Japan Data

RV Ownership on the Rise in Japan

Economy Lifestyle

Recreational vehicles are growing in popularity in Japan, and have even been suggested as potential Olympic accommodation.

Around 6,000 Units Sold Annually in Recent Years

A study conducted by the Japan Recreational Vehicle Association shows that ownership of recreational vehicles in Japan is on the rise, exceeding 110,000 vehicles in 2018.

The study targeted 109 companies belonging to the association, including RV makers and retailers, with a response rate of 102 companies or 93.6%.

In 2005, there were around 50,000 RV owners in Japan, but by 2015 the number had nearly doubled to 95,100. The following year, RV ownership broke through the 100,000 mark, and in 2018 the number of units was 112,500. The number of units shipped has continued to increase almost every year, and overall sales marked a new record in 2018 of ¥45.8 billion.

In 2018, the top five RV features that people were most interested in were living space, followed by the base vehicle, fuel consumption, driving performance, and thermal insulation; as compared to the 2017 study, which found the top factors to be the base vehicle, living space, driving performance, the exterior, and fuel consumption/brand.

The JRVA noted the greater interest in a spacious and convenient living area and decent fuel consumption. There seems to be an increasingly clear awareness of an RV as a home.

Use of RVs as Accommodation During the Tokyo Olympics?

The study also covered the increasingly hot topic within the RV industry in recent years of renting vehicles. The results found that 23.2% of the member businesses were presently renting out RVs, and another 10.1% are considering doing so in the future. Many of those engaged in renting said that their motivation was to cultivate potential purchasers.

The JRVA noted with regard to the rental trend that “it has been influenced by the growing interest in RVs resulting from trade shows and the increased shipment of units in recent years.” The organization also touched on the issue of a possible shortage in hotel accommodation during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, noting that “rental RVs could be one important way of addressing this problem.”

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Andrey Armyagov/Pixta.)

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