Japan Sales Report: October Winners and Losers

By Jason Davis | November 01, 2011
Japan's Big Three isn't fully recovered from damage and supply issues caused by the March earthquake and tsunami, but October was the first month where production and supply stabilized. Unfortunately, flooding in Thailand may adversely affect November and December. In the meantime, though, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda continued their steady ascent to post solid overall and model-specific numbers. Family sedans and miserly sub-compacts did well amidst escalating gas prices, and with new and significant upcoming model releases from Toyota and Honda, stuff might get real, real quick. Toyota's Winners:
  • Toyota Camry: It's new; it's good; and it's selling. But you probably knew that.
  • Toyota Yaris: Lots of people like the "contemporary styling." In the first month for the new model, its sales tripled.
  • Toyota Tacoma: Thinning herd helps, but the small-truck king has no threat. And for good reason.
  • Toyota Corolla: Sales for the aging econobox are down, but it can't be that bad when it sells almost four times more than all of Mitsubishi's vehicles combined, right?
  • Toyota Avalon: Yes, Toyota still makes these. It would almost be Lexus' second-best seller.
Toyota's Losers:
  • Lexus HS: The premium, not-a-Corolla, Hybrid-Corolla has tanked.
  • Lexus GS: It's a good thing the new one is coming out soon. We can't wait.
  • Scion xD: Not even Zeus can jumpstart this sagging urbanite.
  • Toyota RAV4: Not much momentum with new CR-V coming out…
  • Big SUVs (Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Sequoia, Lexus LX, Lexus GX): Gas is still $4 per gallon.
Honda's Winners:
  • Honda Pilot: Have you seen that Ozzy Osbourne-inspired road trip commercial? It's great, and so is the Pilot.
  • Honda CR-V: It almost outsold the venerable Accord. And that's the old CR-V…wait'll the new one comes out.
  • Honda Odyssey: Redesigned van-champion.
  • Honda Accord: Tried and true, but facing tough new competition from redesigned Passat and Camry.
  • Acura TSX: We'd take the wagon.
Honda's Losers:
  • Honda Civic: This is actually a winner. It, too, outsold all of Mitsubishi, but the supposedly improved mid-model refresh is coming after the first model year.
  • Hybrids: The Honda CR-Z's enthusiasm has waned; the Honda Insight never had any.
  • Black Sheep: Despite their functionality, consumers have not embraced the Honda Crosstour and Acura ZDX.
  • Acura RL: A Legend, in its last days?
Nissan's Winners:
  • Nissan Altima: Almost caught up to Camry, still going strong.
  • Nissan Versa: Better than aging Sentra? Better than aging Sentra.
  • Nissan Juke: Niche-market car doing well in segment.
  • Nissan Rogue: Second in sales for Nissan, behind Altima.
  • Nissan GT-R: The whole internet has seen this video by now…
Nissan's Losers:
  • Nissan Cube: How many eccentric-Sentra's does Nissan have?
  • Infiniti EX: Baby FX be bummin'.
  • Infiniti FX: The monstrously-large, gas-guzzling QX56 did better. By far.
  • Nissan 370Z: Getting a little long in the tooth…
  • Infiniti M: Not the competitor it needs to be to keep up with the Germans.
Subaru's Winners:
  • Subaru Outback: Quirky, niche-market alternative does many things well.
  • Subaru Legacy: Premium alternative at non-premium price.
  • Subaru Tribeca: Caters to a very small market. That market grew by a couple dozen families last month.
Subaru's Losers:
  • Subaru Impreza: Down, but a new model is coming soon.
  • Subaru Forester: Tough market in crowd of fuel sippers.
Mazda's Winners:
  • Mazda6: Capable family hauler with sport flair.
  • Mazda3: Brand's best-seller gets better next year.
  • Mazda2: Still growing into its market.
Mazda's Losers:
  • Tribute: It's like a Ford Escape.
  • RX-8: Fare thee well.
Mitsubishi: Highest total sales in one month since 2008!
Suzuki: Baby steps.