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Suzuki Wagon R 1st-Half Best-Selling Car for 5 Straight Years

Tokyo, Oct 6, 2008 (Jiji Press) - Suzuki Motor Corp.'s <7269> Wagon R minivehicle was the best-selling automobile in Japan in the first six months of the fiscal year ending next March, keeping the top slot for the fifth straight year on a first-half basis, industry data showed Monday.

The Wagon R's sales totaled 96,075 units in April-September, down 10.1 pct from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association.

The Wagon R's first-half sales remained brisk despite the fact that Suzuki had to sell the old model till the fully remodeled version was launched at the end of September.

Honda Motor Co.'s <7267> Fit subcompact ranked second, followed by the Move and Tanto minivehicles of Daihatsu Motor Co. <7262>.

Six of the top 10 sellers were minivehicles with engines no larger than 660 c.c. as consumers preferred fuel-efficient automobiles amid higher gasoline prices.

Outside the minivehicle category, Honda's Fit, which has enjoyed strong sales since it was fully remodeled in October last year, topped Toyota Motor Corp.'s <7203> Corolla compact passenger car.

Toyota's Crown luxury sedan, which underwent a full model changeover in February, was the only model that ranked in the top 10 list among vehicles with engine displacements of over 2,000 c.c.

By maker, Toyota and Daihatsu had three vehicles each and Honda and Suzuki two vehicles each in the top 10 list for the six-month period.

For September alone, the Wagon R dropped to second place from top for the first time in eight months in the midst of its remodeling. The Move won the first place, helped by the launch of a new variation.

Following are the 10 best-selling models in April-September with maker names and sales volumes in units:
    Model      Maker     Sales
1. *Wagon R Suzuki 96,075
2. Fit Honda 85,430
3. *Move Daihatsu 82,778
4. *Tanto Daihatsu 81,496
5. Corolla Toyota 69,201
6. Vitz Toyota 57,513
7. Crown Toyota 42,602
8. *Mira Daihatsu 40,535
9. *Life Honda 39,296
10.*Palette Suzuki 37,206

Note: "*" indicates minivehicles with engine displacements of up to 660 c.c.

By Jiji Press, (c) Jiji Press

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