TOKYO - Japan's new-vehicle sales in March declined 7.2 percent from a year earlier to 771,986, the seventh consecutive monthly drop.
Sales fell almost across the board in what is usually the strongest month of the year.
Corporate fleet buyers and parents giving cars to newly graduated children usually push sales up in March.
Buses and medium- and heavy-duty trucks were up slightly.
Sales declined 1.1 percent for compact cars, 12.6 percent for full-sized cars, 27.0 percent for light trucks and 3.9 percent for minivehicles, defined as cars and trucks with engines smaller than 660cc.
Sales of medium- and heavy-trucks nudged up 0.3 percent, while overall imports dipped 1.8 percent.
Honda Motor Co. was the only gainer among the five biggest automakers. With two of its vehicles among Japan's top 10 sellers in the month, Honda sales jumped 8.8 percent.
Sales of the Honda Fit reached a single-month record of 24,847 in March, to rank second among all models. The Fit was introduced in June.
Sales dropped 9.3 percent at Toyota Motor Corp., 9.2 percent at Nissan Motor Co., 15.3 percent at Mitsubishi Motors Corp., and 12.8 percent at Mazda Motor Corp.
Sales of Nissan's redesigned March compact, introduced March 5, got off to a good start. Sales of the March totaled 17,558 in the month, more than double the monthly sales target of 8,000.
Among foreign brands, General Motors sales rose 4.7 percent.
GM received a boost from the Japan-built Chevrolet Cruze, a microvan that was jointly developed and introduced in November with Suzuki.
Although the addition of the vehicle helped GM's percentage comparison in March, the model seems to be struggling to lure Japanese buyers.
It has routinely failed its sales goal of 1,666 a month, or 20,000 a year, since December.
Meanwhile, GM North America imports plunged 43.5 percent, while GM's Opel brand tumbled 36.1 percent.
Ford Group sales dipped 2.5 percent, hurt by a decline in sales for Japan-built Ford models as well as Land Rover and Volvo brands.
DaimlerChrysler sales tumbled 17.5 percent as sales slumped for its flagship Mercedes, Chrysler and Smart brands.