2022 New Year’s Greeting

Chairman's Press Conference January 4, 2022

pic_about_Christian Wiedmann  
    Mr. Christian Wiedmann

Happy New Year!
At the beginning of 2022, I’d like to wish you the best for the new year.
I hope you had a good and healthy New Year’s Day.

Thanks to our members confidence and trust, I was appointed as the Chairman of JAIA in last October. The automotive industry is in the midst of one of its biggest periods of transformation. This is driven by the speed of social and technological change within the areas of connectivity, autonomous, and in particular electrification – in short CASE. Furthermore, as the trend toward carbon neutrality and sustainability is further accelerating the pace of change, we must remain focused and even further increase our efforts and collaboration across industry sectors. In addition, COVID-19 remains a challenge and will further require us to act and react flexibly as we navigate the forthcoming year. I am certainly conscious of the heavy responsibility of serving as the Chairman of this Association and in this capacity commit my most dedicated effort and focus together with the entire JAIA team towards the Associations common goals.

In 2021, sales of imported vehicles continued to recover and were up from a year earlier for six consecutive months from March to August, thanks to strong SUV sales supported by the outdoor activity demand, rapid increases in xEV sales with enhanced product lineups and the effects of new models and limited editions launched by the JAIA members. However, in September onward, year-on-year decline in monthly sales continued due to the adverse effect of reductions in vehicle production caused by the semiconductor shortage and the corona pandemic. JAIA members have attempted to minimize the effects of the supply-side problems so as not to cause trouble for our customers. On the other hand, sales of imported motorcycles grew steadily throughout 2021.

Under these circumstances, JAIA has worked to support the business activities of its members in an attempt to contribute to the sustained growth of Japan’s motor vehicle market by proactively addressing the required changes.
In specific, JAIA is undertaking activities in five thematic pillars: (i) market revitalization; (ii) environment and energy: (iii) safety and harmonization of regulations; (iv) Automobile fair trade and after-sales; and, (v) motorcycles.

For the market revitalization in particular, in order to increase public awareness of the imported-brand xEVs capability and promote their spread, the “JAIA Imported EV/PHEV Promotion Project” was organized in June last year, followed by the “JAIA Imported Electric Vehicles Test Ride Event” in November. In addition JAIA carried out various other activities increasing the awareness of the industrial electrified transformation, including the need for further development of the charging infrastructure and regulatory amendments to the Japanese government. These efforts were reinforced through the promotion of the digital capabilities in imported vehicles, which allow increased convenience and safety for automotive customers. We will continue the promotion of electrification and digitalization through these activities in the months to come and increase our collaboration across industries.

In the new year as well, JAIA will continue energetically supporting JAIA members in delivering a broad range of attractive cars and motorcycles of foreign brands to the customers in various parts of the country. And, while keeping in mind the government goal of “2050 carbon neutral”, we will make our best efforts to contribute to the development of sustainable mobility in Japan’s society by further collaborating with the ministries, the local governments, other organizations and all automotive associations concerned.

I would like to ask for your understanding of and continued support for the activities of JAIA in 2022 as well, and I’d like to wish all of you a healthy and successful new year.