Japan’s total fleet market size is about 76.5 million vehicles; 3 million vehicles are leased (3.8 million vehicles, including fleet management transactions), which is 4 percent of the total fleet market. The fleet market and the fleet leasing market have been relatively flat for the last few years.
The size of a typical Japanese fleet averages 200 units. However, there is also a grouping of commercial fleets operating thousands of vehicles. Fleet lessors serving the Japanese fleet management market include ORIX, GE Capital, and Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service. Companies in the pharmaceutical industry are the most sophisticated in terms of fleet management experiences.
Increasing safety and sustainability are among the top fleet management trends in Japan. “Corporate fleet users tend to consider total cost control by looking for solutions of safety management. Additionally, they also think about eco-friendly vehicles to enjoy the extended tax breaks. Now, they are looking at hybrid cars, but, in the near future, they might introduce more electric vehicles (EVs),” said Seigo Noda, director, strategic marketing leader, GE Capital Japan.
There is a strong push for vehicle electrification in Japan. “Within 10 years, 500,000 cars will be electric,” predicted John Carter, managing director for ORIX Australia & New Zealand. “The government is investing in the infrastructure.”
The Japanese government has supported the push for sustainability by “extending the tax breaks for fuel-efficient vehicles by three more years, to April 2015,” Noda said.
Delivery fleets represent the largest segment of the commercial fleet market. Japanese cultural norms emphasize the sale of fresh food, which requires a steady replenishment of stores throughout the day by fleets of delivery vehicles operating in major urban areas.
--By Mike Antich