Prius: Japan’s best-selling vehicle for the eighth consecutive month image

Sales of the Prius hybrid of Toyota Motor Corp. topped Japan’s new car sales ranking for the eighth straight month in January, industry bodies said Monday.

In addition, Toyota said last week its new hybrid Aqua compact received 120,000 orders in the first month of sales, equivalent to 10 times the monthly sales target. The Aqua, called Prius C overseas, is the world’s cheapest and most fuel-efficient hybrid to date, starting at 1.69 million yen ($22,200) with listed mileage of 35.4 km/litre in Japan.

Honda Motor Co.’s Fit compact car came in second, up 44.2 percent to 21,449 units, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association (JAMA). Daihatsu Motor Co.’s Mira minivehicle marked a 3.8-fold year-on-year sales increase to 19,795 units.

Japan’s domestic sales of new vehicles jumped 40.7 percent from a year earlier in January marking the fifth consecutive monthly increase, data released by an industry body showed.
The government gives a subsidy of 100,000 yen (about $1,300) for an environmentally friendly passenger car and up to 900,000 yen subsidies for trucks and buses.

Toyota was the biggest overall beneficiary of the move, selling 124,633 vehicles, up 47.1 percent on the previous year, but Honda and Isuzu sales went up proportionately even more, at 59.2 percent and 60.6 percent respectively.