TOKYO – Japanese demand for 4-wheel-drive vehicles rose 2.4% last year to 1,182,716 units, the second straight year of gain following the sector’s 10-year low in 2004. Growth was seen in both the standard and minivehicle segments, although the standard sector (vehicles above 0.66L displacements) increased only 0.2% to 636,035 units. Meanwhile, sales rose 5.3% in the mini segment to 546,681 units. Minis now account for 47% of 4WD vehicle demand in Japan, up from 45% the previous year and ...

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