October 29, 2008

Assisted-Mobility Vehicle Sales in Japan
for First Half of Fiscal 2008 (April-September)

Sales of assisted-mobility vehicles in Japan during the first half (April through September) of fiscal year 2008 totalled 17,456 units, an increase of 5.9% from the same period in the previous year.

With results for the first half last year flat linked to supply shortages caused by legal revisions in July 2007 (greater seat strength in crashes), first half sales overall this year rallied to finish above the previous year’s number.

2008 Sales Data by Vehicle Category

1. Small-Size Vehicles—11,515 units (up 8.8% from the first half of fiscal 2007)

With results for small-size vehicles buoyed by the launch of new models, the first half of FY2008 posted an 8.8% gain over the same six-month period last year.

2. Mini-Vehicles—3,868 units (up 3.8% from the first half of fiscal 2007)

Compared to the first half of 2007, which was marked by a major decline overall, results for first half of 2008 were supported by a recovery in demand for wheelchair-accessible models. As a result, this category rose 3.8% over the previous year. On the other hand, the need to address newly marketed versions of certain mainstay models translated into a decline in sales of models with elevator or revolving seats.

3. Buses—2,073 units (down 4.9% from the first half of fiscal 2007)

Replacement demand for assisted-mobility model large-size route buses used in public transportation, a move required under Japan’s barrier-free transportation legislation, has largely run its course. This, combined with other contributing factors, produced another year-to-year decline in first half results for this category.


  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) “Buses” includes minibuses; (2) “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, figures in the first accompanying chart reflect the adoption of a new method for computing sales in the “Other” categories.

PDF[Data charts attached (PDF)]