While foreign cars are still a bit underrepresented in Japan, fueling fierce allegations of trickery by unions, democrat lawmakers and grossly underrepresented Detroit carmakers, foreign carparts do not have this problem. With the yen stuck at abnormally high level, Japanese carmakers more and more buy their parts cheaper overseas.
Japan’s number two carmaker Nissan has been at the forefront of the international parts trade. Nissan is expanding foreign procurement and plans “to have imported parts make up at least 40% of components for automobiles assembled at factories in Japan by fiscal 2016, up from slightly less than 30% in fiscal 2011,” says The Nikkei [sub] without naming sources.
This procurement won’t help create American jobs as the parts are coming from China, South Korea and other Asian markets. According to the Nikkei, Nissan already uses more foreign-made parts than competitors, “which are believed to have overseas procurement ratios of less than 20 percent.”
The competition is catching up though. Toyota is said to be courting South Korean autoparts suppliers. Daihatsu slashed the cost of its Mira minivehicle by using many foreign-made components.