TOKYO, Dec 24 - Japanese demand for new cars, trucks and buses, including minivehicles, will likely rise
4.1 percent in 2010, marking the first increase in six years, an industry group said on Thursday.
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) said it expects the market to total 4,798,400 vehicles in 2010, against an estimated 4,611,500 this year when sales fell 9.3 percent, supported by government incentives to stimulate demand.
The auto industry lobby also revised its projection for demand in the business year to March 31, 2010, to 4,859,200 vehicles, which would mark a 3.4 percent rise from the year before. JAMA had originally forecast sales of 4,297,600 vehicles in late March, before taking into account tailwinds from the government's incentives.
The government recently extended a rebate programme on the purchase of qualifying new vehicles to scrap cars older than 13 years by six months until the end of next September.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's cabinet also drew up on Tuesday tax guidelines for the fiscal year starting next April 1, proposing to reduce the automobile weight tax but maintain taxes on gasoline. [ID:nTOE5BL09D] Below is a table of the group's forecasts for Japanese sales
in 2010 and estimates for 2009: 2010 2009
TOTAL 4,798,400 (+ 4.1) 4,611,500 (- 9.3)
Cars 4,093,000 (+ 4.1) 3,930,000 (- 7.0)
- 660cc Minivehicles 1,292,000 (+ 0.2) 1,289,000 (- 9.7)
Trucks 692,000 (+ 3.4) 669,000 (-20.3)
- 660cc Minivehicles 390,000 (- 3.2) 403,000 (- 9.0)
Minivehicles total 1,682,000 (- 0.6) 1,692,000 (- 9.5)
(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Michael Watson)