April 4, 2003

JAMA Announces Results of Fiscal 2002 Market Trend Surveys for Standard, Small and Mini Trucks

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has compiled the results of its truck market trend surveys conducted in fiscal 2002 for the separate categories of standard, small and mini-size models.

These questionnaire-format surveys targeting truck users and shippers are conducted by JAMA once every two years in order to determine the structure of market demand for the standard, small and mini truck sectors and enable the formulation of forecasts of qualitative shifts in that demand.

The latest JAMA survey of standard-size truck market trends determined that:

  1. Within the transportation industry there was an increase in the number of business operators who intend to reduce unit ownership, with the term of vehicle use also found to be longer.
  2. A large majority of transporters believe they will be impacted by the restrictions on the operation of diesel vehicles in the Tokyo metropolitan area and by the enactment of the Automobile NOx and PM Law.
  3. Many transporters believe that the two new distribution laws to be enforced beginning in fiscal 2003 (the Trucking Business Law and the Freight-Forwarding Law)-legislation which incorporates freight charge follow-up notification system and removal of the restrictions on business territory-will serve to intensify industry competition and bring down freight transport rates.
  4. Gaps in perception exist between major shippers and transporters with less than 50 percent of shippers satisfied with the responses being mounted by transporters.

The survey of small and mini-size truck market trends determined that:

  1. The principal uses of these vehicles for business purposes were for "transport to work sites and business locations" and "roundtrip transportation within greater Tokyo."
  2. Vehicle owners reported a decrease in the number of "idle" vehicles, yet at the same time indicated that there was "a further decline in vehicle operation overall". In regard to freight transport rationalization, it was frequently reported that "With cost-cutting programs already in place, it is impossible to streamline any further."
  3. While a slowdown was reported in the transportation industry with respect to the hiring of female drivers, it was found that "intent to hire in the future" was on an upward trend. The trend of hiring more senior citizen drivers continued, although an increased percentage of business operators said that they "will not hire such drivers from this point on."
  4. Concern is running high about global warming, air pollution and other environmental problems. At the same time, however, a large number of transporters said they are aware of the cost burden linked to spending on environmental countermeasures.

The results of JAMA's truck surveys as summarized above are distributed to the general public.