In a landmark development for the growth of 'green' cars, Honda's petrol-electric hybrid Insight outsold all other passenger cars in Japan during April.
The sales success of Honda's Insight marks the first time a hybrid vehicle has topped a country's sales rankings.
Overall car sales in Japan fell by 28% in April, but Honda and Toyota now hope that new 'green' cars can help reverse a 20-year decline in sales.
Honda sold nearly 10,500 Insights during April, which is almost 50% greater than the number it sold in March. That figure is around 1000 higher than the next best-selling vehicle the Honda Fit, which is sold in the UK as the Jazz.
Part of the Insight's sharp increase in sales can be explained by new tax breaks for cars with low emissions that were introduced at the beginning of April.
As well as tax breaks, Japan is also offering drivers an incentive of 100,000 yen (672) if they buy cars that beat 2010 emissions standards by at least 15%.