October 30, 2006

Assisted-Mobility Vehicle Sales in Japan in 2006
~ First Half of Fiscal 2006 (April-September) ~

Sales of “assisted-mobility” motor vehicles in Japan during the first half of fiscal year 2006 (April-September) totaled 19,483 units, a decline of 1.5% from the same period in the previous year. While sales of mini-vehicles and buses in this category performed above the first half of fiscal 2005, small-size vehicles finished slightly below the level last year.

<Sales Data by Vehicle Type>

(1) Small-Size Vehicles: 12,656 units, down 5.1% vs. the first half of last year
The first half of FY2006 was supported by firm needs for welfare transport services, with demand for wheelchair-accessible vehicles increasing in that wake. However, sales growth lagged for vehicles equipped with revolving or elevator seats, pulling the total for the small-size vehicle category below the first half of the previous fiscal year.
But with automakers actively designing vehicles that respond to the diversification in user needs and otherwise increasing assisted-mobility variations, demand is anticipated to pick up from here on.

(2) Mini-Vehicles: 4, 214 units, up 1.6% vs. the first half of last year
The vehicles in this category offer the advantages of easy handling and low sticker prices, with the popularity of assisted-mobility mini-vehicles, especially those that are wheelchair accessible, continuing to be strong. During the first half under review, sales of wheelchair-accessible types scored a slight gain, while demand for models equipped with revolving or elevator seats leveled off. Overall, the category posted a slight gain over the results in the first half of FY2005.
In view of the economic performance that mini-vehicles offer, strong demand for assisted-mobility types in this category is expected to continue from here on as well.

(3)Buses: 2,613 units, up 13.5% vs. the first half of last year
The low-floor step-free bus standard specification approval system introduced from January 2004 has steadily gained acceptance, with replacement demand continuing to grow for assisted-mobility buses, the focus on large-size route buses for use in public transportation. In reflection of this trend, first-half sales for these buses finished far above the total recorded in the first half of the previous fiscal year.

Notes:

  • The figures provided here are unit sales totals compiled by JAMA member companies, and do not include customized 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 vehicle owners, for which data is unavailable from JAMA or its member companies).
  • The assisted-mobility vehicle categories listed here have been established by JAMA on the basis of equipment standards, and therefore differ from the vehicle categories established under Japan’s Road Vehicles Act.  Note that: (1) “Buses” include microbuses; (2) “Small-size vehicles” include small passenger cars and small van-type commercial vehicles; and (3) “Other” includes custom vehicles featuring stretcher-bearing equipment, revolving rear seats, etc.

PDF[Data charts attached (PDF)]