October 27, 2004

Assisted-Mobility Vehicle Sales Report
~ First Half of Fiscal 2004 (April-September) Records Decline ~

Sales of “assisted-mobility vehicles” in Japan during the first half of fiscal year 2004 (April-September) declined in all three categories for which statistics are compiled (buses, mini vehicles and small-sized vehicles), posting a combined total of 19,326 units – down 6.2 percent from the first half of FY2003. This marks the first time that first-half sales of assisted-mobility vehicles have scored below the previous year’s level since half-year performance announcements were initiated in fiscal 2000.

< Sales Data by Vehicle Type>

(1) Buses
First-half 2004 sales of assisted-mobility buses totaled 2,178 units, down 24.2 percent from the first half of FY2003. The previous fiscal year witnessed a major advance in bus sales linked to the Automobile NOx-PM Law governing levels of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions, and related ordinances introduced in the Tokyo Metropolitan area. The first half under review posted a reactionary downturn in the wake of this previous surge.

(2) Mini-Vehicles
Sales of assisted-mobility mini-vehicles totalled 4,176 units, down 1.6 percent from the first half of FY2003. Demand continues to run strong with the focus on units equipped with elevator seats, wheelchair-mountable models and other vehicles in this class, with popularity linked to the low prices and easy handling. The slight decline for the first half just completed was due in part to the solid sales results achieved during the same six months in FY2003.

(3) Small-Sized Vehicles
Sales of small assisted-mobility vehicles totalled 12,972 units, down 3.9 percent compared to the previous year’s first half. This downturn reflects last year’s robust growth, focused on elevator-seat equipped and wheelchair-friendly models, which together with the introduction of new vehicles combined to push sales to higher levels for the first half of FY2003.


  • The statistics provided here are based on unit sales data obtainable from JAMA member companies, and thus do not include vehicles that have been remodelled at the initiative of individual vehicle owners.
    *The market for vehicles equipped with drive-assist systems is estimated at roughly 5,000 units (including vehicles remodelled at the initiative of individual owners, for which data is unavailable from JAMA or its member companies.)
  • The vehicle categories listed here have been established by a special working group on assisted-mobility vehicles on the basis of equipment standards, and thus differ from the vehicle categories established under Japan’s Road Vehicles Act. In addition, the changes in categories 3 and 4 are reflected retroactively.
  1. “Small-sized vehicles”: Includes passenger cars and commercial vehicles (van types).
  2. “Other”: Customized vehicles (order-made cars), stretcher-equipped, revolving rear seats, etc.
  3. “Buses”: Microbuses formerly included in small-sized vehicles are placed in the bus category from this year.
  4. “Mini vehicles”: “Driving assist system equipped vehicle” were formerly included in “elevator seat and revolving seat vehicles,” but from this year are counted as “driving assist system equipped vehicle” (the same applies to small-sized vehicles).

PDF[Data charts attached (PDF)]