Business

Japan imported auto sales up for first time in three months

JIJI

Imported foreign-brand vehicle sales in July rose 2.6 percent from a year earlier to 22,433 units, the first increase in three months, an industry group said Tuesday.

Sales of clean diesel vehicles accounted for 25.5 percent, or 5,730 units, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association.

The sales increase was also backed by brisk buying of new models and SUVs.

Sales of imported foreign-made vehicles accounted for 7.5 percent of all new automobile sales in July, excluding minivehicles with engine displacements of up to 660 cubic centimeters.

Mercedes-Benz topped the rankings for the 53rd straight month, with sales of 5,160 units, up 10.4 percent.

Volkswagen ranked second with sales of 3,544 units, down 3.7 percent, followed by BMW with 3,425 units, down 8.7 percent. The decreases reflected a slowdown from the previous year’s strong sales of their new models.

Vehicles cheaper than ¥4 million and those priced at between ¥4 million and less than ¥10 million both logged sales increases in July.