Prius Remains Best-Selling Vehicle In Japan

TOKYO, July 5 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid remained the best-selling vehicle in Japan in June for the 13th consecutive month, with sales posting a robust 46.5 percent year-on-year gain to 28,456 units, industry bodies said Thursday.

After recovering from a supply shortage triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Prius sales have been backed by consumers' preferences for fuel-efficient cars and a government subsidy program to spur the purchase of environmentally friendly vehicles.

Toyota's Aqua compact hybrid, which debuted in December, placed second with sales of 25,079 units, while Honda Motor Co.'s N Box minivehicle, also introduced in December, ranked third with 23,090 units, according to data released by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association.

Honda's Fit compact car was in fourth place with sales of 22,068 units, up 35.2 percent.

Among the models in the top 10 sales rankings, five were minivehicles, including Daihatsu Motor Co.'s Mira, which recorded a 3.4-fold sales jump to 21,665 units in taking fifth place, and Suzuki Motor Corp.'s Wagon R, which posted a 23.8 percent rise to 18,484 units to take sixth place.