TOKYO (Kyodo) -- New automobile sales in Japan in fiscal 2008 are expected to dip 0.6 percent from the previous year to a 26-year low of 5.3 million units due to high fuel prices and sluggish income growth, an industry body said Wednesday.
The moderate fall will follow an estimated 5.0 percent decline in fiscal 2007, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.
Fiscal 2008 sales of mini-vehicles with engine displacements of 660 cc or below are estimated to fall 0.7 percent to 1.9 million units and sales of larger vehicles are forecast to drop 0.5 percent to 3.4 million units.
Passenger car sales in fiscal 2008 starting April are projected to rise by a meager 0.4 percent with mini-car sales increasing 1.3 percent despite a 0.1 percent drop in sales of larger cars.
Truck sales are expected to decrease 5.3 percent to 866,000 units and bus sales to fall 1.9 percent to 15,100 units.