TOKYO -- The Nikke Inc.'s latest market share rankings for Japan show longtime second and third bests suddenly finding themselves atop their markets.
Some of those that did get over the hump can thank industry consolidation and takeovers.
Nikkei Inc. on Saturday released its Japanese market share rankings for 2016. In 10 of the 100 product and service categories surveyed, the No. 1 from 2015 was overtaken. This is one more than in the previous year.
The leap came despite Nippon Ham also gaining market share as Japanese began eating at home more frequently. The increased presence of women in the workplace as well as the aging population appear to be pushing the trend.
In growth markets, the rankings are often fluid and involve foreign players. The wind power generator category is a good example. Two years ago, Siemens of Germany was the market leader, but last year it didn't ship any turbines at all in Japan. Hitachi took the top spot, thanks to an order from what is to be Japan's largest wind farm.
For industrial robots, Yaskawa Electric returned to No. 1, up from No. 2, thanks to robust sales of multi-jointed robots.
For high-performance gaming consoles, Sony Interactive Entertainment beat previous No. 1 Nintendo. Nintendo in March rolled out its Switch console, demand for which seems to be higher than expected.
Other categories in which former No. 1s dropped from their perches include off-the-shelf car navigation systems, multi-functional printer-copiers and credit cards. In eight of the 10 categories -- including solar cells and ink-jet printers -- the No. 2 players moved up.