Posts Tagged ‘import cars’

Registrations Of Used Foreign Cars in Japan Drop Again

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, July 14th, 2011

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.

Sources: Response, Chunichi Shinbun


Japan’s Love Affair With German Imports Continues

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Does anyone out there remember the trade negotiations every year between Japan and the US in the 80s and early 90s? It usually seemed to revolve around Japan opening its doors more to US car imports.

Well, here we are decades later, and looking at the sales of import cars in April 2011, no progress has been made: Ford is the highest-placed US maker, who sold a  massive …. wait for it … 186 cars in April. Not just 186 of one model – 186 Fords total.

On the other hand, the top of the import charts is absolutely dominated by German (and honorary German – Mini brands. VW leads the pack, with 2,970 cars sold, well ahead of BMW (2,260) and Mercedes (1,755). BMW’s Mini brand rounds out the top 4 with sales of 1,181 cars. That’s 8,166 new vehicle sales between these top 4 brands, which accounts then for 66% of the import car market.

Now that is what I call market dominance.

Despite the crash in Japan’s domestic makers’ new car sales in April, sales of import cars have risen 21.6% over the previous year. But before you get too excited about Japan’ auto market finally opening up to foreign cars, let’s put this in perspective: Even with sales down 43.7% in April, Japan’s car makers still far outsold their foreign rivals at home. The whole import car sales total for April is more than swallowed up by the April sales of Honda’s Fit and Toyota’s Prius – respectively the number 1 and number 2 best-selling cars in Japan during April.

Source: JAIA (Japanese-language)