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RESEARCH AMONG JAPANESE CONSUMERS HIGHLIGHTS LACK OF MARKETING EFFORT BY U.S AUTOMAKERS

 WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Research by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission demonstrates that European automakers do a far better job than the U.S. Big Three of marketing cars in Japan that meet the demands of Japanese consumers.
 According to analysis by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), the Fair Trade Commission study found that one in three Japanese consumers are interested in buying an imported car, but only about two in 100 would consider buying from the Big Three. Nearly three in 10 would consider purchasing a European model.
 In a separate study completed by the Japanese Consumer Research Institute, almost nine in 10 Japanese consumers (89 percent) said they have little or no interest in buying an American car, while only about half (54 percent) expressed the same unwillingness to buy a European import.
 The Japanese Fair Trade Commission's research found that, when asked what would help prompt them to buy an import, 80 percent of respondents said lower prices, about one-third (31 percent) cited increased fuel efficiency, and nearly half (47 percent) said improved service and maintenance systems. Nearly half (45 percent) said that they were unlikely to buy imports because the vehicles were not designed for Japanese road conditions (i.e., right-hand drive, narrow streets, little room for parking).
 "This research reflects the extent to which the Big Three fail to offer products that appeal to Japanese consumers," said William Duncan, general director of JAMA.
 According to the Fair Trade Commission study, 6.9 percent of Japanese consumers want to buy an imported car, while another 26.3 percent would consider purchasing an import. When those respondents were asked what type of import they would be most likely to buy, 75.7 percent said a German make; 11.5 percent said a non-German European make; only 6.5 percent said a U.S. make.
 "European auto makers have been successful in Japan," said Duncan, noting that the European manufacturers have essentially the same market share in Japan as they do in the United States. "The Big Three can have similar results," he added, "but they must market cars that Japanese consumers want.
 "Numerical targets that would govern sales of U.S. vehicles in Japan would be ineffective because trade framework negotiators cannot guarantee market share. They cannot simply tell consumers what to buy."
 -0- 10/12/93
 /CONTACT: David Beardsley for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 202-973-5867/


CO: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association ST: District of Columbia IN: AUT SU:

KD-MH -- DC006 -- 1047 10/12/93 11:18 EDT
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Date:Oct 12, 1993
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