Most teenagers dream about owning their own car. For some, it is a realistic expectation that in the near future, they’ll own a car. For others, it’s a long-term goal. Regardless, few can deny the convenience, comfort, and freedom of owning their own car. Japanese youth, however, seem to have other dreams. Japanese automakers say the youth in Japan are more interested in technological goods such as cell phones, computers, and many other Japanese technological marvels. For more on Japanese business, visit its page on globalEDGE!
As Japan continues to further its mass transit infrastructure, youth are beginning to see cars as a financial inconvenience and liability rather than an avenue to newfound freedom. Japan’s largest cities, Tokyo and Yokohama, are often so gridlocked with traffic that it is quicker to reach a destination through public transportation rather than by automobile. As a leader in technological innovation, Japan continues to upgrade its mass transit system, and this changing trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Check out the transport manufacturing industry page on globalEDGE to see what this industry is all about, and where it’s heading.
So does Japanese youth not wanting to buy cars scare Japan’s automakers? You bet it does. Japan’s projected auto sales in 2009 are expected to be around 4.86 million, a figure which has not been that low in three decades. Japanese automakers such as Nissan, Honda and Toyota have added accessories to their cars, hosted test-drive events, as well as created commercials featuring famous celebrities all in an attempt to drum up more domestic business. As domestic car sales continue to slip, Japan has decisions to make. Consumer spending makes up about 60% of Japan’s GDP. Yet, many of the mass transit projects that have been undertaken in Japan have been government-funded. With a slip in auto sales, manufacturers will be cutting back, which could have negative ramifications on Japan’s long-term economic well-being.