Imported EVs Account for 9% of Foreign Vehicle Sales

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A showroom of Chinese EV manufacturer BYD Co. is seen in Komaki, Aichi Prefecture

Imported electric vehicles accounted for 9% of all domestic imported vehicle sales in the first half of this fiscal year, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association (JAIA).

The JAIA figures showed total sales of 10,968 EVs for the period, representing a year-on-year rise of 94.5%. Imported EVs are an increasingly familiar sight in Japan, reflecting a rise in the number of different models, and smaller vehicles better suited to Japanese road conditions.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

From October 2020 to September this year, the number of EV models available in Japan increased from 20 to 101. Though the association did not disclose model-specific sales figures, it said Volkswagen AG’s ID.4, Audi AG’s Q4 e-tron and other models were popular.

Overseas EV manufacturers are increasingly targeting the Japanese market. China’s BYD Co. — which began selling EVs here in January — plans to increase the number of its Japan-based sales outlets to 60 by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Germany’s Mercedes-Benz Group AG launched a world-first base that deals exclusively in EV sales in Yokohama last year.

With foreign automakers expanding into this country’s market, Japanese automakers only offer a total of around 10 EV models. According to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association, in the first half of this year, 21,317 EVs — excluding minicars — were sold in Japan, accounting for just 1.7% of total vehicle sales.