Monday, February 3, 2014

Auto sales in January up nearly 30 percent

New auto sales in Japan rose nearly 30 percent in January from a year earlier.

Dealers say consumers are making last-minute purchases before the April consumption tax increase. New, recently released models are selling well.

Industry groups say sales in Japan totaled a little more than 496,000 units, including mini-vehicles. That's up 29 percent year-on-year, and marks a fifth consecutive monthly increase.

But officials of the Japan Automobile Dealers Association predict that the brisk demand ahead of the tax hike will peak this month.

They say they are not sure how long the expected sales decline will last after April. They are watching the market to see if the rollout of future models will make a difference.