TOKYO, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Sales of new imported vehicles in Japan rose 11.7 percent from a year earlier in the first half of this year, the Japan Automobile Importers Association (JAIA) said in a report Tuesday.
The industry body noted that 97,282 imported vehicles, including those of Japanese makers produced overseas, were sold in Japan, marking the first rise in four years for the January-June period, with the advance being attributed to smaller vehicles eligible for state subsidies and tax breaks.
Sales of foreign-brand passenger cars, trucks and buses climbed 14.9 percent to 89,189 units but those of Japanese-brand vehicles declined 14.5 percent to 8,093 units in the recording period, JAIA said.
Volkswagen proved the most popular foreign-produced vehicle in Japan, selling 24,862 units, up 32.5 percent, whilst Mercedes-Benz came in second with sales of 15,556 vehicles, a rise of 13.2 percent. BMW remained third, selling 14,184 vehicles, up 6.5 percent, the industry body said.
In June alone, sales of new imported vehicles climbed 14.0 percent on year to 21,315 units, marking the eighth straight month of increase, with Volkswagen maintaining its position as the top- ranking brand of imported cars, selling 5,630 vehicles, up 49.7 percent.
Sales of BMW vehicles rose 0.1 percent at 3,458 units and those of Mercedes-Benz jumped 22.2 percent to 3,426 vehicles sold, JAIA said.