New car sales in Japan fall sharply

Sales of new cars in Japan fell sharply in the latest fiscal year that ended in March. Twice during the year a state of emergency was declared over the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a steep drop in customer visits to dealers.

The Japan Automobile Dealers Association says about 4.65 million new vehicles were sold in the year.
That was down 7.6 percent from the previous year.
It was the second straight year that sales were down.

In the category of standard-sized cars, trucks, and buses, sales fell by 8.9 percent to 2.89 million units.
Sales of mini-vehicles dropped by 5.3 percent to 1.75 million units.

Sales of buses on their own plunged by 40.4 percent, as replacement demand in the tourism industry dried up.

The dealers' association says prospects for this fiscal year remain uncertain as a supply shortage of semiconductors could hurt auto production.