Demise Of Kei Cars Predicted
Japan’s minivehicles or “kei” cars could lose their (next to their cuteness) biggest attraction: The tax benefit. The Japanese government is thinking about charging the same tax for regular cars and mini vehicles alike, The Nikkei [sub] writes.
An end to the favorable kei car tax treatment could be the price to pay for a new car tax system demanded by the Japanese automaker association JAMA. Japanese pay a multitude of taxes on their cars, and with the consumption tax doubling to 10 percent in 2015, automakers complain about double taxation.
An end to the favorable tax treatment of keis would please the Japanese auto importer association JAIA and the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC) which demanded an end to the preferred tax treatment of keis. Japanese automakers already say that an end of the tax treatment also would mean an end of the keis.
That's too bad. The tiny Kei car derived Suzuki vans, trucks and Jimmy's form the infrastructure of numerous asian countries. These are solid cars.
I'm not surprised even Japanese manufacturers themselves would rather see the keijidoshi go. The associated restrictions in size and engine displacement and power (660cc, 47 kW) mean they have very limited to no appeal anywhere outside of Japan. The only brands actually still producing kei cars are Honda, Mitsubishi, Daihatsu and Suzuki. Except Honda, they sell their cars to the others so they can sell a few too with their own badges on it. In terms of economies of scale, the kei car is already a dying breed. As a small car however, as said by others, they still have a place in Japan but also in the rest of the world. Wouldn't it be better for everyone involved if Honda could make a 'kei car' that could be sold anywhere on the globe by making it a tiny bit wider and giving it a 1.0 engine instead of a '0.66'?
kinda off the subject, But was this picture taken in front of the castle hotel in Toyotashi, Bertel?
Kei cars lost all their cuteness a number of years ago when they all turned into rolling telephone booths. I understand the incentive for building tall and boxy; it's the only way to gain more interior space and remain within the kei criteria. However, the resulting vehicles are not attractive in the least.