April 4, 2007

Standard Truck Market Trends
Results of JAMA’s Fiscal 2006 Survey

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, under the chairmanship of Mr Fujio Cho, recently published the results of the standard truck market survey it conducted in fiscal 2006 (ending March 31, 2007).

The purpose of this periodic survey is to monitor shifts in demand structure by tracking periods of ownership, purchases, and extent of use of standard trucks.  Sharp price increases for diesel fuel, the impact of regulations and other factors affecting the distribution sector were taken into account in the conduct of the 2006 survey.

Specifically, that survey sought to determine the extent of:

  1. Awareness of, and response to, environmental protection measures (tailpipe emissions regulations, enforcement of Japan’s Revised Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy);
  2. Awareness of, and potential demand for, advanced onboard safety equipment/technologies;
  3. Impact of, and response to, the creation of a new truck license category.

Survey results highlighted the following:

  • Although there is growing demand for new trucks with superior environmental performance, the number of trucks in use remains flat.
  • In an economic upturn, the volume of freight handled by transporters/shipping service operators is expanding.
  • In zones where NOx/PM (nitrogen oxides/particulate matter) emissions are regulated, the majority of transporters/shipping service operators are willing to purchase CNG (natural gas) or hybrid vehicles.
  • Concern with safety is high, and there is particularly keen interest in the onboard installation of inter-vehicle distance monitoring equipment.
  • There is widespread awareness of the new mid-sized vehicle license category under Japan’s Revised Road Traffic Act.
  • Increased fuel economy is the most compelling reason to consider a new truck purchase.

Reference: JAMA’s Fiscal 2006 Standard Trucks Market Trend Survey ~ Summary of Results