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Japan Car Sales Jump 18.3% for November

Long-troubled market shows third consecutive gain.

by on Dec.01, 2009

The Japanese version of the new Honda Insight has helped prop up the carmaker's sales.

The Japanese version of the new Honda Insight has helped prop up the carmaker's sales.

In a sign that the Japanese economy is gaining some life, car sales jumped 18.3% in November, the industry reported today.  That marked the third monthly increase in a row following 13 straight months of decline.

Of course, the turnaround needs to be put in perspective, since late 2008 saw sharp declines.  In fact, the latest 18.3% increase barely offsets the 18.2% drop in the Japanese car market in November 2008.

On the whole, the market operated at a flat, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, or SAAR, of 5.3 million, which is barely half the Japanese market’s one-time peak.

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(Click Here for Joe Szczesny’s report on the seemingly irreversible, long-term decline of the Japanese car market.)

November demand for minicars, particularly popular on the crowded urban streets of Japan, surged 6.5%, but so-called non-minis grew 36%.

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