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Sales volume of leading car brands in Japan 2019

Toyota was the leading car manufacturer in Japan in 2019, selling over 1.5 million vehicles during the measured time period. With a growth of 2.6 percent compared to the previous year, Toyota reported more than twice as many unit sales as the runner-up. Honda, who came in second, sold approximately 722 thousand vehicles in 2019, including passenger cars, commercial vehicles and buses.

Which car brands and models are most popular among Japanese?

Almost all car manufacturers in the ranking were Japanese brands. It is noticeable, that those foreign brands listed among the country’s major market players were entirely German car manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and BMW. However, none of those German brands made it in the top ten entries, indicating that Japanese consumers do value German engineering, yet choose to invest primarily in domestic vehicle technology.
Japan’s preference for domestic car brands becomes even more obvious when looking at the country’s bestselling car models. The ranking exclusively listed car models of domestic manufacturers, with Toyota’s Prius, a full hybrid electric vehicle, in first place, followed by the Nissan Note and Toyota Sienta. Besides Nissan and Toyota, Honda was the only other brand to be found within the top ten ranks.

What are future car trends in Japan?

Japan has been increasingly branching out in electric vehicle technologies. In early 2018, several Japanese vehicle manufacturers joined the newly founded company EV C.A. Spirit Corporation. The venture established by Toyota, Mazda and Denso is a joint effort across Japan’s top automotive players to collaborate on affordable EV technologies to catch up on the knowhow of global competitors.
Efforts are likely to pay out, since EV registrations continue to rise in Japan, reaching almost 27 thousand newly registered passenger cars in 2018.
The most commonly known electric car models among Japanese were, again, predominantly manufactured by domestic brands, such as the Nissan Leaf or Toyota’s Prius PHEV.

Leading car manufacturers in Japan in 2019, based on sales

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period


Special properties

figures include new registrations of passenger cars, commercial vehicles and buses

Supplementary notes

Values have been rounded.

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