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The Asahi Shimbun
January 12, 2023 at 19:34 JST
Photo/Illutration Honda Motor Co.’s minivehicle N-Box, Japan’s top-selling car in 2022 (Provided by Honda Motor Co.)
Honda Motor Co.’s N-Box raced past the 2021 sales champion, Toyota Motor Corp.’s Yaris, to top new car sales in Japan in 2022 for the first time in two years.
The two models sold more than 202,000 and 168,000 units, respectively, while overall car sales fell due to semiconductor chip shortages.
The ranking is based on data released by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicle Association on Jan. 11.
Four Toyota models made the top 10 including Yaris and Corolla, with the latter having sold some 131,000 units.
Five minivehicles, including the N-Box, made it to the list, with Daihatsu Motor Co.’s Tanto and Suzuki Motor Corp.’s Spacia selling some 107,000 and 100,000 units, respectively.
The top-selling electric vehicle was Nissan Motor Co.’s Sakura, which ranked 15th among minivehicle models with more than 21,000 units sold.
Foreign manufacturers sold 14,341 units of electric vehicles in Japan last year, an increase of 66.6 percent compared with the previous year, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association.
Electric vehicles accounted for 5.9 percent of the foreign makers’ overall car sales in Japan, growing 2.6 percentage points from 2021 as manufacturers launched more electric vehicle models as gasoline-powered cars face increasingly tougher emissions standards.
In December, 2,251 electric vehicles of foreign manufacturers were sold in Japan, a 57.6 percent increase from the same month a year earlier, garnering an 8.5 percent share of their overall car sales.
The share is high, given that electric vehicles account for just 1 percent of Japanese makers’ overall sales. The foreign automakers are apparently taking the initiative in shifting to EVs in the Japanese market. 
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