February 17, 2000

Explanatory comments on "The Latest International Activities of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association" given at press conference

Domestic Automobile Production

  • Despite the happy news that total automobile sales in January of this year were 2.5% up on the same month of the previous year it is still not clear whether the market is bottoming out of the sales trough.

  • Though growth can only be considered a real trend when it has been maintained for a few months there is a sense of optimism.

Personnel Question on Who will be Chairman

  • According to the JAMA's rules, the final term is March when the Board meets in session. Although a series of procedures is taking place to bring the matter forward it is still not possible to say anything definite at this stage.

  • To the present rotating system with two companies there may be alternatives of 3, 5, or 11 companies.
    On the question of the length of one term being two years, there is also an alternative that might be one year as in the case of the ACEA (European Automobile Industry Association).

  • In any event, as we have already stated, we will inform you of the outcome as soon as a decision has been made. So, please wait a little longer.

Taxation on the basis of the size of business

  • It may appear that for a company closing its accounts with deficit may have nothing to do with assessment of estimation on the basis of the size of business. The truth of the matter is, that it nevertheless is liable to a considerable amount of tax such as property tax etc.

  • Where the case of Metropolitan Tokyo is concerned, we believe the problem lies in what is "equitable and fair." Tokyo's case means that any prefecture has taken no measures to their budgets that were vastly inflated in the bubble-period and on the pretext of the present fiscal constraints is imposing new tax only on the banks which are trying to normalize the financial system with public money injections from the government. It is general knowledge that this practice is being criticized for its inconsistency from the viewpoint of fairness.

EU Fuel Efficiency Regulations

  • With reference to the monitoring for the implementation of the regulations, automobile associations concerned are making propositions to the European Commission on issues such as the consideration of its scope and the preparation of annual reports.

  • The first annual report on carbon dioxide emissions for the four-year period from 1996 through to 1999 is due to be drawn up in the summer of this year.

  • The figures shown will be total average data, including the local production and export statistics of the member manufacturers of JAMA. The average figures of the individual manufacturers will not appear.

  • There will, of course, be differences among the individual manufacturers. The fact, however, is that there are emission regulations also in Europe and these regulation values have to be met when selling cars in the territory of the EU. It is only too natural, therefore, that problems of this nature will have to be cleared.