Weak kei cars continue to dampen Japanese new car registrations

Japan roads October - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Japanese new car registrations remained in negative territory in October, as pulled-forward mini vehicle sales are still not quite digested.

Overall new car registrations were down 4.1 percent in October yoy, data released by industry associations show. Sales of mini vehicles, which had seen a run-up in sales in the first quarter due do tax changes in April, were down 10.8 percent in October. Sales of regular vehicles, up 0.2 percent, were essentially flat. Sales of imported cars dropped 6.6 percent.

For the first nine months of the calendar year, overall new car registrations are down 9 percent in Japan, with Honda affected the most among Japan’s big three automakers.