Japanese car manufacturers are becoming increasingly distressed at the lack of interest in their cars displayed by young Japanese, and Toyota has made what many consider the risible suggestion that this is due to the pernicious influence of video games…
Toyota’s management is quoted grumbling about their collapsing Japanese sales:
“Video game consoles are the problem. With such realistic play available they don’t need cars or anything anymore.”
The mass media has previously tied this “kurumabanare” to changing tastes (including the supposed “herbivorousness” of young males when confronted with what the car industry has always insisted is the very manly prospect of car ownership) and Japan’s ongoing demographic collapse.
More sensible reasons typically given for the disconnect between the youth of Japan and the nation’s car culture include a reduction in their incomes, a lack of access to credit, the extremely high cost of car ownership in Japan, and of course the ubiquity of trains in the nation’s metropolitan areas.
Market surveys have concluded that economic factors are the most significant, along with urban life and a “diversification” of interests amongst the younger generations.
Car manufacturers on the other hand appear convinced they can win over young consumers with shiny new models and more relevant marketing campaigns… It seems it may be they who are asleep at the wheel.