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Japan Imported Car Sales Rise

June 6, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ Sales of imported automobiles in Japan rose 2.1 percent in May from the year earlier level, the first on-year increase in five months.

A total of 19,705 imported passenger cars and trucks were sold, compared with sales of 19,298 in May of last year, the Japan Automobile Importers Association said.

The figures include vehicles produced overseas by Japanese manufacturers but sold in Japan.

Sales of passenger cars, which account for the bulk of import sales, rose 1.7 percent to 19,192, the association said. The number of truck sales totaled 513, up 22.1 percent.

Imports of non-Japanese makers slipped 0.4 percent to 17,640 in May.

Volkswagen AG of Germany was the most popular foreign brand with sales of 4,198 in May, up 32.3 percent. Germany’s Mercedes-Benz came in second with sales of 3,418, down 26.5 percent, followed by BMW, also of Germany, with sales of 2,134, down 13.8 percent.

Japanese consumers remain reluctant to spend on big-ticket, imported goods amid the economy’s worst slowdown in five decades.

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On the Net: Japan Automobile Importers Association: http://www.jaia-jp.org

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