New car sales in Japan during lock down

New car sales in Japan during lock down

New car sales in Japan during lock down

In 2020, the entire economy was affected badly by Covid-19, especially the tourism industry, restaurants, airlines and railroad companies. 

They lost tourists from overseas due to entry restrictions, and even Japanese are still suffering considerable damage as they are unable to travel the country due to the state of emergency.

On the other hand, new car sales in Japan dropped sharply last April and May when the state of emergency was declared in 2020. However it was recovered soon after the state of emergency was lifted in late May.

According to the statistics of JAPAN AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION(JADA), new car sales (including K-car) in January 2021 were 384,430 units (106.8% of January 2020).

New vehicle sales in February 2021 were 432,296 units in total (100.5% of February 2020). Thus it seems a good start of the year. However the number of registered vehicles slightly decreased below 100% of February 2020 (97.8%).

The global shortage of semiconductors also partially affected the number of car sales and it made delays in the delivery. It seems a lot of models were impossible to be delivered in time last year but also during the 2020 business year (by the end of March 2021).

The informed person says “It is not surprising because the previous year, January 2020, is continuing the trend of slow sales due to the impact of the consumption tax hike in October 2019.”

 “If you look at it another way, Covid-19 crisis has had less impact on new car sales than the consumption tax hike.”

“The wealthy people have been limited to spend their money in 2020. Then most of them tend to buy new cars after the state of emergency was lifted.”

On June 8, 2020, Toyota motor company launched the RAV4 PHV*. Soon after they started pre-order, they sold out the whole production volume in the year.


The RAV4 PHV is the flagship model of TOYOTA RAV4. RAV4 PHV pursues further “Fun to Drive” by utilizing the potentially plug-in hybrid system. The lineup includes “Black Tone”, “G” “Z” and “G” speck. TOYOTA adopts the new developed “THS II Plug-in” hybrid system. Combined with a new high-capacity, high-output lithium-ion battery, the system achieves a maximum output of 225 kW (306 HP) and enables instant acceleration and deceleration with the motor. With the addition of the PHV unique engine assist, RAV4 PHV achieves a powerful acceleration time of 6.0 sec from 0-100km/h.

The RAV4 PHV list price is about 4,690,000 JPY(G) – 5,390,000 JPY(Black Tone).

“After Covid-19 crisis, a lot of people started using their own cars instead of public transportation such as trains and buses not to take a risk of infection”

“As a result, so many people were seeking their own cars, but the delivery of new cars was temporarily delayed due to factory shutdowns caused by the declaration of a state of emergency. Thus their demands went to used cars, this trend continues to today. So there were not enough vehicles on the market due to lack of new cars and trade-in cars. Finally auction prices and trade-in prices had raised higher and higher.”

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