TOKYO – Demand for imported cars and trucks in Japan continued to grow at double-digit rates during the first six months of 2013, despite a sharp weakening of the yen against the euro, dollar and other major currencies.

Sales are on track to reach their highest yearly total since the mid-1990s.

In its regular monthly sales report issued last week, the Japan Automobile Importers Assn. reports the market expanded 13% between January and June to 170,728 units, up from 150,668 in 2012.

Foreign brands, led by Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, accounted for nearly 80% of the total, while Japanese brands, mainly due to Nissan’s Thai-built March, rose to a half-year record of 37,481 units.

Nissan, which began importing the model in 2010, ranked fourth among imports at 20,194.

Among the foreign brands, VW ranked No.1 on sales of 32,842 units, followed by Mercedes-Benz and BMW with 24,339 and 20,887, respectively.

Total foreign-brand sales rose to 133,247 units. The importers association projects that number eventually will grow to 240,000.

As in the past, cars accounted for 95% of sales.

The top U.S. brands were Jeep and Ford, ranked 13th and 14th overall.

Among Japanese brands, Nissan was followed by Toyota and Mitsubishi, ranked sixth and eighth overall. Toyota was the leading truck brand with sales totaling 6,675 units, up 10% year-on-year.