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Japan’s 2023 Imported Vehicle Sales Results

Sales of imported vehicles in Japan in 2023 increased by 0.5% from the previous year to 311,367 units. Of this, sales of foreign brands went up by 2.5% to 248,329 units, but the total market share shrank by 0.6 point to 5.2%. In contrast to the Japanese market, which grew by some 10% year-on-year, overseas brands continued to be affected by vehicle supply shortages and price hikes due to high prices and a weak yen.

Passenger cars (sedans and hatchbacks) decreased by 7.7% to 114,162 units, while SUVs increased by 13.4% to 114,633 units, surpassing passenger cars by a narrow margin. Many brands are increasing their SUV products on the market, which makes it look like that vehicle supply has been allocated to SUVs as a priority.

Looking at sales by brand, there were changes in the ranking below 2nd place. The leading imported brand Mercedes-Benz was down 2.2% year on year to 51,238 units, reflecting a reactionary decline from the previous year, when there was a positive effect of new C-Class models. BMW rose from 3rd to 2nd place with 34,501 units, an increase of 11.7%, while VW fell to 3rd place with 31,815 units, a decrease of 1.3%. Audi, which came in 4th place, did not change its ranking, but its sales increased by 18.7% year on year to 24,632 units, due to factors such as the launch of the new A3. In addition, Land Rover's sales increased 2.0 times to 9,102 units, thanks to strong sales of the Defender, and quickly jumping from 13th to 8th place.

Sales volume of foreign brand electric vehicles increased by 21.9% from the previous year to 90,551 units, and the composition ratio of all foreign brands increased by 5.8 percentage points to 36.5%. MHEVs increased by 10.0% year-on-year to 64,256 units, accounting for 25.9% of the total. MHEVs equipped with diesel engines led sales, increasing by 56.5% to 24,957 units. PHEVs rose by 21.3% to 7,306 units, and BEVs went up by 2.0 times to 17,328 units, increasing their composition ratio by 3.5 points to 7.0%.

Graph: Japan: Sales Volume of Imported Vehicles by Country of Brand Origin and Market Share (2014-2023)
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