Hino, Isuzu, Mitsubishi Fuso, UD Trucks' latest models
Hino hybrid heavy-duty truck, fully-redesigned Isuzu Giga heavy-duty truck
At the Tokyo Motor Show 2015, held under the auspices of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, commercial vehicles (trucks, buses and vehicle bodies) as well as passenger cars were exhibited. The 44th show theme "Your heart will race" is based on the concept of "Technology + Fantasy" and expresses the organizers' aspiration to provide a venue that delivers exhilarating experiences to visitors.
Four heavy-duty truck manufacturers and 11 truck body builders (excluding small truck body builders) exhibited their commercial vehicles and trailers at the Motor Show. Among them, three commercial vehicles, namely the Hino Profia hybrid heavy-duty truck, fully-redesigned Isuzu Giga heavy-duty truck and Hino fuel cell route bus, made their world premiere. UD Trucks Corporation displayed an all-electric medium-duty truck prototype. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation's Canter-based power supply vehicle was exhibited to demonstrate the use of hybrid systems. The truck body builders exhibited trailers with extended platforms and vans with metal panels (in place of resin panels). These trailers and vans conform to the revised safety regulations.
Japanese truck market is picking up! Production and sales are steadily recovering
In recent years, the Japanese truck market has been gradually picking up. In 2014, the market sentiment substantially improved. This is because shippers' businesses took a favorable turn amid the economic recovery in Japan and the favorable move caused ripple effects on the business conditions of the logistics industry where the market for trucks has been the largest.
In line with the market situation, demand for new trucks has increased after it bottomed out in 2009. In 2014, production, sales and the number of owners of medium- and heavy-duty trucks (payload capacity: 4 tons or more) were also on recovery in Japan despite a slump, following the demand surge before the consumption tax hike. The number of newly registered trucks in Japan for 2014 increased by roughly 20% year-over-year to 88,000 units. By class, sales of heavy-duty trucks (payload capacity: between 10 and 15 tons) grew. By load-carrying platform, sales of cooler and refrigerator trucks as well as dump and mixer trucks increased while sales of wing body trucks remained flat. Sales of flatbed trucks slightly decreased.
|Truck terminal regaining momentum to some extent||Cluster of trucks waiting for freight|
In Japan, the number of hours, days and years for which trucks are used are on the rise. Meanwhile, the aging of truck drivers and security of the workforce are challenges to the industry.
An increasing number of customers are placing more emphasis on the management of capacity utilization by the support of telematics or event data recorders to improve the utilization ratio. The items that customers place emphasis on when purchasing a truck include fuel economy, costs, payload capacity, safety, and confidence in manufacturer. (Source: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Japan Auto-Body Industries Association Inc., and Japan Automobile Dealers Association)
Amid growing demand for trucks in Japan due to the preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and economic recovery, this report summarizes the trucks exhibited at the Motor Show.
Manufacturers unanimously promote their trucks, emphasizing the following selling points at the Show
1) Ensure cost efficiency by downsizing engines and improving fuel efficiency
2) Ensure environmental friendliness and safety through performance improvement and securement of quality and reliability
3) Total service support to ensure high capacity utilization