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11146Cars No Longer Coveted by Young

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  • kitka97205
    Jan 4, 2009
      Cars no longer coveted by young
      New generation of consumers views autos as exhorbitant waste, not
      status symbol

      The Associated Press

      To get around the city, Yutaka Makino hops on his skateboard or takes
      the trains. Does he dream of the day when he owns his own car? Not a

      Like many Japanese of his generation, the 28-year-old musician and
      part-time maintenance worker says owning a car is more trouble than
      it's worth, especially in a congested city where monthly parking runs
      as much as ¥30,000 ($330), and gas costs about ¥100 a liter (about
      $3.50 a gallon).

      That kind of thinking — which has been dubbed by automakers as "kuruma
      banare," or "demotorization" — represents a U-turn from the thinking
      of earlier generations of Japanese who viewed cars as status symbols.
      The trend is worrying auto executives who fear the nation's love
      affair with automobiles is coming to an end.

      "Young people's interest is shifting from cars to communication tools
      like personal computers, mobile phones and services," said Yoichiro
      Ichimaru, who oversees domestic sales at Toyota.

      More at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20090104f3.html

      I've often wondered why anyone in urban Japan would want to own a car,
      and I guess large numbers of young Japanese have asked themselves the
      same question.

      In transit,
      Karen Sandness