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MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) - 07/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Toyota Motor Corp.'s Aqua hybrid topped Japan's new car sales ranking for the first time in October, data released by industry bodies showed Tuesday.

Toyota sold 24,192 units of Aqua subcompact, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association. Aqua became the best-selling vehicle for the first time since its debut in December last year by overtaking the automaker's Prius, which had been the best seller for 16 straight months through September.

The Aqua, which is smaller and cheaper than the Prius, serves to meet demand for such hybrids following the phase out of government subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles.

Honda Motor Co.'s N BOX minivehicle came in second with monthly sales falling 8.6 percent from a year earlier to 18,203 units, followed by the Prius with 18,116 units, down 38.9 percent. Six of the top 10 models were minicars with engines no larger than 660 cc, reflecting interest among consumers in its fuel efficiency and affordable price.

The JPY 300 billion (USD 3.7 billion) subsidy program, which provided an allowance of up to about JPY 100,000 (USD 1,250) for purchasers of eco-friendly cars, ended in September as the budget dried up.

Domestic sales of new vehicles fell 9.0 percent from a year earlier in October, marking the second straight month of decline.

 






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