TOKYO (TR) – The presidents of five of Japan’s leading automakers called on the government to lower taxes on cars to save jobs and the industry, the Associated Press reported.
At a news conference in Tokyo on Monday, the presidents of Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Mitsubishi joined forces with union and auto dealer representatives in a plea calling for relief from exorbitant taxation. “The industry could be destroyed. Once jobs are lost overseas, it is impossible to recover them,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said, according to the AP. The group produced boxes containing 4 million petition signatures at the conference, the news agency reported.
Cars in Japan are taxed at a rate twice or triple those in the U.K. and Germany. Over a decade, taxes can cost the owner of a car more than the original sticker price, the AP said.
Japanese automakers are trying to recover from production disruptions caused by the March 11, Great East Japan Earthquake, a stronger yen and declining sales. Annual domestic sales have fallen by nearly half from a high of 7.8 million vehicles in 1990, according to the AP.