Despite the early appeal of the light vehicle, increases in the average annual income have allowed consumers to consider a broader range of vehicles so that the negative aspects of mini-vehicles such as higher noise and vibration levels, the lack of horse-power and instability in certain driving conditions have made light vehicles less tolerable. The "oil shock" shattered economic projections, and people began to acknowledge the fact. Concurrently, congestion increased dramatically in urban areas as a result of the popularity of the automobile and manufacturers made a number of design changes to improve the safety and comfort limitations of light vehicles. Fuel economy and ease of use slowly gave light vehicles their original appeal back. Studies indicate that light vehicles tend to be driven by women and elderly people, and current trends indicate that the number of women drivers is increasing and that the average age of the Japanese population is getting older. Migration patterns show that a greater number of people are moving to smaller cities and their outlying areas as a result of decentralization policies. Vehicle ownership rates are higher in these areas than in larger cities. Another factor in favour on light vehicles is that more families are owning more than one car and light vehicles are popular as second vehicles. Moreover, the prospect of low economic growth has tempered the importance of comfortable amenities, and manoeuvrability and fuel economy have become more important criteria. (TRRL)

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  • Authors:
    • Kashima, S
    • KOSHI, M
  • Publication Date: 1984-12

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00395506
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1985 12:00AM