Daimler is optimistic about its sales in Japan despite the country’s scheduled consumption tax hike to 8% from 5% in April next year.

“Based on our very good product portfolio and new cars which are coming next year, you will see growth even under this circumstance,” Joachim Schmidt, senior executive at Mercedes-Benz Cars, told Jiji Press.

Daimler sold about 43,000 vehicles in Japan in January-October this year, up 27% year on year.

Schmidt said fuel cell vehicles, widely seen as “ultimate eco-friendly” automobiles, would need time to be used widely.

“Our technique is very much mature,” he added, highlighting high product prices and uncertainties over infrastructure development as bottlenecks.