Monday, January 17, 2011

StepWGN is Japan's 2010 best selling van (8 seats)

Honda finally did it and, 3 generations after the original StepWGN redefined the segment in 1996, the new StepWGN has climbed to the top of the sales charts once again.

After a very close battle for the mid-year crown, the gap with the 2nd placed Nissan Serena increased to about 6000 units despite the Serena's November FMC, ending 80.934 vs. 75.040 for 2010. That was good enough for an overall 7th place in the Japanese market (excluding k-cars).

Interestingly, both the new Toyota Voxy and Serena beat the StepWGN's fuel economy (which was best in class when it reached the market in 2009), but it seems that consumers are looking beyond that this time around. I wonder though if it'll be able to retain the lead for a second year (it was the best selling van in December but that was a first since September).

As predicted though, the StepWGN couldn't match its smaller Freed brother, who ended up on a respectable 5th place at 95.123, helped by the recently introduced Spike variant. In my opinion, the rumored hybrid scheduled for this fall could give it the strength to fight for a top4 in 2011.

For those having more interest on Japanese market, here is the rest of the top 5.
  • Market leader was of course the Prius by a wide margin (315.669), and having broken Corolla's two decades old record.
  • Second was to the Fit (185.439), which is closing on the Prius since the government green cash-back campaign ended in September, but still can't reach Toyota's all mighty rival. Some analysts say that is unlikely to happen until the end of the green tax-incentives that remain in place until 2012.
  • Third was Toyota's Fit fighter, the Vitz/Yaris (122.248), and fourth was for the fleet-friendly Corolla that sells in so many different variants is difficult to keep track of them (111.265).

Sources : Honda PR, Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

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