2015 Japanese market (Part 1): Outlook and vehicle tax revision
Demand prior to VAT hike boosted 2014 sales to 5.56 million vehicles
The 2014 vehicle sales in Japan exceeded the forecast made by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) at the beginning of the year, 4,850,000 units, by 700,000 units, up 3.5% year-on-year (y/y). It was the record high in eight years, marking 5,560,000 units. The strong sales were supported by larger-than-expected, last-minute demand before the consumption tax hike in April, 2014, well enough to cover downturn after the last-minute buying and weakened demand after the tax raise. Brisk mini vehicle sales of 2.27 million units, a record high for the second straight year, also contributed to the increase.
The 2015 vehicle demand in Japan is expected to decrease due to the rtightened requirements on eco-car tax reduction programs and due to the tax hike. Therefore, related organizations and OEMs forecast y/y declines in sales between 4% and 10%; which means their predictions in total demand are between less than 5 million units and 5.3 million units. This report specifies 2014 vehicle sales and 2015 outlook, as well as the vehicle tax revision in Japan.