General Motors Japan announced May 30th that it will be putting the Chevrolet Captiva on sale in Japan from July 30th. This will be the first new model that GM has launched in Japan since it received US government aid in June 2009. The Captiva pricing will be 3.54 million Yen.
Apparently GM Japan believes that there is a degree of demand for premium medium-sized vehicles in Japan, which it is hoping to tap into with this model. Frankly, as with Ford’s decision to launch the Explorer as its new attack on the Japanese market, GM’s decision to spearhead its assault with a US SUV is rather strange to say the least.
As we have already seen on this blog, when it comes to import cars, the Japanese just love German style, so I can only assume that the decision to focus on Chevy, rather than GM’s German brand Opel is a political one, rather than one based on actual market preferences. That GM would choose to launch an SUV seems to confirm this.
On the other hand, since GM’s Japan range is currently in the 4 million Yen plus bracket, there is some sense to introducing something more affordable. The fact that the Captiva is built in South Korea also means that shipping costs and times can also be reduced considerably.
The Captiva is powered by a 2.4 liter engine and is a 7-seater with three rows of seats. It was launched in Korea and Europe in March. GM currently accounts for about 1% of the imported car market in Japan, but it is planning to expand this further with the launch of the 2 liter Aveo this Fall, another model that is manufactured in South Korea.
Source: MSN (Japanese-launguage)