Daihatsu Move (left) & the Suzuki Hustler (right)

Suzuki finishes atop mini car sales for first time in 8 years

The heated battle for sales of mini cars in 2014 lasted till the end where Suzuki held off Daihatsu by a narrow margin for its first top spot in eight years.

According to the 2014 statistics for sales of mini cars as announced by the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association on January 5, Suzuki edged out Daihatsu by 2,795 units. Sales of Suzuki’s mini cars went up by 13.9% (from the previous year) to 709,083 units while Daihatsu recorded a 7.0% increase to 706,288 units. The market shares were 31.2% and 31.1% for Suzuki and Daihatsu, respectively.

Despite Daihatsu finishing on top for seven consecutive years from 2007, Suzuki achieved tremendous success with the release of their new Hustler in early 2014, which propelled them ahead of their fierce rival. Due in part to the battle between these Japanese automakers, the 2014 mini car market recorded its highest sales for the second straight year.

However, there are also signs of a decline in the mini car market, as it is “achieving figures in excess of actual demand” according to a different automaker. Nonetheless, Suzuki and Daihatsu are expected to continue its battle for top spot in the 2014 fiscal year till March. In terms of the fiscal period, Daihatsu has claimed first place in the mini car market for eight consecutive years from the 2006 fiscal year to 2013.

(Translated by Travis Yamabata)