April 4, 2007

Small and Mini-Sized 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 small and minisized truck market survey it conducted in fiscal 2006 (ending March 31, 2007).

The purpose of this periodic survey is to monitor shifts in market structure by tracking periods of ownership, purchases, and extent of use of trucks in these two categories.  Taken into account in this survey were new automotive regulations in Japan, the country’s declining birthrate, its aging population, and other social trends likely to impact the markets for these trucks.

In particular, the survey sought to determine:

  1. The hiring status of women drivers and elderly drivers;
  2. The extent of awareness of vehicle exhaust emissions;
  3. The impact of a new truck license category;
  4. Trends in the use of trucks in agricultural operations;
  5. The impact of stricter enforcement of parking bans.

Survey results highlighted the following:

  • The total number of small and mini-sized trucks in use continues to decline.
  • The use of small/mini trucks for commercial operations and the monthly distances they travel are on the rise.
  • While the business outlook is generally favorable, the number of vehicles in use for both these truck categories is not expected to change significantly.
  • Slightly more women drivers are being employed, while the number of elderly-driver hirees has levelled off.
  • There is widespread awareness of the NOx/PM (nitrogen oxides/particulate matter) regulations and strong interest in so-called clean-energy vehicles.
  • In spite of increased awareness of the new mid-sized vehicle license category, few companies are affected by it.
  • Most farming households plan to continue their farming operations using the vehicles they currently own.
  • About half of all the commercial operations surveyed (with a higher ratio for shipping service operators specifically) have been affected by the stricter enforcement of on-street parking bans.

Reference: JAMA’s Fiscal 2006 Small and Mini-Sized Trucks Market Trend Survey ~ Summary of Results