Baby Boomers Drive Demand For Camping Cars in Japan

Camping cars are selling strongly in Japan, thanks to robust demand from baby boomers, according to an article in the Nikkei.

Domestic shipments of camping cars, excluding imported or used vehicles, surpassed 4,200 units in fiscal 2007, to reach a record high since the Japan Recreational Vehicle Association began compiling the data three years earlier.

The performance is striking given the dire state of the overall automobile market. One reason is that camping vehicles have successfully attracted a new type of user — seniors.Campervan

The domestic camping car market, including imported and used ones, grew 12.4% to 25.58 billion yen in fiscal 2007.

With baby boomers reaching the retirement age of 60, there are an increasing number of 60-somethings who can afford a bit of luxury, and they “use camping cars as a sort of a ‘living room on the go’ where they spend time with their spouses,” explains Junichi Fukushima of camping vehicle company RV Bigfoot.

These customers do not really want a vehicle for “camping,” added Fukushima. Rather than sleep and dine in a car, older people prefer staying in hotels and eating at restaurants. Their camping vehicles tend to have only simple kitchens, but be equipped with more furniture for relaxing, such a television and sofa.

Hmmm. Makes sense.