May 7, 2013

Assisted-Mobility Vehicle Sales in Japan in Fiscal 2012

Sales of assisted-mobility vehicles in Japan during fiscal year 2012 (ending March 31, 2013) totalled 43,129 units, up 20.9% from fiscal 2011, marking the highest level of such sales since fiscal 2003, when they totalled 42,871 units.  One factor behind this growth was the application of tax incentives and subsidies for the purchase of eco-friendly fuel-efficient vehicles.

2012 Sales Data by Vehicle Category

1. Standard & Small Vehicles—25,129 units (up 8.8% from fiscal 2011)

Although sales of vehicles equipped with drive-assist systems in this category declined in fiscal 2012, there was increased demand for wheelchair-accessible models (total unit sales: 13,577, the highest level recorded since fiscal 2003, when 9,785 such models were sold) and models with revolving or elevator seats.  As a result, total sales in this category were up from the previous year.

2. Mini-Vehicles—14,041 units (up 47.9% from fiscal 2011)

Sales of wheelchair-accessible models totalled 12,096 units, up 63.9% from fiscal 2011.  In this category as well, total unit sales were the highest since fiscal 2003, when they reached 9,785.

3. Buses—3,959 units (up 27.5% from fiscal 2011)
Demand for buses surged in fiscal 2012, resulting in the first year-on-year increase since fiscal 2005, when they totalled 5,434 units.


  1. The figures provided here and in the accompanying charts are the aggregate totals of JAMA member manufacturers’ unit sales; they do not include vehicles customized post-purchase.  (For example, although in the accompanying “Summary” chart the total fiscal 2012 unit sales figure for vehicles equipped with drive-assist systems—including standard, small, and mini-size vehicles—is 757, annual demand for vehicles so equipped stands in fact at around 5,000 units when vehicles customized post-purchase are included in the calculation.)
  2. The three 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.  The main differences are that “Standard & Small Vehicles” includes standard and small passenger cars and van-type commercial vehicles, and that “Buses” includes minibuses.  Note that “Other” in the accompanying “Summary” chart includes stretcher-bearing vehicles, customized vehicles, etc.

[Data charts attached (PDF)]