TOKYO - Japan's new-vehicle sales in October rose 2.9 percent from a year earlier to 451,377, the fourth rise in the past six months. The gain last month brings sales for the year to date to just over 5 million, up 1.5 percent.
The October gain was fairly well balanced, with sales of small cars, light trucks, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and imports all higher than a year earlier. Sales of large cars, minivehicles and buses were lower, however.
Sales rose for most major Japanese makers. But Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s sales slumped 20 percent to 30,659, reflecting the impact of a consumer backlash to disclosures that the company hid recall information from the government.
Toyota Motor Corp. rose 6 percent to 195,059, including sales of its affiliate, Daihatsu Motor Co.
The sales totals gave Toyota and Daihatsu a combined share of the entire Japanese market of 43.2 percent in October and 38.9 percent for the calendar year to date.
In addition, the all-new Toyota Corolla pushed aside the Suzuki Wagon R as the top-selling model in Japan, 18,901 to 17,447. It was the first time in 27 months for the Corolla to claim the top spot. Toyota or Daihatsu vehicles took seven of the top 10 spots.
Among other makers, Nissan Motor Co. was up 7.5 percent, while Honda Motor Co.'s sales rose 2.5 percent. Mazda Motor Corp. eased 2.9 percent.
The Japan Automobile Dealers Association, the Japan Automobile Importers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association provided figures for this story