Bad news if you are one of a growing group of people buying new cars from non-Japanese manufacturers in Japan, but good news if you are looking to get a good deal on one of these cars in Japan’s car auctions: The number of registrations of used non-Japanese cars in Japan has dropped again during the first half of 2011 by 1.7% compared with the previous year. This negative trend has now been continuing for 5 years, and is despite the growing popularity of non-Japanese cars among new car buyers. BMW was the only brand to buck the trend, with an increase in registrations of 3% over the same period last year.
As to the cause of this drop, it is not easy to come up with particular reasons. Of course, the used car market in Japan in general was down again in June for all types of car to make it the worst June since records began in 1978. But the interesting issue with these “foreign” cars is the disparity between their popularity new, and their continued slide as used vehicles.
I am only speculating, but I suspect that the reason may well be that these non-Japanese cars are more expensive to maintain in Japan. Their exclusivity may be an attraction when new, but as they get older and have more and more mileage on the clock, it becomes increasingly difficult for potential owners to justify the higher upkeep. This is undoubtedly accelerated when these cars start to have to take the Shaken roadworthiness test every two years from 3 years after purchase.
So, increased sales of new foreign cars and decreased registrations of these same foreign cars as used vehicles requires that these cars go somewhere – overseas. If you are interested in buying non-Japanese cars like these, including LHD cars from Japan, please contact us for more information.