Japanese car market rose sharply in January, reporting a 40 percent increase over the same month of the previous year. The main reason for the strong evolution was the decision of the government to re-introduce subsidies for “green” vehicles.
Over 263,000 cars were sold in January, up 40.7 percent from January 2010, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said. The numbers refer to vehicles with engine size over 660cc and include big vehicles like buses or trucks.
Toyota saw its sales up 47 percent, while Honda and Isuzu increased their numbers by 59 and 60 percent, respectively.
The government awards a Y100,000 ($1,300) subsidy for an eco-car. The subsidy can be up to nine times higher for lorries and buses.
January was the first full month of sales after the government restored the subsidy. The measure was initially in place between June 2009 and September 2010, when it cost the authorities about $7 billion.