Mike Stevens | Mar 3, 2009

Sales figures for Japan have just been released for the month of February and the news is not good. Overall figures for the month are down 32.4 percent on last year with only 218,212 new cars, buses and trucks sold.

All car makers suffered from the drop with market leader Toyota among those hit hardest. Toyota sales were down 32 percent while Lexus dropped a staggering 63 percent. Japanese consumers are shunning large expensive purchases in the wake of the global financial crisis and the deep recession gripping the Japanese economy.

Kentaro Nakata of the Japan Automobile Dealers Association says demand for new cars from domestic consumers has stalled:

"Auto demand remains depressed and it is very difficult to predict an upturn in the market right now." Mr Nakate said of February's results.

Toyota sold only 98,808 units for the month, while Nissan sales were down 35.2 percent to 40,694. Honda also moved 40,694 units, which represents a drop of 21.1 percent. Mazda sales were down 40.5 percent with 11,312 cars sold and Suzuki sales fell by 16.1 percent, down to 6,187 for Febuary.

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