Mr. Kintaro Ueno
Happy New Year!
At the beginning of the year 2023, I would like to extend my heartfelt New Year's greetings.
First, I would like to congratulate you for having a healthy new year.
I was appointed as the chairman of JAIA as of January 1 this year. This is my third term as JAIA chairman. Due to the situation in Ukraine and the shortage of semiconductors since last year, etc., there has been a delay in the supply of automobiles, which has caused inconvenience to customers. I have been appointed in such circumstances and I am once again determined to take on that responsibility.
In addition, as the momentum for realizing carbon neutrality is increasing, JAIA member companies will provide Japanese customers with a wide variety of imported vehicles from around the world, including electrified vehicles, equipped with cutting-edge safety and environmental technologies. I am also willing to take on the challenge of solving new issues as the technology develops.
This year as well, JAIA will continue to support the business activities of member companies and work to contribute to the sustainable development of the Japanese motor vehicle market. Specifically, we will promote the activities in five pillars of: (1) market revitalization; (2) environment and energy; (3) international harmonization of safety regulations and certification systems; (4) automobile fair trade and after-sales; and, (5) motorcycles.
Especially in the field of electrification, last year, sales of imported-brand BEVs reached 10,000 units for the first time, thanks to the expansion of the lineup of BEV and PHEV models by the member companies and the government's continuous subsidies to promote the introduction of clean energy vehicles. This year as well, we will consider holding PR events with the aim of raising awareness and promoting the spread of xEVs, while keeping in mind the issues related to electrification. We will also study technical issues related to charging voltage and others related to electrification, and we will work to solve various issues of battery recycling while referring to the systems adopted in other countries.
Meanwhile, the penetration rate of xEVs in Japan still has room to grow compared to other countries. We will continue to make requests to the government, etc. to continuously grant subsidies for xEVs, further expand charging infrastructure, and solve technical problems. In recent years, the shortage of mechanic personnel has become an even more pressing issue shared by the auto industry as a whole. Setting up a liaison council for information on auto mechanic HR in September last year, JAIA also has begun making efforts to solve problems. It is also essential to develop human resources for automobile maintenance who can properly handle new technologies accompanying the further spread of xEVs. We will ask the government officials and others to improve conditions for overcoming the challenges facing auto mechanic personnel.
Bearing in mind the government's goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, JAIA will continue to strengthen cooperation with the central and local governments, related parties, and all auto-related organizations. At the same time, we will do our utmost to revitalize the Japanese motor vehicle market to contribute to the development of a sustainable mobility society in Japan by delivering imported cars with various appeals to Japanese customers.
We would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation with JAIA's activities in 2023 as well, and we sincerely hope that everyone will have a healthy and fruitful New Year.