Sales of new vehicles in Japan fell by almost a third in February as consumers continued to shun big, expensive items, new figures reveal.
There were 218,212 new cars, buses and trucks sold during the month, down 32.4% year-on-year and the seventh consecutive monthly fall in auto sales.
All major carmakers suffered big falls, with sales at Toyota, excluding the Lexus brand, dropping by 32%.
Honda was less badly affected, but still saw sales fall sharply by 21.1%.
Japanese carmakers are also suffering from big falls in overseas sales.
Domestic consumers are continuing to shy away from buying cars in the face of an economic slump, said Kentaro Nakata at the Japan Automobile Dealers Association, which released the figures.
“Auto demand remains depressed and it is very difficult to predict an upturn in the market right now.”
Sales at Toyota, the biggest selling carmaker in the world, fell to 98,808 units. And sales at its Lexus division fell by 63%.
Nissan’s sales fell by 35.2%, to 40,694, while Mazda sold 11,312 units, a year-on-year drop of 40.5% from February 2008.
Honda and Suzuki Motors suffered less dramatic falls, with Honda sales down 21.1% at 40,694, and Suzuki sales down 16.1% at 6,187.
Source: BBC News