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Japan's annual new-car sales sink to five-year low

Minicars stay in reverse amid Mitsubishi scandal

Mitsubishi Motors' fuel-economy scandal hurt sales of minicars in Japan.

TOKYO -- New-automobile sales in Japan dipped below 5 million in 2016 to hit a five-year low, with the continuing decline of once-favored minicars worsened by fallout from Mitsubishi Motors' scandal over faked fuel-efficiency data.

Sales declined 2% to 4.97 million vehicles. That volume figure is the weakest since 2011, the year of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and only about two-thirds of the 1990 peak of 7.77 million units.

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