanese automaker rolled out its fourth generation model with world-leading fuel efficiency.

The Aqua ranked second with 15,066 units, down 7.6 percent, after holding the top spot for eight straight months.

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