New vehicle sales in Japan increase for first time in 7 years

08:53, April 02, 2010      

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Sales of new vehicles in fiscal 2009 grew 10 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association (JADA) said in a report on Thursday, marking the first rise in seven years.

According to JADA, 3,182,073 units were sold in fiscal year 2009, with sales in March surging 37.2 percent from a year before to 443,298 units, marking the eighth consecutive month of growth, as tax breaks and government subsidies for eco-friendly cars spurred buying in the wake of the global financial meltdown.

JADA additionally reported that 323,064 more units were sold in FY 2009 than a year earlier.

Sales of passenger cars jumped 40.7 percent to 402,826 units and truck sales advanced 0.7 percent to 37,778 units, according to JADA.

Despite being hit with monumental global recalls, sales of Toyota brand vehicles, Japan's top-seller, grew 50.7 percent from a year earlier in March, to 204,514 vehicles, up from the 146,145 in February.

March sales of Toyota's high-end Lexus models tripled on year to 4,919, stronger than the 3,373 vehicles the previous month.

Sales of Nissan Motor Co., Japan's third-largest automaker, grew 23.8 percent to 73,411 units, while Honda Motor Co., the No. 2 automaker, rose 33.6 percent growth in sales to 60,457 units.

Economists keep a keep eye on auto sales figures in Japan as they are the first consumer spending numbers released each month and provide a key, preliminary gauge of consumer sentiment.



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