Car Model Names in Japan

When you are looking for cars in the Japanese car auctions, you need to bear in mind that the cars you see on the street in your country may have different model names or model designations to the same cars made by the same manufacturers in Japan.

Let’s say you live in the UK and you are thinking about importing a Honda Jazz from Japan. Well, you will find that there is no such car as a Honda Jazz in Japan. That’s strange, you think. But then you spot an amazing resemblance between the Honda Jazz on your local roads, and the Honda Fits you are seeing in the online Japanese car auctions. That is because the same car is simply badged differently in Japan and in the UK. It’s OK though –  it is still the same vehicle underneath.

In the same way, when you are looking through the cars at auction, you might notice a car like the Toyota Vitz that you have never heard of before. On closer inspection, you quickly realize that the car you are looking at is sold by the local Toyota dealership as the Yaris.

Wikipedia can be a great help in this regard. The introductory paragraph to most car model pages on Wikipedia will often tell you what other names the car was sold under in international markets.

So, if we take the Vitz as an example, you would first do a quick Google search for “Toyota Vitz”. When you do a search like this, you will often find that the Wikipedia page for that car often comes up near the top of the search results. Here you can see it was one of the top results:

Toyota Vitz search using Google

When you get to the page you will see right there in the first paragraph that most international markets received “the same vehicle under the Toyota Yaris name, or formerly as the Toyota Echo in some markets”. Check it out below:

Toyota Vitz, also known as the Yaris and Echo

You can do this for all kinds of car model names. Google and Wikipedia can make a powerful combination. Of course, if you are still not sure about how to find the car you want in Japan’s car auctions, don’t hesitate to send us an email here, and we will be happy to help.

Psst! Don’t you know? You can access the Japanese car auctions right now on your computer

Take literally one minute of your time and sign up for 14 days of free access to our online auction system. You could be looking at cars in the auctions in Japan just 60 seconds from now. (Or even less, if you are quick with your typing!)