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.
(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%.