October 31, 2007

Assisted-Mobility Vehicle Sales in Japan
for First Half of Fiscal 2007 (April-September)

Sales of assisted-mobility vehicles in Japan during the first half (April through September) of fiscal 2007 totalled 16,489 units, a decline of 15.4% from the same period in the previous year.

A slump in sales of standard vehicles has had repercussions on the demand for assisted-mobility models. In addition, legislative revisions requiring strengthened seats in small-size and mini assisted-mobility vehicles has adversely affected sales in these categories, pushing figures to below the levels recorded for the same period in 2006.

2007 Sales Data by Vehicle Category

1. Small-Size Vehicles—10,582 units (down 16.4% from FY 2006)
Depressed demand for standard vehicles (over 2,000cc) and revisions in pertinent laws impacted the market for small-size assisted-mobility vehicles, with sales of models equipped with revolving or elevator seats suffering a particular decline from the same period a year previously. However, a small recovery is forecast for this category in the second half of 2007, owing to scheduled model changes and other positive factors.

2. Mini-Vehicles—3,727 units (down 11.6% from fiscal 2006)
There is a consistent demand for vehicles in this category—particularly for wheelchair-accessible models—because of their low sticker prices and easy handling. Nevertheless, and despite the slight gain recorded by models with revolving or elevator seats, the first half of 2007 saw a decline in sales of mini assisted-mobility vehicles compared to the same period in 2006. Because mini-vehicles are economical to own and operate, continued steady demand for assisted-mobility models in this category is expected.

3. Buses—2,180 units (down 16.6% from fiscal 2006)
The public’s highly favorable response to low-floor (or “non-step”) buses since their introduction in January 2004 has promoted strong replacement demand for large models of these assisted-mobility vehicles as route buses for use in public transport. However, the combined impact of stricter exhaust emission regulations and other developments resulted in a lower number of these buses being sold in the first half of fiscal 2007 than in the same period in the previous year.

Notes:

(1) The figures provided here and in the accompanying charts are unit sales totals compiled by JAMA member manufacturers. They 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 manufacturers).

(2) 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) The designation “Buses” includes minibuses; (2) the designation “Small-Size Vehicles” includes small passenger cars and small van-type commercial vehicles; and (3) “Other” includes custom vehicles featuring stretcher-bearing equipment, revolving rear seats, etc. As of 2007, a new category of mini assisted-mobility vehicles—those with drive-assist systems installed onboard—is listed and figures in the “Elevator/Revolving seats” and “Other” mini-vehicle categories have changed accordingly.

PDF[Data charts attached (PDF)]