March 26, 2003

Japan’s automakers call for tax reform in Japan

Washington, D.C. – Japanese automakers are urging Japanese government officials to simplify and reduce the auto tax burden on consumers. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) plans to submit a package of auto tax proposals this fall according to Japan Auto Trends, the JAMA newsletter released today.

Yoshihide Munekuni, Honda Chairman and JAMA Chairman said, “Domestic car users are at present saddled with a complex and excessively burdensome set of automobile taxes. Automakers want to enhance the overall rewards of vehicle ownership.”

Japanese national and local governments receive more than 10 percent of their entire revenues from nine automobile related taxes. According to JAMA, polls show that 66 percent of consumers want reform. Furthermore, a less burdensome system would stimulate economic recovery in Japan.

“The Japanese consumer now pays a double tax on new cars totaling a whopping 10 percent. This is in addition to vehicle property taxes and an annual weight tax. Overall, the task is to reform the maze of taxes in a fair, simplified and environmentally friendly way consistent with practices in other countries,” William C. Duncan, General Director, JAMA USA said.

The newsletter also focuses on international collaboration among automakers in the quest to develop a commercially viable fuel cell powered vehicle. Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler and Ford Motor Co., along with 20 other Japanese, American, Canadian and German parts makers recently announced that they would jointly develop higher capacity fuel tanks.
Improved fuel tanks will mean that fuel cell vehicles would cover the same distances as gasoline powered vehicles before needing a fill up. The companies said they hoped to develop the technology by the end of 2005.

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