Thursday, May 01, 2008

Japan automobile sales rise in April: Toyota and Nissan take the lead

An extra selling day and a temporary tax break boosted the car sales in Japan for the month of April. Nissan Motor Company saw a rise in the sale of its mid-size passenger cars. Its redesigned X-Trail was the champion. Toyota Motor Corporation’s Crown Sedan was at the top of the sales chart. Hiroshima based Mazda Motor Corporation experienced a 5.9% rise selling 12,626 vehicles. Bloomberg reports:

Sales of cars, trucks and buses rose 6.9 percent to 232,993 vehicles from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said in a statement today. The total excludes minicars.

Redesigned models including Nissan's X-Trail sport-utility vehicle and Toyota Motor Corp.'s Crown sedan helped boost sales of mid-sized and large cars by 21 percent. Some consumers also took advantage of lower taxes as the rate on cars fell to 3 percent from 5 percent for the month after the government failed to agree on a tax package.

``Some car buyers waited until the beginning of April or rushed in by the end of the month to take advantage of the lower rate,'' said Takeshi Fushimi, director of the dealers' association, who also cited the extra selling day as a major factor for the bump in passenger car sales.

Unfortunately, the month was not good for the mini car makers. For the last four years, car sales has been declining in Japan. According to Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, the sales will drop by 1.2% in 2008. Last month, the country observed a massive price rise due to rising prices of oil and food. The worst time was last year when the vehicle sales was the lowest in Japan in the last 35 years due to higher prices and stagnant wages.

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