TOKYO, July 6 (Kyodo) — Sales of new imported vehicles in Japan, including those produced at Japanese automakers' overseas plants, increased 11.7 percent from a year earlier to 97,282 vehicles in the first half of this year, rising for the first time in four years for the January-June period, an industry body said Tuesday.
The rise is partly attributed to the popularity of small-size imported vehicles that are subject to tax breaks and subsidies, an official of the Japan Automobile Importers Association said.
Sales of foreign-brand passenger cars, trucks and buses climbed 14.9 percent to 89,189 units but those of Japanese-brand vehicles declined 14.5 percent to 8,093 units, the association said.
By brand, Volkswagen topped the sales ranking with sales of 24,862 vehicles, up 32.5 percent. Mercedes-Benz ranked second with sales of 15,556 vehicles, up 13.2 percent, followed by BMW at 14,184 vehicles, up 6.5 percent.
For June alone, sales of new imported vehicles, including those made at Japanese automakers' overseas plants, rose 14.0 percent from a year earlier to 21,315 units, rising for the eighth straight month.
Sales of foreign-brand vehicles climbed 17.4 percent to 20,272 units, but those of Japanese-brand vehicles declined 27.2 percent to 1,043 units.
By brand, Volkswagen retained the top position with sales of 5,630 vehicles, up 49.7 percent, followed by BMW at 3,458 units, up 0.1 percent, and Mercedes-Benz at 3,426 vehicles, up 22.2 percent.