Business / Corporate

Japan's imported auto sales hit second-highest level in 2018

JIJI

Sales of imported foreign-brand vehicles in Japan in fiscal 2018 increased 1.2 percent from the previous year to 307,682 units, marking their second-highest level ever, the Japan Automobile Importers Association said Thursday.

The figure grew for the fourth straight year and surpassed 300,000 units for the second consecutive year, according to the JAIA.

Each automaker’s efforts to bring in new models helped stimulate demand, a JAIA official said. Environmentally friendly models, such as clean diesel vehicles and SUVs, gained in popularity.

The share of imported foreign-brand vehicles marked a record high of 9.2 percent of total new vehicle sales in Japan, excluding minivehicles with engine displacements of up to 660 cubic centimeters.

Mercedes-Benz was the top-selling foreign brand for the fourth consecutive year, with sales of 66,948 units. Volkswagen came second, with 52,044 units, and BMW third, with 50,886 units. BMW’s Mini was the top-selling model, with sales of 25,794 units.