Prius tops Japan sales…again

Prius tops Japan sales…again

Toyota’s hybrid superstar is leading Japan’s scandal-hit automotive market for a sixth consecutive month.

For May, the pioneering Prius was again topping Japanese sales, after a month that has seen Mitsubishi snapped up by Nissan as fuel economy cheats cuts its shareprice to near-comic levels, and Suzuki on shaky ground for allegedly fiddling its fuel figures.

Sales data released this week by Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association shows demand for the ‘new’ Prius launched late in 2015 as seen sales jump to nearly triple the volume for the same period last year.

Toyota has sold 21,527 Prius, and Honda’s N Box – the top selling kei, or minicar for the third month in a row sold 11,487 units, closely followed by Daihatsu’s kei combatant, Tanto with 11.283.

Tanto sales leapt 29.9% to gain third spot.

The scandal set didn’t fare too well for the month – the four dodgy model’s sales were zero for the month.

Suzuki – a relatively fresh entrant to the list of disgraced manufacturers – took a hit on its minicars, Alto and Spacia. The pair dropped 9.8% and 17% respectively, with an unnamed official telling the Nikkei “the fuel economy scandal affected sales in no small part.”

Minivehicle sales – a sales staple in Japan due to cheaper registration costs – have struggled after tax increases last April, and have dropped 14.3%, year on year.

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