CC Newsstand:  First Quarter 2023 Sales Figures for US, Japan, Europe and China – Big Changes Everywhere, Except Japan

You may have seen the recent Car and Driver article outlining the best selling vehicles in the US for the first quarter of 2023.  There weren’t many surprises, except with perhaps Tesla having two models in the Top 10, so I decided to compare this to the Top 10 here in Japan.

(PN: I decided to add Europe and China to this too)

Here are the Top 10 selling US vehicles according to the article;

  1.  Ford F-Series – 170K
  2. Chevy Silverado – 124K
  3.  RAM Pickup – 105K
  4.  Tesla Model Y – 85K (estimated)
  5.  Toyota RAV4 – 85K
  6.  Nissan Rogue – 76K
  7.  Honda CRV – 67K
  8.  GMC Sierra – 67K
  9.  Toyota Camry – 66K
  10.  Tesla Model 3 – 63K (estimated)

Japan (I’ve included photos since most are JDM-only models – stats acquired here)

1. Honda N-Box – 67K.  Japan’s most popular Kei-class car and most popular overall.  This is the fifth year it has been Japan’s best selling vehicle.

2.  Toyota Yaris – 53K.  Perennial Top 3 winner.

 3.  Toyota Corolla – 51K.  The Corolla, in its many guises, is still very popular in its home market.

 4.  Daihatsu Tanto – 42K.  Next most popular Kei van.  The new recreational “FunCross” version is a big hit.  

5.  Toyota Sienta – 37K.  Toyota’s smallest 3-row van – new model just introduced this year.

 6.  Nissan Note – 37K.  Another consistent Top 10 finisher.  

 7.  Suzuki Spacia – 33K.  Kei van 

 8.  Daihatsu Move – 33K.  Kei van (Canbus version shown)

9.  Toyota Roomy – 29K.  Bigger than kei 2-row tall van.   

 10.  Nissan Roox – 27K.  Kei van (developed with Mitsubishi).

So for the US we have four pickups, four SUV/CUVs, and two sedans.

For Japan we have seven vans (five being kei-class) and three sedans/hatchbacks.

Mitsubishi ek X EV


Given I’ve driven years in both countries, these lists make sense to me.  Going forward, what will be interesting is to see if any BEV models can crack the Japanese Top 10.  Tesla is trying hard, but has a long way to go.  The new kei-class Nissan Sakura/Mitsubishi ek X EV may have the best chance.

Here’s the top selling cars in Europe-27 ( Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.):

1. Tesla Model Y – 72k

2. Dacia Sandero – 60k

3. VW T-Roc – 55k

4. Peugeot 208 – 53k

5. Opel/Vauxhall Corsa – 53k

6. Toyota Yaris Cross – 53k

7. Fiat/Abarth 500 – 46k

8. Dacia Duster – 45k

9. Renault Clio – 44k

10. VW Golf – 43k


And here’s the top 12 brands in EU-27:

1. VW – 333k

2. Toyota – 220k

3. Peugeot – 179k

4. Audi – 178k

5. Mercedes – 176k

6. Skoda – 167k

7. BMW – 164k

8. Renault – 158k

9. Ford – 147k

10. Dacia – 146k

11. Kia – 137k

12. Hyundai – 132k

And here’s some stats from China, via

Note : all brands except BYD and Tesla had declines compared to the previous year. BYD grabbed the #1 spot for the first time in Q1, from VW.

These are the top selling models:

And these are the top EV brands in China. Note: EVs accounted for 22% of the Chinese market, and that number is growing rapidly. What’s important here is that the European and American brands are getting left behind in the rise of EVs in China. This is a huge trend, as Chinese consumers now (rightfully) feel that the Chinese EVs (and Tesla) are more attractive and advanced than European brands (never mind American brands).  The Europeans and American brands have been losing market share in China overall, and the trend has them very concerned, to put it mildly. The boom in China for European and American brands is well over; it remains to be seen how well and for how long they can hang on against these headwinds.

Meanwhile, the Chinese are growing their exports of EVs very quickly, to all parts of the globe, Especially Europe, which has the European car companies very worried. Exports to the US are not viable due to the 27.5% import tariff imposed by the Trump administration.