Japan Sales Report: March Winners and Losers

By Matthew Askari | April 04, 2012
We're well into 2012, but if March sales are any indication, the beat plays on for Japanese automakers. March proved to be a mixed bag for Japanese stalwarts, with luxury brands such as Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti experiencing a long winter. On the flip side, economical, value-driven cars are something the Japanese always excelled at, and March was no different. Nissan sales continued to scorch, while Toyota and Mazda had strong showings. Honda's woes continued, as the automaker's heavy hitters such as the Civic and Accord saw sharp declines in sales. Toyota's Winners
  • The Toyota Camry has been a favorite for decades, and the 2012 has been a huge success.
  • The Prius hybrid lineup keeps expanding, but it can't keep up with appetites.
  • The Toyota Yaris. Yeah, it's a car. It's a car people really want to drive, apparently.
  • Lexus updated the 2012 GS, and so far the reception has been warm.
  • The Toyota RAV4 is faring well in a tough segment.
  • It's easy to forget Toyota makes a lot of trucks. But truck buyers are clearly aware of the Tacoma and Tundra.
Toyota's Losers
  • Scion's best seller, the tC, saw a mild decrease in sales. That was the good news. The FR-S can't come soon enough.
  • Toyota still sells a ton of its mighty compact Corolla, but the competition is inching ever-closer.
Honda's Winners
  • A lone bright spot for Honda, the CR-V shows people will shell out for efficient utility.
  • The Acura TSX actually saw an uptick in sales, the only Acura that can claim such.
Honda's Losers
  • The Honda Accord is not garnering the enthusiasm it used to, though they still sell a lot of them.
  • The Civic has lost its way, but the good news is Honda is aware of this, and might do something about it.
  • The entire Acura lineup is having a tough go of it right now.
Nissan's Winners
  • Nissan just debuted the newest Altima at the New York Auto Show. That hasn't stopped people from scooping up the current generation.
  • The strong 4.0-liter V-6 in the Frontier is doing the trick...and the fact it's one of the few compact pickups left in the U.S.
  • It's not about the minivan, it's about the Quest.
  • Infiniti's QX56 luxury SUV sales are flat, which is as good as it gets for the automaker.
Nissan's Losers
  • Cube: Hey! It's a shape too. The romance is over.
  • The Infiniti EX35 still records a pulse. Barely.
  • Luxury sedans are an increasingly tough class, and the Infiniti M is feeling it.
Subaru's Winners
  • The Impreza is keeping the ship afloat and then some. The new packaging is a hit.
  • The Legacy is also doing the trick.
Subaru's Losers
  • Impreza WRX: Despite all-wheel-drive, can't find any traction.
Mazda's Winners
  • ZoOMG, It’s only been on sale a month, but with good fuel economy and looks, the Mazda CX-5 has found its best application of the SUV, maybe its smallest yet.
  • The Mazda3 is still doing its thing.
  • All of the sudden, people are noticing the value here in the Mazda6.
Mazda's Losers
  • CX-7: The CX-5 does everything the CX-7 does, but better. Thanks for the memories..
Mitsubishi's Winners
  • Mitsubishi says they're experiencing positive Outlander Sport sales. We'll take their word.
  • If you were previously unaware, Suzuki sells Japanese cars here in the U.S., too. They even tell us at least 2,000 of you knew that in March.
Source: Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Suzuki, Mazda

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