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]

Japan’s new car registrations brought down big by mini mobiles


Registrations of new automobiles in Japan contracted by 7.6 percent in September, consolidated data by Japan’s industry associations show. Data were diminished by continuing, even accelerating weakness of mini vehicles, on top of sluggish sales of regular vehicles. [Continue Reading]

Mini vehicle hangover brings Japanese car sales down

Honda NBOX - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Japan’s new automobile registrations were down 7.6 percent in May. It was the mini vehicles that brought the market to its knees, after a change in taxes had caused a run on kei cars in the first quarter. Mini vehicles were down nearly 20 percent in May. Regular vehicles were up 1.4 percent. [Continue Reading]

Japan new car sales, April 2015: Pulled-forward Kei cars pull sales down


Registrations of new automobiles in Japan dropped 7.5 percent to 319,482 units, consolidated data released by industry associations show. The culprit was a sudden cooling of Japan’s love-affair with the mini vehicle. [Continue Reading]

Japan’s new car hangover continues in March

Japan roads - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Registrations of new cars in Japan dropped a further 11.2 percent in March year-on-year, after sinking 14.7 percent in the month before. This according to consolidated data by Japan’s major industry associations (full table here.) A month ago, we said that the JDM will “drop some more,” and it was an easy call. [Continue Reading]

Japan’s new car sales down again in February, and they will drop some more


New car registrations in Japan continued their statistical return to earth in February, as total registrations across all segments dropped 14.7 percent (full table here.) We predicted this a month ago, and it didn’t take exceptional clairvoyance to do so. The month compares with a February 2014 when Japanese customers rushed to car dealers in order to beat Abe’s sales tax rise in April. We will see a similar drop again in March, and a little more of that in April, due to registrations of made-to-order cars bought before the March 31 deadline. [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.

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The girls of the 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon, in 38 exclusive pictures

The girls of the 2015 Tokyo Autosalon -01- Picture by Bertel Schmitt

The 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon opened its doors yesterday to throngs of people who took the pilgrimage to Makuhari Messe, a site that is so far out that it already is in Chiba. TAS 2015 is a must-go confab of wrenchers and wenches, it is mass worship of body modifications (both kinds,) and bolt-ons (both kinds.) The rites at the annual celebration are performed by pagan nuns in traditional attire. Following the traditions of TAS, there usually is very little attire. Which is made up by a lot of attitude.

The Daily Kanban’s coverage of the annual auto adulation likewise is steeped in long tradition, its roots go back to before the beginning of time. Of course, we had to do it again.

(Careful: The following pictures will tax the bandwidth or your Internet connection, and the limits of good taste. In certain jurisdictions, if found with these pictures, you might be beheaded. Elsewhere, you may simply lose your head.)

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