23 July 2009

Demotorization as a Lifestyle Choice

Since the Second World War we've been coining new words at a faster point than at any time in the history of homo sapiens. Advances in technology is the main reason, of course. Once in a while a new word pops up that tickles my fancy.

Demotorization.

A propos the earlier blog about the Audi car advert featuring a bike, Todd sent me a link to this article:

Japanese Auto Sales Decline as Youth Lose Interest

"A lifestyle choice automakers are calling "demotorization," many Japanese youth feel owning a car in a congested and expensive city such as Tokyo is more trouble than its worth, and choose public transportation instead.

TOKYO — In a special report from the Associated Press (AP), AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama notes that many twenty-somethings in Japan aren't interested in owning a car today. A lifestyle choice automakers are calling "demotorization," many Japanese youth feel owning a car in a congested and expensive city such as Tokyo is more trouble than its worth, and choose public transportation instead.

This has many automakers concerned, particularly when adding in the current troubles in the U.S. vehicle market. About half the autos produced in Japan are sold in Japan, while the other half are exported.

According to the report, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association predicts auto sales in Japan will fall to 4.86 million in 2009 — below 5 million for the first time in more than three decades. This year, sales are projected at 5.11 million, the worst since 1980, said the AP report.

Kageyama reports that automakers and dealerships are looking for new ways to appeal to the young Japanese car buyer. For example, signing major league star Ichiro for TV ads and offering colorful vehicle accessories designed to appeal to young Japanese females.
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Demotorization. A lifestyle choice. Nice. For the record, I'm not anti-car. Cars aren't going to disappear. I'm pro-liveable cities. I prefer the rehumanization of our urban centres and in order to achieve that, cars will need to be restricted in cities. Which is where the bicycle comes in.

The youth of Japan are not only choosing public transport. As this video from Tokyo will attest: