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Thursday, 6th January 2011
In General Japan News,

Japan reports car sales rise

For the first time in seven years annual car sales have increased in Japan.

Figures from the Japanese Automobile Dealers Association show that the total number of cars, trucks and buses sold in Japan in 2010 was 3,229,716 - 10.6 per cent higher than in the previous year.

It is thought that the sales were boosted by a government subsidy that was introduced to help boost the industry - although the incentive scheme was closed in September.

The top-selling car in the country was the Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrid car, with more than 315,000 units being sold in the 12-month period. It has now been the best-selling car in Japan for around 18 months.

Toyota's leading hybrid first went on sale in Japan in 1997 and is now sold in around 70 countries worldwide.

Shigeru Matsumura, auto analyst at SMBC Friend Securities, told AFP: "We forecast the sales decline will hit bottom in the January-March quarter and then be on course for moderate recovery. But the pace of recovery fully depends on Japan's macroeconomic conditions."

Written by Mark Smith.