Paced by strong demand for Honda's new model Accord, sales of U.S.-made cars surged sharply in November, more than doubling their share of the imported car market in Japan, automobile importers said.

The Japan Automobile Importers Association said a total of 2,455 cars imported from the United States were sold in November, up 231.4 percent over a year ago, boosting their share to 15.2 percent from 7.1 percent a year ago."The astonishingly high popularity of Honda's Accord new model was largely responsible for the surge in U.S. car sales," said a spokesman for the association.

Honda suspended shipments to Japan a year ago pending a model change, the official said.

U.S. car sales totaled 1,061 units in November last year.

The association said German cars continued to dominate the imported car market, but their growth showed signs of slowdown.

Overall, imported car sales totaled 16,186 units, up 8.9 percent over a year ago, posting the 83rd consecutive year-on-year increase, the association said.

Cars imported from former West Germany accounted for 9,875 units, up 0.8 percent over a year ago, accounting for 61.0 percent of the total sales.

Sales of Italian-built cars grew 16.5 percent to 460 units, while those of South Korean cars gained 15.6 percent to 104 units, the association said.

In contrast, sales of cars made in Britain, France and Sweden declined, the association's statistics showed.

British cars accounted for 1,408 units, down 4.2 percent, French cars totaled 886 units, down 12.9 percent, and Swedish cars 959 units, down 1.5 percent.