JAPAN: Prius remains the top seller image

The Toyota Prius remained the top selling car in Japan for the 18th consecutive month in November according to figures from the Japan Automobile dealers Association.

Last month, Toyota recorded sales of 21,400 Prius hybrids in Japan, 20.2 percent lower than the same month a year ago. Sales of the Prius have been boosted by government subsidies and tax breaks designed to boost demand for green cars, but these ended in early September.

Following in the hybrid trend, Honda Motor Co.’s Fit compact car, which now boasts hybrid technology in one of its models, ranked second after Toyota, with sales of 16,677 units, a drop of 2.9 percent and Daihatsu Motor Co.’s Tanto minicar model placed third with sales of 13,217 units, a rise of 25.8 percent, the reports showed.

Launched in June 2009, the program for environmentally friendly cars paid up to JPY 250,000 (USD 3,100). Combined with tax cuts for energy-efficient vehicles, the savings could have reached as much as 20 percent of sale prices.