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LEAD: Toyota Prius remains top seller in Japan for 6th straight month

Friday, December 4, 2009 6:17 AM

TOKYO, Dec. 4, 2009 (Kyodo News International) --
(Editors: ADDING INFO)

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius gas-electric hybrid car topped the list of Japan's best-selling vehicles in November, leading the passenger car market, which includes minicars, for the sixth straight month, according to industry data released Friday.

Sales of the hybrid, which totaled 26,815 units, benefited from its superior fuel efficiency and a tax break for consumers buying eco-friendly cars, industry analysts said.

From January through November, the Prius ranked second with sales of 186,282 units, closing in on Suzuki Motor Corp.'s (OOTC:SZKMY) WagonR minicar, which now leads the cumulative sales rankings for the 11-month period with sales of 190,716 vehicles.

Given a sizable order backlog for the Prius, the model looks set to sell in December as much as it did in November and might become the first hybrid to top the annual sales rankings, according to the analysts.

In November, Honda Motor Co.'s (NYSE:HMC) Fit subcompact placed second with sales of 17,178 units and the WagonR came in third with sales of 13,704 units.

Among hybrids, Honda's Insight hatchback, which debuted in February this year, finished ninth, selling 9,413 units.

The survey was based on the latest reports of the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association.

(Source: iStockAnalyst )


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