By on January 19, 2010

Recent comments on today’s Japan’s C4C program post and 487 billion similar web posts since Al Gore invented the internet make it clear that there is a lingering misunderstanding about the import of US cars to Japan. Specifically, that Japan has managed to stave off a tsunami of Chevy Cavaliers and all the other wonderful American cars that the rest off the world has been snapping up by the imposition of certain restrictions, barriers or other obstacles. It’s way time to shed a bit of light on the Toyota Cavalier and this subject of great import.

The vehicle you see above is a Toyota Cavalier. No joke! In response to concerns about the trade imbalance, and to help stave off any further US restrictions of  Japanese imports to the US (more on that later), Toyota entered into a deal to help facilitate imports of genuine made in the US Chevys and other good GM stuff of the era. Not only did Toyota offer help, advice and facilities for the cars imported (without the slightest “restrictions”, which Japan has never had in modern history) under their original US brand, but Toyota went a giant step further.

Toyota offered to upgrade and modify Cavaliers and sell them under the Toyota brand name. How’s that for import restrictions! Here’s some details from wikipedia:

The Toyota Cavalier featured leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, wider front fenders, amber turn signals for Japanese regulations, power folding side mirrors, side turn signal repeater lights on the front fenders, and carpeting on the inside of the trunk lid. Interior seats were often flecked with color, and the rear seat had a fold-down armrest. The Toyota Cavalier was entirely produced by GM in the USA and sold from 1995–2000. 1996-2000 Toyota Cavaliers came equipped with the 2.4 L LD9 engine, while the 1995 used the 2.3 L Quad 4.

The cars were carefully prepped to maximize their acceptability to the notoriously fastidious Japanese buyers. Did it work? Three guesses…

Japanese buyers found the panel gaps and general build quality well below their expectations and comfort level, and the whole Toyota Cavalier program as well as the import programs by the other Big Three were phased out, after lots of big press hoopla at the beginning.

Meanwhile, VW, Audi, BMW and other European premium brands have had a very successful export program to Japan for decades. Oh, one more thing:

In 1981, after tremendous pressure from President Reagan and Congress, the Japanese Automobile Industry agreed to a Voluntary Import Restriction, substantially reducing imports from Japan to the US to under 1.68 million per year. The result: content and transaction prices on all cars dramatically increased, screwing the American consumers out of untold billions.  The Japanese used the dramatically higher profits to invested in US production facilities and the expansion into luxury brands like Lexus, Acura and Infiniti. The US manufacturers squandered theirs on buying Jaguar, Saab, Volvo and stakes in Japanese companies. It is considered a text book example of how markets are distorted through import restrictions, and materially contributed to the decline and crash of the US auto industry.

Want to import cars to Japan? It’s one of the easiest countries to do so. Just don’t bring no stinkin’ Cavaliers!

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57 Comments on “The Toyota Cavalier And The Truth About Japanese Import Barriers...”


  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I remember the articles, just as the Cavaliers and Sunfires were being introduced, touting the offerings as being good enough to sell in Japan, under the Toyota nameplate.  I bought the story enough to buy a Sunfire.  As reported elsewhere on this site, it wasn’t a horrible car, but it wasn’t a Toyota either.
     
    Too bad, like so many others, I wanted GM to succeed.  I wanted the cars to be as good as they should have been.  But the cynicism of their maker and the disregard for the consumer, killed it.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    The so-called upgrades included more than just the unique hardware and features … there are stories of these cars requiring fine-tuning up to and including partial disassembly and repainting and reassembly…

    I recall Toyota saying somewhere … we did our best to sell these cars, but the customer rejected them …

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    You realize that if the constituencies of pandering populist politicians read this article, that real issues may have to be discussed rather than petty distractions such as Japan C4C.

  • avatar
    BDB

    But why is it that Detroit (well Ford and GM anyway) has a fairly successful presence in Europe (and now China), while never being able to get a foothold in Japan?
     

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      GM bought Opel in the twenties when it was the largest car manufacturer in all of Europe. That would have been like GM buying Toyota.
      Ford’s Model T was a global phenomena, and Ford parleyed its success with it into building factories and cars that were fully competitive.
      Neither of these things have ever happened in Detroit’s half-assed efforts to export to Japan.
      That’s the 60 second version; a book could be written on it.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      In the case of Europe, GM and Ford operated European subsidiaries that engineered, styled and designed vehicles specifically for that market. Even GM at its most clueless knew that it could never sell a warmed-over J-Car to the Germans or the British.

      (I see that Paul has beaten me with a response.)

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      Hmmm, strange that they didn’t try to sell Euro Fords and Opels to the Japanese then. That would have had a much better chance or working, I think.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The European Fords or Vauxhalls/Opels would have been a better fit for Japan, but they wouldn’t have satisifed the UAW and its supporters in Congress who argued that only unfair trade restrictions and regulations kept Japanese customers from satisfying their appetite for Cavaliers, Sunfires, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Styles79

      BDB, some Opel products did get sold in Japan, badged as Opel too, but I’m not sure of the volumes. As to Ford, I think they have also sold a little of the European products, but historically Ford products there have been retrimmed/rebadged Mazda product.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      @Paul Niedermeyer: That’s the 60 second version; a book could be written on it.

      The sad part is there were many at the Big 3 who could have, and wanted (I met plenty) to make it happen – but to the higher ups, it not was on the radar, not even remotely. Calling the effort half-assed is giving it too much credit. Even in the nascent Chinese market, easy money and just acceptable reliability are the standard for Detroit. But eventually, the Chinese market will saturate, and by then the damage will be irreversible.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Gee,the  Japanese found the fit and finish on a Audi,more to thier standards than a J body? Who da thunk? How about VW reliability? BMW electrical glitches?

     Just a guess here,but me thinks that not to many Japanese BMW buyers were cross shopping Cavalier’s.
      I also believe that it was more patriotism, and or anti Americanism that kept the masses away, IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I also believe that it was more patriotism, and or anti Americanism that kept the masses away, IMHO.
       
      No, much like what happened in North America, the American manufacturers simply didn’t sell anything the Japanese wanted to buy.  The Japanese can and do buy non-domestic goods when they’re good enough (have a look at the cellphone market) and it’s even true that Mercedes and BMW have managed to stake out a claim in the luxury market against Toyota/Lexus and Nissan.
       
      Japan’s mainstream is very different market from North America and somewhat less different than Europe, and GM didn’t care about that (Ford and Chrysler didn’t try).  GM and Ford have had good success in Europe because they’ve made products that meet that market’s needs (Chrysler, who has had less success, didn’t try).  Toyota had no traction in Europe until it acceded to the market’s wishes (better handling, decent diesels).   Again, in North America, Toyota and Honda really only took off in North America when they took local preferences into account (eg, when the Camry became a better Impala than the Impala); Volkswagen has not yet learned this lesson on this continent.
       
      It’s too easy to finger nationalism, especially when the people pointing the finger are using it to hide their own poor product planning and marketing.

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      >>> anti Americanism…
      Man, are you kidding me? One visit to the Land of Rising Sun would do tons to make you think otherwise.
      Actually, all things American are very very trendy, and classic American iron, including even horrendous Chevy Celebrities/Buick Centuries are still fetching some not inconsiderable cash, especially wagons, while domestics of the same vintage are all long gone and rusted away at junk yards.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I think a bigger whammy to US Vehicles sold in Japan are the high taxes for vehicles with large (over 2.0L engine displacement and a certain weight).  This tax is handed out at the time of sale and then annual during registration.
     
    There are basically no USA built vehicles that make sense to the majority of Japanese buyers.  If you’re wealthy enough to thumb a nose to the displacement/weight tax; you’re not going to buy a PT Cruiser or Cavalier even with leather shift knobs.

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    I’m actually surprised that Toyota allowed themselves to put their brand on hunk of junk from GM and let customers see it. What was to stop customer walking away from the “Toyota” Cavalier and saying “Wow! Toyota have let their build quality slip!”

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

       FYI, those hunks of junk you mentioned,  depending on the care thier given , will last ten to fifteen years, and run two, to three hundred thousand klm,s. 

      BTW, I live in Southern Ontario,one of least car friendly climates in the world.

       

    • 0 avatar
      Orian

      I’d imagine it was the same as when Geo (GM) was selling the Prism – we knew it was a rebadged Corolla. Same with the Pontiac Vibe – we know that is a Toyota as well. I’m sure the Japanese public for the most part were aware that it was brought in from the US, as there would be made in the US stamps on it.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      I always laughed pretty hard at people who bought Corollas or Matrices who would refuse to buy Prisms or Vibes.  Especially when the GEO was usually significantly cheaper.  My girlfriend drives a Vibe and her best friend has a Matrix, they didn’t realize the sameness until they got into each others cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      I remember Consumer’s Reports virtually screaming at their readers for their stupidity in paying way above sticker for a Corolla, while refusing to look at a Prism which was being discounted like crazy.   And not just once.  I can remember a car issue of CR bringing up that matter at least three times.
       
      Only goes to show how  Consumer’s Reports readers will march blindly in lockstep to what the magazine says.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      …while refusing to look at a Prism which was being discounted like crazy.
       
      CR has advocated for captive imports like the Vibe, but in the case of the Nova/Prism there were good reasons for picking the Toyota product, not the least of which was that GM built them at NUMMI while the Corolla was still built in Japan.  NUMMI was still teething at the time.
       
      In Canada, the same logic continued to apply to the Prism and Vibe, because our Matrixes and Corollas were assembled at Cambridge, which again tended to do a little better than NUMMI.

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      No psarjhinian: the Corrolla was built in Fremont right alongside the Nova/Prizm. NUMMI was a cooperative between GM and Toyota and Toyota’s first attempt to build cars on American soil.

      The idea was to share knowledge between the two and the upshot for GM was to have a certain portion of the production sold by Chevrolet. GM would provide the factory and the labor, Toyota the cars. NUMMI never would have existed if it was set up to only build Novas and Prizms.

      Under the Toyota influence the Fremont factory went from GM’s worst in productivity, attendance and quality to it’s highest.

      Both Saturn and Lordstown [for the 95 J Bodies] studied processes @ NUMMI, so the knowledge was available to GM  

      There were differences in quality because the Nova used AC/Delco radios, alternators and etc. The quality was slightly lower than the corresponding Corolla but worth the discount.

      Which was the point: CR chiding it’s readers for missing a good deal on what was a Corolla with a Chevy name tag, simply because of the badge it wore. The Nova/Prizm was the best car GM sold at the time as far as reliability went.

    • 0 avatar

      Syke, I don’t understand your comment about how CR readers will blindly do what they are told.  Didn’t you say that they told their readers to buy a Geo rather than a Toyota because it was the same car, only cheaper, and the readers (obviously) went for the Toyota anyway?  From your story, it sounds like CR’s readers are ignoring the magazine’s advice.

  • avatar
    tced2

    I wonder how many Hyundai vehicles are exported to Japan? Not many apparently.

    “Hyundai Motor Co. said Saturday (Nov 2009) it will pull out of the Japanese passenger vehicle market amid sluggish sales, and instead focus on commercial vehicle sales there.

    Hyundai, South Korea’s No. 1 automaker, has found it tough going in Japan and sold only about 15,000 passenger cars there since 2001 when it made inroads into the home market of international rival Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest automaker.”

    I wonder what’s the story here? I thought Hyundai was competitive with Toyota. I thought Hyundai had models with small engines that weren’t taxed too much.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      +1
      If this vehicle had been a Toyota “Sonata” instead of a Toyota Cavalier, the vehicle would still not have sold.  Part of the Japanese Domestic Market’s “Invisible Wall” (as the Koreans call it) is the shaken inspection system (see   http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200708/200708090009.html from a Korean daily).

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      Ethnic animosity.   Bad blood between the Japanese and Koreans for a very long time.  Think Serbs and Croats.  Well, maybe not that bad, but you get the idea.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      For a quick understanding (insight) of Japanese feelings towards the koreans, read the following (link below).  Short of it – The japanese government spends more on archaeology then just about the rest of the western world combined, the purpose of this expense is to prove to themselves that they are not the decendents of koreans. 

      http://www2.gol.com/users/hsmr/Content/East%20Asia/Japan/History/roots.html

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      The answer is simple – while the last Sonata & Santa-Fe were relatively OK over here, they still light years behind the JDM domestics and are not as well suited to local realities. Elantra and Accent equal to what the Japanese cars were 2 generations  ago.
      Add to that a hefty import tariff, non-existant dealer network and the whole (still existing) perception of Korea(ns) – why would anybody ever bother? Except for Korean nationals, that is. Which are still not plenty enough to form a good customer base.
      Oh, and the Shaken (as stated below) has no relation to all this. It punishes all brands, locals included. And it is primarily the wall against old cars (10years +). Only Euro premiums and trendy Yank Tanks are kept past the threshold.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Imagine if GM had executed the Cavalier in NA the way that Toyoda did it in Japan, they would have sold another 500,000 during the models life cycle.  Is GM ignorant or apathetic?  (I ask this during my day of parent teacher conferences.)

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    This is a spoof, right?

    • 0 avatar

      Most American imports to Japan are apparently SUVs (at least from what I saw). It’s common to see a Suburban in Tokyo. If you go out into the country, you can see RHD Nitro sometimes (curiously in Australia Liberty was prevalent). They are more common than Wranglers, oddly enough.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      One of the significant barriers is a “simple” one. American cars have the steering wheel on the left. This creates a driving visibility (and safety) issue for Japanese drivers who are driving on the left. American manufacturers have been reluctant to change their steering wheel position to the right.

    • 0 avatar
      paul_y

      While patently absurd, the Toyota Cavalier is real.
       
      Then again, the Chevy Astro has a fanatical following in Japan, too, so it’s clear to me that they’ve collectively lost their minds.

    • 0 avatar

      LHD cars are common in Japan. Here’s a picture that I took last November:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/zaitcev/4131659179/

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      The issue is not LHD vs RHD drive.  Ford (based in Dearborn, Michigan, USA) leads market share in the UK and many British Commonwealth markets, all RHD (except Canada, thank God).  The issue is other bricks in the Japanese market’s “invisible wall”.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      An historical question, but only slightly off-topic, does anyone know how Japan became a right-hand-drive market?.  It’s not British Commonwealth, like most of them.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      There are a variety of explanations as to why Japan drives on the left, from Samurai origins to the influence of the British in the design of Japan’s early railways.

      Reference: http://www.2pass.co.uk/japan.htm

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      Thanks, BuzzDog–excellent link.  And, as you can see, I don’t know my right from my left.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    I know if I was Japanese and needed a new car, the first place I’d look would be to an American GM product.  After all, who would ever want a Honda or Toyota when something made by a UAW/GM management combo was available?

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      If you were a Japanese sarariman looking for a mount, you would shop domestic, as your own union bosses would not approve such a “worker’s international solidarity”. :)

  • avatar
    tced2

    Why did GM use Toyota to promote/sell their vehicle?
    (hint: there’s an answer other than the vehicle was no good).

  • avatar
    skcusmg

    FYI, those hunks of junk you mentioned,  depending on the care thier given , will last ten to fifteen years, and run two, to three hundred thousand klm,s.
    You say that as if it was something unusual but then again it is unusual for a GM car. Any half decent car should last 10+ and/or 200K+ if given a bit of care and some will do it even if abused but not these pieces of crap. A Cav/Sun will only do it if given meticulous care and it will consume a small fortune on parts along the way. Its not by some accident that they are reputed as being some of the worst hunks of junks that ever rolled out of a GM plant and heavens knows GM has put out vast amounts of junk over the years. Cars that go 15 years and 200K+, with no non-consummable parts required: thats Honda and Toyota territory and definitely not GM. Even their erstwhile replacement, the Cobalt is a turd! However, auto mechanics just luv ‘em!

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Oh! silly me. I forgot Japanese cars run forever,never needing repairs or expensive parts. Yeah, and the tooth fairy drives an Accord. Santa should pick up a used Lexus to replace his damaged, reindeer powered sleigh. Seems Rudolf  had a road rage incident with a Unicorn.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy64

      Well the 2002 -2006 Altima’s were such junk that Nissan refused to stand by their highly Q engine 2.5 litre engine, that piece of junk started to gobble up 2 quarts of oil and started miss firing around 100k miles and their people ( mechanics ) knew about it and Nissan did nothing about.. I do appriciate the fact the GM and Ford have taken notice of their mistakes and have come out with much better products than ever before, heck my 2001 intrepid has 92k on it and the oil is still clear as opposed to my Altima 100k miles and oil was black within the 1k mile on a 3k oil changes.

    • 0 avatar
      bugo

      My 12 year old Cavalier has over 170K on it and has only needed minor repairs.  And I haven’t maintained it as well as I should.  Have you ever owned one of these cars?

  • avatar
    carguy64

    as for refereing people who bought Geo’ and Matrix’s don’t forget the Izuzu offering’s to GM badging..makes me wonder, why did GM tried to make their japanese counterparts so dam’m fugly as well as their own offerings, really GM did put out some of the ugliest cars as well as the rest of the 2.1 companies, if they would of stuck to the teaser ( “future” ) cars that they put in the car shows of past, we would of kick the import car’s butt all the way back to where they came from..now I see thats changing except we have the Korean cars now and really we have something really to worry about, let alone the Chineese cars comming soon…and really I think we should resolve issues with china first than go on a exporting spree..

    • 0 avatar
      Spike_in_Irvine

      If we want to talk about a restrictive import market, let’s get started on Korea. Almost nothing on Seoul’s roads but Hyundai, Kia, Samsung, Ssongyangs etc.

  • avatar
    geozinger


    Always fun to read the FUD on TTAC, especially from people who have never owned and maybe only once driven the cars being discussed. It’s even more fun to read the same posters who wouldn’t touch a domestic car of any stripe, but then complain about how much a repair costs are for a BMW or a Lexus. Crap=crap, no matter where it’s built.
    The Toyota Cavalier was doomed from the start for a number of reasons. Some folks bring up the incredibly rigid inspection system used by the MOT. Another barrier to sales success (as I understand it) is that no foreign manufacturer can have a stand alone dealership, they must be twinned with a domestic seller. I realize that the Corvette, Suburban and Astro all have a following over there, but the Cavy was competing in a particularly vicious segment of the market. The other models mentioned have their own cachet, but the Cavalier was selling into a market crowded with competitors.
    As I understand it, the bulk of the market for cars in Japan consists mostly of the Kei size, due to tax and insurance regulations. Just like Europe, Japan taxes on engine displacement. A sign of the times (in terms of GM management), they seemed to ignore this fact and shipped cars with engines over 2 liter displacement. At that point, a car that size, with that size of engine will be rather expensive to own and operate. Imagine going to purchase a mid sized car like a Malibu and paying 25% more in taxes and probably the same amount more for insurance because it came with the V6 instead of the 4 banger?
    “Want to import cars to Japan? It’s one of the easiest countries to do so. Just don’t bring no stinkin’ Cavaliers!” Or Hyundais apparently. Someone else noted that Hyundai was going to pull out of the Japanese market. I would have to imagine that their cars, being built in similar circumstances, would be a very good fit for the Japanese market.
    As for the third generation J bodies not being durable enough? In my driveway are: a 1997 Cavalier (with pushrod 2.2 and dexcool no less), 245,000 miles. It’s never been garaged and the body is finally rusting away, but we’ve taken care of the car mechanically, and other than wear items no major issues. A 1995 Sunfire GT with Quad 4 and 5 speed; 154,000 miles, this one has had some work done to it, but the previous owner was basically an idiot. This is my project car. Cheap to buy and to mod, which is why I like them. I will be taking it to the strip this summer, if I don’t get laid off again… Also, 2004 Sunfire SE1, with 2.2 Ecotec and 4 spd auto, 105,000 miles. I just replaced the battery this past November. If I didn’t need a minivan (or small truck) to haul stuff around, I would look for another one. I like the size (I work downtown and they fit well in city parking spaces), they’re cheap to maintain, get good gas mileage and generally don’t get noticed by the po po when you’re hammering it, late for work.
    @mikey – I can’t tell you how many people tell me the same thing about their cars never needing service (of any kind), but when you get in their cars and drive around with them, you find out that the check engine light has been on for 40,000 miles, or that thumping sound when you hit the brakes “has always done that”. Even with platinum plugs, you really can’t go more than 100,000 miles before the electrode burns off. I know filters are incredibly durable these days, but really, a 200,000 mile air filter? You should be able to grow corn in that sucker! How can this be?

  • avatar
    50merc

    My impression is the Japanese are very brand-conscious, very quality-conscious, and like to see careful attention to small details. (I recall when I saw my first Corolla I was so impressed by how wonderfully orderly the engine compartment was — quite a contrast to the rat’s nest then typical under the hood of American cars.)   The J-cars would have fallen short on all those standards.
     
    Geozinger,  I’m not arguing with your observation ” Even with platinum plugs, you really can’t go more than 100,000 miles before the electrode burns off.” But the other day a set of factory-installed plugs came out of a Park Avenue Ultra with 175,000 miles on it, and the car was still running well.  Incredible.

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    I was living and working in Japan when GM tried to flog the Cav in the country. First of all with the 2.4 litre engine, it was in a high road tax bracket. The vast majority of cars sold in Japan are 1.5 litre and under. Second, name me one mainline Japanese brand that made a car as bad a the Cavalier. Third, they sold the Japalier for something in the neighbourhood of Y1.0m which was Audi 80 money. Finally, as we have seen in our own market, Japanese cars are vastly superior to to American cars. Why on earth would Mr Suzuki in Fukuoka buy a Cavalier when for 2/3 the money have a nicely loaded 1.5 litre Corolla?
     
    Japanese buy foreign brands for cachet and brand. A Cavalier doesn’t have that.

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      Totally agree with all the above. Lived in Japan in 94-95s and had a few funny chats with locals about “Kya-ba-ri-eee” (that’s Cavalier would be pronounced by them). Man they laughed.
      BTW, the Know-Everything CarSensor.net gives the following bracket for brand new Cav in 96:
      156万-192万円, which is 1,560,000 – 1,920,000 Yen, whereas Corolla was 900,000 -1,820,000. Heck, even Mark II (Cressida in the States, but next Gen) started at 1,800,000.
       

  • avatar

    Opel had tried to sell cars in Japan. They have plenty RWD cars, a.k.a. Vauxhall.  At their peak, they sold some 30,000 units. In 2005, sales had dwindled down to just 1,800 units. In 2006, Opel threw in the towel in Japan. It wasn’t because of import restrictions. It was because of a lack of interest. Also, there was no marketing to raise that interest. Japanese were asking: “Why should I buy an Opel?” And they didn’t get an answer.

  • avatar

    Ed Niedermeyer threw down the gauntlet:  “Want to import cars to Japan? It’s one of the easiest countries to do so.”
    Did anyone of the whiners who complain about import restrictions in Japan refute that claim?  Can anyone name exactly the alleged Japanese import restrictions?

    You know which country has some of the highest barriers to import? The USA . Car must comply with the hundreds of arcane and often vague FMVSS rules. No Preferential Handling Procedure for 2000 cars. Even one car must comply. “Nonconforming vehicles entering the United States must be brought into compliance, exported, or destroyed.”

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Incidentally, GM:s european branches did make an inroad in Japan. The Isuzu Aska was a version of the J-Car based on the Opel Ascona/Vauxhall Cavalier.

    Does anybody know more on the history of the Aska? Studying the pictures, I get more and more confused. It has a rear door treatment similar to that of Opels design langauge of the time, though the European J-Cars of that time used the same rear doors as the American versions. It looks like a smaller version of the Opel Rekord, more so in fact than the Opel Ascona that was sold there. It looks like Japan got what was developed for Opel, and Opel got the American parts on the cheap. Could someone shed some light?

  • avatar
    Odomeater

    “I’m actually surprised that Toyota allowed themselves to put their brand on hunk of junk from GM and let customers see it.”
    Even more astounding would be if Jaguars were sold as Toyota. Jaguar perhaps the worst brand on our planet.
    “ as we have seen in our own market, Japanese cars are vastly superior to to American cars. ” More ignorance.

  • avatar
    AccAzda

    CHRIST!

    I have had pics of this damn car… in its worst.. for the past 15yrs and here I thought it was some… really bad joke.

    Oh right.
    It was.


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