Registrations of new automobiles in Japan contracted by 7.6 percent in September, consolidated data by Japan’s industry associations show. Data were diminished by continuing, even accelerating weakness of mini vehicles, on top of sluggish sales of regular vehicles.
Sales of regular vehicles were down 3 percent in September YOY, while sales of mini vehicles tightened by a painful 14.7 percent. It is not that Japanese have reneged on their love of the boxy and under-powered kei cars. They still hold a market share of nearly 37 percent of the total. Highly advantageous taxes on kei cars were made a bit less advantageous in April, which caused a run on the carlets in the months prior. This needs to be digested.