• Dec 30, 2008
Japan's car sales are declining, just like they are in most countries. But unlike other markets, auto sales in Japan won't be recovering anytime soon. The sales outlook is so bleak, in fact, that the Japanese automakers even have a word for it: "kuruma banare," or "demotorization." While it may sound more like "kuruma bizarre" to us car-obsessed types, kids in Japan are much more interested in the latest electronic gadgetry than they are with cars, and many have no intention on ever owning an automobile. Early predictions are that 4.86 million new cars will be sold in Japan in 2009, which would mark the first time in three decades that sales have sunk below five million.

To help keep traffic flowing inside showrooms, dealerships have taken up rather interesting tactics. For instance, one Honda dealership is now catering towards dog owners, since public transportation options are limited for large animals. We make the following suggestion: Less Hello Kitty, more Godzilla. But whatever works, ya know? Thanks for the tip, Sami!

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if people think they are JDM by riding the subway
      FENNIX
      • 6 Years Ago
      SMART KIDS-The crime is so low in Japan, the streets are clean & mass transit is awesome. Living in Europe I never need a car, only on the wk-ends to drive to the lake in comfort. Living Hong Kong, I even forgot what owning a car was like, sadly living here in the states, I own 7 cars & trucks! I pay $500 a month on just insurance! Plus another $500 on maintanance that's 1000 before one puts fuel in them!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Cars, as a mode of transport, is dying out in many parts of the world, such as Japan, but cars will always have a place for the red-blooded males (and some females) on this great diverse planet of ours. If the legendary lines of, say, the 911, the GT-R, the Vette, the Mustang ever ended, a part of me would die with it/them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You can never have too much Hello Kitty.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Japan along with many other Asian and European countries have the perfect layout for public transportation. Smaller land mass and large concentrated population centers. The United States has regions where public transportation has promise. (New York/ Boston/ Philadelphia/ Washington DC) (San Diego/ Los Angeles/Oakland/San Fransisco/ Sacremento) (Miami/ Tampa/ Orlando/ Jacksonville/ Atlanta)

      If it works, use it. Japan's Shinkansen is awesome!
      • 6 Years Ago
      So I'm guessing the title is a clever way to suggest that the Japanese auto market is gradually being "euthanized"?

      Clever, clever.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't believe that merely the presence or absence of good public transit is the full reason for loss of interest in vehicles for some. I think its more of a social conscience (the eclectic refer to it as an awakening).

      I've lived within a 15 minute walk of work for the past 15 years. It was a personal choice not to have to commute. Majority of the population can also make this choice, but so far the 'burbs have dominated. I am expecting this trend to change as both employees and employers start relocating nearer to each other. I still have 2 vehicles in the garage, but only drive them once every 2 weeks or so.

      I'm still trying to figure out what happend over the past 40 years. I remember playing hockey or going swimming and either walking, riding my bike or taking the bus (and that was in a city with crappy public transit). Seems nowadays that everyone has to have a ride or drive for whatever they do. Slowly over time that will change.

      Won't signal the end of the automobile, but perhaps the end of the need to drive everywhere.

      Its good for everybody except Detroit if people start driving less.
      • 6 Years Ago
      suckers...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just to alleviate all of your curiosity... people would very much rather take the trains. It's for comfort reasons. The convenience and huge opportunities in social interactions. Not to mention the great 5 service workers per door....

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACV45SJt3yw&feature=related

        • 6 Years Ago
        i guess most of young people in Japan live in cities where 1) owning/driving a car is real pain in the a$$ 2) public transportation is on a different level compared to most of cities in the world
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where is it written that people have to drive cars? If you live in Tokyo, you don't need one. Just as with living in Manhattan, anything and everything can be delivered and there's a great public transit system (bonus points for bar-hopping and not driving). Given that and the avoiding of the costs involved (not to mention the onerous requirements of inspection, and parking) make it easy to see why young people are abandoning car ownership.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly. Japan is a crowded country with tons of public transportation. People really don't need to shell out the extra cash just to own a car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Give me a decent public transportation system and I'd gladly dump my car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Perhaps Japanese cars (apart from expensive GTRs and Evos etc) are not exciting to young people anymore?

      Compounded that with the fact that motoring is both expensive and almost unnecessary in Japan, car makers are feeling the results.

      May I suggest a renewal of the Suzuki Cappuccino / Honda Beat / Autozam AZ-1?
      • 6 Years Ago
      As much as I like cars, I'm tired of dealing with insurance, police, parking, other drivers, additional taxes, additional liabilities, and loss of reading time. I would gladly give up driving if I could.

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