April 4, 2007

Passenger Car 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 passenger car market survey it conducted in fiscal 2006 (ending March 31, 2007).

The survey results underscore the fact that despite Japan’s steady economic recovery, the domestic new-car market continues to level off.  They also help to identify the various factors behind this trend and point to the need for Japan’s auto industry to develop and market new cars with heightened product appeal.

The results presented below were compiled from three separate initiatives:

  1. The analysis of data obtained in seven JAMA passenger car market surveys conducted between 1993 and 2005;
  2. The conduct in 2006 of a survey on attitudes towards cars and car use;
  3. The conduct in 2006 of a survey on trends in new passenger car demand.

Survey results highlighted the following:

  • Since the 1990s, the percentage of older drivers has risen steadily, while distances travelled have decreased.  Other trends include longer ownership of a passenger car and increases in used-car and smaller car purchases.
  • Behind the trends towards longer ownership and the decision not to own a car at all are consumer concerns about road congestion, costs associated with vehicle use, and safety risks.
  • The levelling-off in new car demand is a consequence of a combination of various socioeconomic factors including Japan’s aging population, the spread of urbanization, and shifting lifestyle priorities.
  • In mounting effective responses to this complex mix of factors, a critical area of focus will be to develop cars that have heightened product appeal.
  • To stimulate market demand, various specific objectives, such as generating greater use value through the fusion of information and services, should be pursued.

Reference: JAMA's Fiscal 2006 Passenger Car Market Trend Survey ~ Summary of Results