Roger Penske Bets Big On “Closed Market” Japan

Not closed at all, not even close

Not closed at all, not even close

Penske Automotive  Group (PAG), the sprawling empire of auto racing legend Roger Penske, just placed a big bet on a surprising segment of the Japanese car market. PAG bought half of Japan’s Nicole Group, “a luxury dealership group with operations in Kanagawa and Tokyo, Japan,” as PAG said in a statement.  The Nicole Group does a booming business trafficking products that, if you believe the words of Detroit automakers, can’t be brought into the island nation: Imported cars. More in Forbes.

UK Radical will sell this in Japan while Detroit can’t stop bitching about closed markets


The biannual Tokyo Motor Show will open its doors to the public at 12:30 on Friday, October 30. Showgoers will see wares offered by all 14 Japanese manufacturers. From abroad, 17 manufacturers will put 27 brands on display. The big American makers will be AWOL as usual.

Today, the TPP ministerial meeting finally reached a deal in Atlanta. Detroit desperately tried to prevent that. In the past days, an old trope was trotted out in a last-ditch attempt to torpedo TPP: The closed Japanese car market. Japan in fact has one of the world’s most open car markets, mostly due to American pressure. Zero percent tariff. 5,000 cars per year and model can be brought in with next to no paperwork. Try that in the U.S.A., where Detroit’s cash cow, the light utility vehicle, is protected by a 25 percent tariff and a huge wall of other trade barriers. Japan can open its market as wide as can be, Detroit and its shills won’t stop their closed market lies. [Continue Reading]

The Truth About Japanese Import Quotas: There are none

Misleading picture: Ship brings cars from Yokohama to Kyushu

Misleading picture: Ship actually brings cars from Yokohama to Kyushu

Sometimes, when I read Detroit’s shrill anti-Japanese propaganda these days, only a quick look on the calendar assures me that it’s no longer 1941. The degree to which the toxic bombast has poisoned the ADHD-afflicted minds of our youth became evident again yesterday, when the alleged Truth About Cars wrote that “a new quota on U.S. imported cars was struck down as part of trade negotiations with Japan. In exchange, Japan will buy more American rice.”

Jalopnik followed Detroit one step further into the deep shit, and wrote: ”U.S. automakers are limited to selling just 5,000 cars a year in Japan.”

None of this is true. Brains have become collateral damage of Detroit’s propaganda war, and that’s a charitable assumption. I had to look at the calendar again. To my surprise, yesterday was January 27, 2015. Speaking of ADHD, let’s get two things out of the way, quickly, before attention dissipates:

There are no quotas on car imports to Japan. No old ones, no new ones. Japan also won’t buy more rice, at least not now. [Continue Reading]

How Japan, “the most closed market in the world,” managed to import 360,000 foreign cars


Ford dealer in closed-off Tokyo. You can go there yourself!


I have posted the December and full year 2014 statistics on foreign car imports to Japan, and while doing so, I could not help but observe:

Whenever America gets a new President, someone briefs him on what buttons to push, just in case total thermonuclear war needs to be started. When Ford gets a new leader, he is instructed to accuse Japan of heinous crimes, whenever the opportunity arises, and there’s always a good time to do so. Alan Mulally, when he was the man in charge at Ford, called Japan “the most closed market in the world.” After Mark Fields took over at Ford, he immediately went to Washington, and “urged lawmakers to take a tough line with Japan.” The day-to-day business of demonizing Japan is farmed-out to the American Automotive Policy Council, the lobbying arm of Detroit’s Big Three. It calls Japan’s automobile market “the most protected and closed auto market in the industrial world.” The Japanese car market begs to differ.

[Continue Reading]