Japan Data

Auto Industry Dominates Japanese Companies’ Research Expenditure


To meet the challenges of such areas as environmental regulations, support for advancing automobile technology, and development of connected cars, the ratio of research and development expenditure in the automobile industry is increasing compared to other industries.

Japan’s automobile industry is looking to the future. In 2016, (including vehicles and parts manufacturing industries), it spent ¥2,807.1 billion on research. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ Survey of Research and Development, this accounted for 21.1% of the total Japanese company research expenditure that year of ¥13,830.4 billion.

Of the auto industry spending, ¥530.3 billion went into environmental research and ¥322 billion into energy. Reducing exhaust gas emissions and improving fuel performance are key issues for the industry. Expenditure on information and communications by auto companies increased for the seventh year running to ¥197.7 billion, reflecting the intense competition in the fields of automated driving technology and connected cars.

The next leading industries spent half as much as the auto industry: information & communications stood at ¥1,357.2 billion and pharmaceuticals was ¥1,351.6 billion, each accounting for 10% of total expenditure. Research expenditure for information & communications and pharmaceuticals has stagnated over the years, while the automobile industry is clearly thriving.

Germany—known for firms like Volkswagen and Daimler—shows the greatest dominance of research expenditure by the automobile industry at 34.5%, ahead of Japan at 21.1%. They are followed by Italy with 14.2% and South Korea with 12.7%.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: © Pixta.)

transport science automobile