[TOKYO] Mitsubishi Motors Corp posted a 16.9 per cent slide in July minicar sales, but the drop was smaller than the prior two months as permission from the government to resume sales of two models hit by a mileage scandal gave confidence to buyers.
Mitsubishi sales of mini vehicles fell to 3,712 vehicles in July, data released by the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association showed on Monday, from 4,469 a year ago.
The automaker resumed sales of its eK Wagon and eK Space models early last month. In April, Mitsubishi admitted it had overstated the mileage reading for those vehicles along with two similar but separate models, the Dayz and Dayz Roox, it had produced for Nissan Motor Co.
Sales of the four models were suspended by the government in late April, and the scandal eventually led to a takeover of the company by Nissan.
Mini car sales by Nissan fell 33.4 per cent from a year ago in July, the figures from the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association showed. The company also resumed sales of Dayz and Dayz Roox over the period.
While demand for the four models returning after the mileage scandal remained muted, the resumption helped soothe sentiment, as evident from the fact that the drop in July sales for both Mitsubishi and Nissan was smaller than the about 75 per cent decline seen in May and June.
Suzuki Motor Co, which in May admitted to using incorrect data to calculate mileage for many of its models, reported an 11.2 per cent fall in mini vehicle sales last month.