Mr. Aswin Kumar, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan Automotive & Transportation Practice, Asia Pacific noted that Japan is one of the major developed economies, where automobile ownership is continually decreasing. Vehicle buying has decreased by more than 30 percent since 1990 and this trend is labeled as 'kuruma banare' in Japanese. "The young urban Japanese consumers no longer consider cars as status symbols. Also, their interest is shifting toward personal computers, mobile phones, and internet," he added.
Mr. Kumar said that the associated costs of owning a car such as vehicle ownership, mandatory bi-annual inspections and automobile tax are high and can cost as much as US$480 (¥40,000) a month in Japan. "Furthermore, parking charges for a vehicle is very expensive in Tokyo. Parking cost alone is in excess ofUS$540 (¥45,000) a month in the Tokyo city center," he added.
He also said that car sharing is a suitable replacement for car ownership in highly congested cities such as Tokyo where there is a demand for personal transportation.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (automotive.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of Carsharing Market in Japan, forecasts that Japan's car sharing members to surge to 1.5 million in 2016 with 23,000 car sharing vehicles as compared to 17,500 members in 2009 with around 1,600 car sharing vehicles.
Mr. Kumar said that a number of car sharing operators in Japan have established station cars that link car sharing to public transportation. "Planned communities also employ car sharing in Japan with operators such as ASQ and Orix setting up car sharing pods in condominiums and planned housing developments, which is likely to increase the take up rate of car sharing in Japan," he added.
Mr. Kumar said that car sharing is an attractive transport solution as it complements other types of travel modalities, especially public transportation. He added that currently, there are around 30 car sharing programs in Japan, of which 50 percent began operations in 2009, with more than 3,000 car sharing vehicles.
He added that several convenience stores including Ministop, Lawson Inc, Circle K Sunkus, and Family Mart also provide carsharing services for their customers, which consecutively fuels member adoption and consumer satisfaction.
Mr. Kumar said that electric vehicles are expected to play an important role in the car sharing market globally and estimates that more than 24,000 battery-operated electric vehicles to be operated in car sharing programs worldwide by 2016.
He added that vehicle manufacturers are also keen to promote clean mobility services through electric vehicles either through collaborations with car sharing operators or public transport operators such as Orix in Japan.
He also said most of the vehicles in Japan's car sharing market employ advanced telematics and navigation functionalities to cater to consumers' comfort and convenience as compared to Europe and North America. For instance, Orix carsharing vehicles display fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the navigation display and helps in altering driving behavior, notes Mr. Kumar.
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email to Alice Chia, Corporate Communications – Asia Pacific at alice.chia[.]frost.com with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.
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