The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will launch a “strategic council for a new era of automobiles” on April 18 as a public-private body to discuss strategies for enhancing the auto industry’s competitiveness. The auto industry is accelerating cross-industrial tie-ups to develop next-generation technologies, such as plug-in electric vehicles and autonomous driving. The planned council will share a sense of crisis in anticipation of a “centennial” change in the industrial structure and confirm a necessary policy course.
The council will consist of 15 members — presidents of Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor, Honda Motor, and Mazda Motor, representatives of auto parts makers and car dealers, and experts in corporate management, capital markets, and battery technology. The council will put together its members’ opinions and begin discussing specific policies this summer. (Abridged)