Japan February Used Car Sales Up 8.2% image

February sales of used cars in Japan, increased 8.2%, to 336,127 units compared to last year, for the fourth straight month of gain.

“The growth came as the supply of used cars increased on brisk new vehicle sales attributed to the government’s revival of subsidies for purchases of new eco-friendly cars,” the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.

Since April 2011 about 3,33 million used vehicles were sold, indicating that sales for the entire fiscal 2011 through the end of this month could slip below the previous year’s level. In fiscal 2010, the sales totaled about 3.89 million units, the lowest since the association began tallying the statistics in 1978. Because of the shortage of new cars, the demand for used cars has greatly gone up. Cars that are about two years old are in great demand and the car dealers have already begun to stock them up.

In February passenger car sales were up 8.6% to 296,991 units, truck sales rose 5.7% to 32,411 units, but bus sales fell 4.1% to 786 units. Used car sales grew in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, which were hit hard by the Great East Japan Earthquake last year.