Toyota Motor Corp.'s Aqua hybrid topped Japan's new car sales ranking in July for the first time in five months, data released by industry bodies showed Wednesday.
Sales of the Aqua fell 16.6 percent year-on-year to 23,909 units last month, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association. Daihatsu Motor Co.'s Tanto minivehicle came in second with sales jumping 58.8 percent to 17,044 units, followed by Toyota's Prius hybrid with 16,865 units, down 26.9 percent. Four of the top 10 models were minicars with engines no larger than 660 cc, which boast of their fuel efficiency and affordable price. Japan is the world's third-biggest vehicle market after China and the US. The country's overall domestic sales of new vehicles fell 2.5 percent in July on the year, apparently due to the consumption tax hike in April. Consumers made last-minute purchases prior to the tax increase, which was raised on April 1 from 5 percent to 8 percent.