April 28, 2006

Passenger Car Market Trends
- Results of JAMA’s Fiscal 2005 Survey -

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has published the results of its passenger car market trend survey carried out in fiscal 2005.  Passenger car surveys are conducted in odd-numbered years and target households nationwide, to determine ownership and user trends as well as future demand structure.

Based on 5,250 responses, survey results indicated that:

  • Household passenger car ownership stood at 78.8%, roughly equal to the 79.2% recorded in the previous survey (fiscal 2003).
  • Multiple vehicle ownership stood at 38.3%, up from 35.9% in 2003.
  • In the multiple-vehicle ownership segment, there was an increase in ownership of two or more passenger cars.
  • There was a slight increase in the number of women who are principal drivers.  Principal drivers aged 50 years or older comprised 46% of all principal drivers.
  • The average period of passenger car ownership was 6.8 years, an increase of 0.3 years from 2003, underlining a trend towards longer car ownership.

The survey also revealed or confirmed the following trends:

  1. Continued downsizing
    The shift to smaller cars (as defined by engine capacity) is a continuing trend.
  2. Changes in used car demand
    Purchasers replacing new vehicles with used vehicles represented 11% of all car purchasers, down from 15% in 2003.  Purchasers replacing used cars with other used cars totalled 27%, down from 28% in 2003.
  3. An increased potential need for assisted-mobility vehicles
    Among households with a family member aged 75 or older, 29% identified themselves as households “in need of nursing care” (up from 22% in 2003).  In that segment, vehicle use for nursing care stood at 91%, with 92% of the vehicles used for that purpose being for “private” (as opposed to business) use.
  4. “Boomers” and “seniors” have different vehicle preferences
    Compared to senior citizens, members of Japan’s “baby boom” generation own more bonnet-type minicars, recreational vehicles, and used cars, and place greater importance on “overall interior comfort” and “backseat comfort” when making vehicle purchases.

Reference: JAMA's Fiscal 2005 Passenger Car Market Trend Survey ~ Summary of Results