Automotive sales in Japan increased by 5.4pc to 613,003 units in March from prior-year month, according to data published by Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Sales were fairly strong in March despite the semiconductor shortage and uptick in COVID-19 cases. Business sentiments have significantly improved in Q1 although the pandemic has not subsided.
In the first quarter (Jan-March) sales were up 4.2pc to 1.4mn units from 1.37mn units in prior-year quarter. Passenger car sales rose 4.2pc to 1.19mn units and truck sales were 5.1pc higher at 230,268 units from the prior year period. Due to the ongoing pandemic, sales of buses and coaches have taken a hit as people chose to use private vehicles over public transport. Sales fell 35pc for the segment to 2,652 units from the prior year quarter.
In March, Toyota grabbed the spot of best performer with185,420 units. Nissan came in second with having sold 69,126 units. Mazda sold 29,318 units. For Jan-Mar, Toyota sold 439,862 units, up 8pc from the prior year. Suzuki sales 8.7pc to 203,743 units and Daihatsu sold 178,141 units, up 2.7pc from the same period of 2020. Honda sales were at 181,842, down 2.8pc from 2020 levels.