More Vehicles, Including Diesel-Powered, on Japanese Roads

An estimated 33.7% of cars in operation in 2014, or 20.2 million, had displacements of 0.66L.

Roger Schreffler

August 18, 2015

2 Min Read
Share of newcar sales held by 066L models reached 505 in fiscal 2014
Share of new-car sales held by 0.66L models reached 50.5% in fiscal 2014.

TOKYO – Japan’s vehicle parc grew to 77.2 million units in 2014, up 0.7% over the previous year’s high, according to a newly released report by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Assn.

Included in the vehicles-in-operation tally: 60.7 million cars, 14.6 million trucks, 1.7 million special-purpose vehicles and 226,944 buses.

The nation’s truck fleet, according to the 2015 edition of Motor Vehicle Statistics of Japan, appears to have leveled off at 14.6 million after peaking at 21.8 million in 1991, while cars in use continue to grow despite a slowdown in sales in recent years.

Other statistics not widely reported include a breakdown of passenger vehicles by cylinder capacity. Compiled by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, an estimated 33.7% of cars in operation in 2014, or 20.2 million, had displacements of 0.66L.

The next largest category was 1.01L-1.5L at 24.7%, followed by 1.51L-2.0L at 22.1%, over 2.01L at 16.7% and 0.661L-1.0L at 2.3%. In addition, 74,562 rotary-engine cars were in operation.

Note that the share of new-car sales held by 0.660L models has grown from 29.2% in fiscal 2004 to 50.5% in fiscal 2014. Against this backdrop, the share held by cars with displacements of 2.0L and above has fallen from 18.1% to 7.0%.

Meanwhile, diesel car sales grew to 79,565 in fiscal 2014, up from 2,086 10 years earlier.

JAMA also includes imports in its statistical report. Unlike the Japan Automobile Importers Assn., which reports imports by brand, JAMA does so by country of origin.

In 2014, imported new-vehicle sales totaled 354,704 units, down 2.0% from the previous year’s 16-year high.

By country, Germany accounted for 42.1% of the total, or 149,462 units. That was followed by South Africa (27,848), Thailand (27,734), the U.S. (22,945), the U.K. (17,123), Indonesia (14,480), Belgium (14,047), Hungary (11,950), France (10,691), Slovakia (8,868) and Mexico (8,667).

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