The automotive industry was one of the most badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as mobility was somewhat restricted in many parts of the world. Japan’s car sales dropped to a 9-year low in April 2020 after the government declared the outbreak a state of emergency and requested people stay indoors.
Prior to the pandemic, car sharing was becoming an increasingly popular trend that was also starting to venture into the premium and luxury cars category in Japan. Japan’s largest car sharing companies such as Times Carshare and Orix Carshare gained prominence over the past decade owing in part to Japan’s densely packed cities where housing estates often do not have dedicated parking spaces.
With growing consumer concerns over hygiene as a result of the pandemic, contactless options for car viewing and purchasing are gaining momentum. An increasing number of consumers prefer virtual rather than in-person visits to dealerships for car sales and aftersales.
The Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) Japan announced in February 2020 that a new task force, called the “New Coronavirus Countermeasures Automobile Council” was being established to provide support for the automotive industry. METI expects the taskforce to take action to understand the current situation and study and propose relevant measures to help the industry through the pandemic.
In 2016, the Japanese government aimed to reach one million electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles owned by Japanese consumers and is working towards increasing the ownership of such vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp intends to enter the premium and luxury cars category while Mazda Motor Corp intends to launch an electric vehicle SUV in the near future.
Demand is growing among Japanese consumers to purchase cars at any time, day or night. This trend is especially prevalent among consumers who are time starved and unable to visit dealerships during their typical operating hours.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Luxury Cars industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Cars research and analysis database.
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