June 23 , 2000

Economic Situation and Trends in Automobile Production, Sale and Export

  • While some favorable economic indicators have shown signs of an economic upturn, there is no cause for undue optimism in view of the various negative factors that are also in evidence, including the unchanged severity of the employment situation and the slight appreciation of the yen on the exchange rate market.
  • While automobile sales did register a favorable trend in April and May, closer examination of the facts reveals that there were two more working days this year than in the previous year and that there have been changes in the obligatory vehicle inspection system for trucks less than 8 tons.
    These factors have accounted for the improvement in the figures which do not warrant any unreserved satisfaction.
  • However, it is understood that the reaction of customer to events and their coming to the sales outlets has improved as compared with the beginning of the year.
  • If this situation continues there might be a possibility of reaching an annual production level of 10 million vehicles.

Problems of the Vehicle Tax System and Preferential Measures for Mini Vehicles

  • The situation as it exists for automobiles in Japan at present gives reasons to anticipate an increase in the number of foreign vehicles due to the introduction of foreign capitals.
  • In the past we have always advocates a review of the excessive and complicated vehicle tax system that exists today. In addition to this issue we now also have the problem of the environmental and greening tax to contend with.
  • In view of these conditions and problems, we would like to see an overall review of the situation.
  • We also want to review the mini vehicle issue but our attitude is not that we specifically treat the mini vehicle as a target. What we want is an assessment of the principles of the vehicle tax in general, including the mini vehicle.

New Administration after the General Election

  • People in business are most interested in the establishment of a stable government and hope that this will come about as soon as possible and that it will last as long as possible.