On June 30, 2022, the Japan Automobile Importers Association (JAIA) held the “JAIA Imported-brand xEV Promotion Event in Osaka” for the press at the Grand Front Osaka in Kita-ku, Osaka. This event was the first exhibition event in the Kansai area organized by JAIA for imported xEVs. With the participation of 9 four-wheeler importers, 3 two-wheeler importers, 8 charging-related businesses, and 1 mechanic-related organization, the latest lineup of imported xEVs was showcased, and importers and charging-related businesses gathered together. At the same time, it was JAIA’s first attempt to display four-wheeled and two-wheeled electric vehicles at the same time.
9 four-wheeler importers exhibited 17 vehicles and 3 two-wheeler importers put 8 vehicles on display.
As a result of JAIA members actively expanding the lineups of xEVs, Sales of EV and PHEV models expanded rapidly in 2021, and in particular, EV sales increased steadily to 8,610 units, about 2.7 times the previous year’s level. On the other hand, as an example in other countries, in Germany, the share of EVs and PHEVs to new passenger car sales is steadily increasing to about 26%.
Under these circumstances, JAIA has been actively serving as a platform for promoting the spread of imported xEVs since last year, and as an effort to raise awareness of imported xEVs, the Imported-brand xEV Promotion Event (June 2021) and the Imported-brand xEV Test Ride (November 2021) have been held. Regarding the efforts to raise awareness, following last year’s event and test ride in Tokyo, this year, in Osaka, going beyond the boundaries of industries (cross-industry) and in collaboration with the companies related to charging infrastructure and the exhibition of electric motorcycles, fuel cell vehicles and electric buses, the event was held, while adopting various ideas.
Kansai, including Osaka, is an important area, where four prefectures that are listed in the top six prefectures in share of foreign-brand vehicles to total registered vehicles – Hyogo, Osaka, Nara and Kyoto – are located, and the event was held to increase awareness of imported-brand xEVs in the Kansai region as well. Further, the Osaka Prefecture has set a goal of making 90% of new car sales xEVs by 2030 for passenger cars excluding mini vehicles.
At the ceremony of Part I, following a speech by Chairman Christian Wiedmann, related ministries and local governments providing nominal support which are METI (Juntaro Shimizu, Minister’s Secretariat Counselor [in charge of automobile and renewable energy], Director, Automobile Division as of July 1), MLIT (Kazunori Mashita, Director, Type Approval Test and Recall Division, Defects Investigation Office), MOE Kinki Regional Environment Office (Keizo Fukushima, Director, Environmental Measures Division and Regional Decarbonization and Creation Office) and the Osaka Prefecture (Kazu Kanamori, Environmental Policy Supervisor) made addresses. Then, the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition (Eiko Mori, Deputy Director, Regional and Tourism Department, Momentum Development Bureau) and the Kansai Electric Power Company (Satoshi Kodama, Manager, Development Department, Solutions Division) made guest speeches.
After the ceremony, a photo session was held at the vehicle exhibition hall.
The event was attended by 48 reps of 29 media including TV, newspapers, and web media, etc. The coverage of the event was aired by the TV Osaka in the "Ya-sa-shi-i News" program and by NHK in the "Hotto Kansai". It was also reported widely in newspapers and on the web (Nikkei, Sankei Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, etc.).
At the same time, consulates, local governments and public institution officials, charging / filling related businesses and auto mechanic vocational school officials also visited, viewing the latest models of the JAIA members. Allowing visitors to experience the attractiveness of imported-brand xEVs, the event was successfully closed, widely disseminating their attractiveness to the public.
In addition, the event featured collaboration with charging service providers, as the further development of the charging infrastructure is indispensable and an urgent issue for the spread of imported-brand xEVs. (Eight charging service providers participated as exhibitors.)
JAIA also sees the lack of mechanics HR as an urgent issue, Officials of the mechanics vocational schools in the Kansai region were invited to this event, and sessions to exchange views were conducted with the reps of the importers who wished to participate, in addition to people from dealers. Moreover, relating to mechanics HR, German Chamber of Commerce in Japan exhibited in a booth the background, purpose and overview of the Mechatronics Professional Training Program currently developed by the Chamber, providing the persons concerned with descriptions of the program.
With the event held in Osaka as a trigger, JAIA member companies will continue to work together to expand the lineups of attractive imported xEVs, and JAIA will further promote its activities as a platform for the spread of xEVs.