Japan Prices Cars Off the Roads
The Nikkei [via Business Week] reports Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) new car sales have improved slightly in the first quarter of 2008. But the number of automobiles on Japanese roads has fallen for three months straight (down 0.2 percent last quarter). That's the largest cumulative dip since record-keeping began in 1963. The Japanese government predicts traffic will peak by… 2010. Japan's population is slowly declining. More importantly, the cost and hassle of car ownership in the densely-populated island nation is driving people to alternatives. Imagine paying $400 per month on a Tokyo parking spot, and you're beginning to get the picture. As world governments milk the four-wheeled cash cow in the name of planet saving, expect more lower and middle-class motorists to be priced right off the roads. Japanese consumers bought some 282,600 Electric bicycles last year, up some 40 percent in the last five years. sts priced off the roads. In one of the worst first quarters for auto sales in recent memory, the U.S. scooter market jumped 23 percent, according to the L.A. Times. The times, they are a-changing.