By on August 22, 2012

The American Automotive Policy Council does not want Japan to be part of a free trade pact with America and other countries. The lobbying arm of Chrysler, Ford and GM published a study that claims that “including Japan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement combined with allowing Japan to continue to manipulate its currency could put 90,000 American auto jobs at risk.”

Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council, told Reuters:

“We firmly believe a free trade agreement with Japan will lock in one-sided trade benefits that Japan enjoys today at the expense of U.S. auto jobs. It will deliver a blow to America’s auto industry and auto workers at really at critical juncture in our recovery.”

Bill Duncan, head of the Washington office of the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association’s is shaking his head: “Something is clearly either wrong or incomplete here. Japanese makers produce 70 percent of their U.S. sales in North America, the bulk of which are in U.S. plants with U.S. workers.”

Insulting the American public while assuming that it is stupid enough to believe it, the American Automotive Policy Council is still selling the old canard of a closed Japanese car market which the poor American automakers are just dying to penetrate if the heinous Japanese government would only let them.

The AAPC banks on the illiteracy of Americans when it comes to foreign currencies. The AAPC has the gall to claim that Japan uses “currency manipulation to gain an unfair competitive advantage” while the Japanese yen is at unsustainable levels that drive Japanese auto manufacturers out of their own country.

The AAPC keeps repeating that the Japanese car market is closed, but it can’t come up with proof. Japan has a zero percent duty on automobiles. America charges 2.5 percent on cars and a massive 25 percent duty on light trucks. The AAPC cites the “non-tariff barriers” that supposedly surround Japan, but it is unable to name them. In despair, the AAPC points at the low numbers of American exports to Japan, which indeed are a disgrace.

January through July 2012, foreign manufacturers imported 135,634 vehicles to Japan, up 24 percent from the same period of 2011. Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW, Audi all registered double digit increases. Volkswagen imported 33,414 units in the period while Blunt’s paymaster Ford only managed to sell 2,185 and was outsold by niche-players such as Porsche and Alfa Romeo. Chevrolet did even worse with just 844 units sold.  In typical “it is not our fault” fashion, Detroit blames its inability or unwillingness to sell cars in Japan on “non-tariff barriers that maintain a closed auto market.”

If you truly want to sell to Japan, you need to have what Japan wants. All of the Detroit Three had ample time to learn this. They all had the inside track when it came to Japan. Chrysler had an alliance with Mitsubishi. GM at one time had control of Isuzu.  Ford had been Mazda’s largest shareholder for many years and controlled the company. They all pulled out for various reasons.

While Detroit and their Washington mouthpiece are blowing smoke, Japan is rolling its eyes. The most formidable barrier keeping Japanese imports out of the U.S. is the obscenely high yen. When Blunt alleges currency manipulation, he leaves only two options: Either he is stupid, or he thinks everybody else is. The 2.5 percent import duty on cars are peanuts in comparison. Nobody is thinking of importing pickups to the U.S., the big Japanese players all have their truck production in the country already.  If you ask Japanese auto executives about the aim of the shrill anti-TPP rhetoric and the desperate lies of the  AAPC, they shrug their shoulders.

One executive told me: “I think they simply want to be ornery.”

 

Auto Imports To Japan January-July 2012
Cumulative Total January-July
2012 Share% 2011 YoY
VW 33,414 19.0% 27,344 22.2%
Nissan 29,001 16.5% 32,303 -10.2%
Mercedes-Benz 22,314 12.7% 17,527 27.3%
BMW 21,901 12.5% 17,350 26.2%
Audi 13,716 7.8% 11,786 16.4%
Toyota 10,306 5.9% 7,627 35.1%
BMW MINI 9,428 5.4% 7,681 22.7%
Volvo 7,505 4.3% 5,716 31.3%
Peugeot 3,436 2.0% 3,466 -0.9%
Fiat 3,199 1.8% 3,174 0.8%
Alfa Romeo 2,874 1.6% 1,223 135.0%
Jeep 2,774 1.6% 1,708 62.4%
Porsche 2,391 1.4% 1,954 22.4%
Citroen 2,223 1.3% 1,660 33.9%
Ford 2,185 1.2% 1,843 18.6%
Renault 1,904 1.1% 1,687 12.9%
Land Rover 901 0.5% 605 48.9%
Chevrolet 844 0.5% 571 47.8%
Cadillac 755 0.4% 832 -9.3%
smart 718 0.4% 694 3.5%
Dodge 684 0.4% 520 31.5%
Jaguar 613 0.3% 592 3.5%
Suzuki 426 0.2% 2,380 -82.1%
Chrysler 381 0.2% 362 5.2%
Ferrari 275 0.2% 236 16.5%
Maserati 171 0.1% 141 21.3%
Honda 161 0.1% 638 -74.8%
Lotus 155 0.1% 154 0.6%
Hummer 145 0.1% 176 -17.6%
Lamborghini 95 0.1% 55 72.7%
Bentley 93 0.1% 54 72.2%
Aston Martin 83 0.0% 75 10.7%
Lancia 75 0.0% 51 47.1%
Hyundai 65 0.0% 50 30.0%
GMC 62 0.0% 66 -6.1%
BMW Alpina 60 0.0% 82 -26.8%
Rolls Royce 48 0.0% 56 -14.3%
Rover 37 0.0% 24 54.2%
Saab 16 0.0% 38 -57.9%
Mclaren 9 0.0%
Unimog 8 0.0% 4 100.0%
Mitsubishi 7 0.0% 94 -92.6%
Pontiac 7 0.0% 8 -12.5%
Maybach 6 0.0% 7 -14.3%
MG 6 0.0% 6
Morgan 6 0.0% 9 -33.3%
Bugatti 2 0.0%
Ssangyong 2 0.0%
Zagato 2 0.0%
Artega 1 0.0%
Autobianchi 1 0.0% 2 -50.0%
Detomaso 1 0.0% 2 -50.0%
Kia 1 0.0% 2 -50.0%
PROTON 1 0.0%
RUF 1 0.0%
Saturn 1 0.0% 1
Buick 5 -100.0%
GMDAT 1 -100.0%
Mini 1 -100.0%
Opel 1 -100.0%
Others 39 0.0% 37 5.4%
Total 175,535 100.0% 152,681 15.0%
Source:  Japan Automobile Importers Association
Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

104 Comments on “The Return Of Japan Bashing: Ornery Lobbyist Group Steps Up Anti-Japanese Rhetoric...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    It takes an truly idiotic entity or organization (or individual) to make a claim of Japanese manipulation of their currency when the dollar buys 79 yen today versus 135 yen a decade ago (hence Japanese manufacturing moving to the U.S.).

    The UAW not only has no credibility, they are now so desperate for attention that they’re willing to throw ripe melons right over home plate.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The UAW is in an existential fight for its survival, and that’s why I believe that it should be up to the customers, the actual buyers if you will, to decide what sells and what doesn’t.

      I’m all for choice; the more, the merrier, I say. That’s why Suzuki and Mitsubishi are in such a shaky position because not enough people want to buy their products, much less own them. The people voted with their wallets.

      And when it pertains to the UAW-made products, the people voted with their feet, thereby setting off this avalanche of lost demand, lost jobs and resulting bankruptcies and bailouts.

      Japan made the better products and beat the domestics at their own game on their own turf. That’s not me saying it. That’s the sales of millions of Japanese vehicles over the past three decades.

      If the American cars, although often made in South Korea, Mexico and Canada, are truly better than the Japanese products, there should be no problem with the free trade agreement because our American cars will sell like hotcakes over there.

      Let the Japanese customers decide for themselves, or have they already?

      I can’t blame the UAW for mounting this crusade through its lobbying interests but I do believe it should be we, the people, who decide what’s best for America. Not the UAW.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        The somewhat simplistic and erroneous arguments put forward by this group and others from the US, are actually an impediment to producing vehicles that will sell outside the US. They can gnash their teeth as much as they want, but it will not sell one extra vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        vaujot

        I didn’t research this but according to the article, the UAW is not behind this study. Rather it is American Automotive Policy Council, according to the article, the “lobbying arm of Chrysler, Ford and GM.”

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        In fact, it was CAR who put out the study. AAPC is just referencing it. CARs affiliates include Toyota, Honda, Nissan and VW, so it isn’t just a Detroit 3 group.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        BrianL, you are absolutely right, and so is vaujot. However, would either of you argue that the actions by this lobbyist group do not directly affect the welfare of the UAW?

        Would the UAW have any cause to object to this course of lobbying?

        Please educate me on how Toyota, Honda, Nissan and VW could possibly want this lobby to act for them in this matter? Aren’t American-made vehicles from the Japanese transplants already being shipped to and sold freely in Japan?

        Is there a ban in Japan against American-made Japanese-brand vehicles?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        People will vote with their wallets and may the best car win. The only thing I think you run into is bias over certain brands or manufacturing locations.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        @highdesertcat
        CAR, from my understanding, isn’t a lobby like AAPC is.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        “Japan made the better products and beat the domestics at their own game on their own turf. That’s not me saying it. That’s the sales of millions of Japanese vehicles over the past three decades.”

        No.

        People buy tons of Japanese cars, Camry and Honda, even today, under the PERCEPTION of better quality. There’s nothing saying a Honda Accord is better than a Hyundai Sonata. People just think it is – ditto with the Camry. The Camry, for years, has lost comparisons, and was toward the bottom of the barrel in terms of competitiveness (aka “better car”) compared to most of it’s competition, until the recent refresh, yet people still bought 400,000 of them each year.

        Sales != product quality.

    • 0 avatar
      alwarner49

      Deadweight, if you and others want more on how truly nonsensical the AAPC’s position is, check out my blog: autotradeguy.blogspot.com

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    Agreed. This is a free trade agreement that actually makes sense. We should be having free trade with countries which have an equivalent level of product safety, environmental protection, legal regime, labor rights, worker safety, intellectual property protection, etc, etc. We should have free trade with Japan, Germany, Sweden, etc. We should not be having free trade agreements with countries which are not at the same level of development as we are- like Mexico, China, Columbia, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      I was holding my fingers hoping that the list would be “Mexico, China, Columbia, Canada etc.” It would have made my day watching the Molson drinkers getting royally pissed. On a serious note, a EU-US-Japan free trade zone would probably be mutually beneficial (provided that the US adopts the convention on protection on the origin of certain food, you can’t make champagne in California, breed Kobe beef cattle in Nevada or fish for Main lobster in the Med.).

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Fat chance of a US-EU free trade agreement! That, of course, would require eliminating the chicken tax …

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @th009

        The problem with cars are that they are not all that important on the grand scale of things, but they do have immense sentimental and symbolic value. I’m sure that the economic implications of the EU abandoning customs duties on passenger cars would be slim to non, as I’m sure that the chicken tax makes little difference. But touching any of those are political suicide.

  • avatar
    BrianL

    Perhaps one should read the CAR report first.

    First, AAPC is quoting reports coming from CAR. So, your complaint should really be against them. But, you should also read the report which talks about the Japanese gov’t trying to devalue the Yen 4 times this year alone. They haven’t been successful at it, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t be successful in the future. Japan has a long history of doing this. Just like China is doing today.

    Besides, keeping the tariffs help keep the jobs in the US. An extra 2.5% margin on cars would likely keep more of the jobs in Japan longer.

    Also, as much as Bertel likes to comment on no trade barriers in Japan, there are some. They aren’t gov’t trade barriers, but when 95% of the Japanese market are Japanese cars, it isn’t the problem that Detroit can’t figure out how to get a foothold, no one can.

    Read the report from CAR.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I did.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      The US is doing it through “quantative easing” Japan is really stuck with a very high Yen. In Australia we have a very High dollar that is not doing anyone any favours.

    • 0 avatar

      @BrianL:

      Could you please assist my research and name the unfair trade barriers? I have done extensive research and have been unable to find them. I am looking for help.

      As for the currency: Only someone who is completely clueless when it comes to foreign currency will buy into this nonsense. It is an insult to the intelligence of the reader.

      • 0 avatar
        Acubra

        Bertel,

        If you indeed want a research, start with the 2x price difference between imports and domestics of the same class/luxury levels. Otherwise your arguements are only marginally more substantive than those of the other side.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “start with the 2x price difference between imports and domestics of the same class/luxury levels”

        Is the price difference because of the manufacturers charging twice as much or is it the government?

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        There is a book that referenced in the document. I have posted information twice, but it seems to get blocked.

        Go to page 5 of the report. Footnotes at the bottom, look at 4. That is the book it is referencing.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I can’t speak much for trade barriers, however a book I highly recommend which talks about the effects of QE on imports/exports is Currency Wars by James Rickards.

        Another one I like but is a bit dated is The Trap by the late James Goldsmith, which talks about GATT and its negative implications.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Bertel,
        FTZ’s are the only ‘advantage’ a foreign operated company may have. Even then, the real advantage really goes to the US based blue collar worker.

      • 0 avatar

        “Also, is it not the case that the US makers are trying to sell left-hand-drive vehicles into a country that is set up for right-hand-drive?”

        Doesn’t matter how many times the LHD vs RHD argument gets debunked, it still keeps popping up on the interwebs. GM, Ford, Hyundai and VW are big players in UK, India, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa and Kenya. If there was a business case for it, there is no reason they wouldn’t be producing cars specific for the Japanese market. Trade barriers or tariffs aside, there is no real way the Germans/Americans or Koreans can sell cars profitably in Japan if they go mainstream.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      So, let me get this straight, Japan is crocked for trying to devalue the Yen when it’s crippling their industry but at the same time the US is acting above board when the fed is pushing out wast amount’s of liquidity?
      In other news; snow black, sauna cold and rain dry.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        I didn’t say that the US is innocent. But, Japan has been trying to devalue their currency for years so that they can stay competitive. The US was not as successful, which is why we don’t manufacture much here anymore. 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

        China is doing the same thing now with its currency so it can continue to make… just about everything.

        I think everyone knows that devaluing a currency can really help the economy by increasing exports. But, it hurts everyone that you import from.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @BrianL

        On the other hand it makes things in the country devaluing (well, actually as exchange rates are not fixed in most countries the correct term should be depreciation) more expensive and things cheaper in the importing country. Having said that, my point was more that the fact that the Japanese are trying to push their currency down shouldn’t really constitute something worth rejecting a trade agreement over from a US perspective.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        @BrianL

        “The US was not as successful, which is why we don’t manufacture much here anymore.”

        You may want to double-check that.

        Really, compare US manufacturing output today to whatever time period you have in mind as a yardstick.

        I suspect you’ll find that we make way more stuff today. We just do it with fewer people.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      If no one makes a car that suits the market, then it’s rather obvious that they’re not going to have much commercial success. If you go into a foreign market, you either try to compete on price to get volume, or you position as a premium product to achieve decent profit margin.

      As near as I can tell, every non-JDM manufacturer tries the second approach. In all my time living in Japan I cannot recall a single TV ad for a non-Japanese car company. I don’t recall any major traditional marketing campaigns of any kind. The Japanese media market is very TV-centric, so if you’re not on TV, you’re pretty much nowhere. If you don’t communicate to your potential customers through the media of their choice, you’re not going to have much success building a brand.

      Looking at the websites of the non-JDM brands it’s also pretty clear none of them actually sell much that would have any traction with Japanese buyers.

      Japanese roads and parking spots are extremely narrow. Large cars are pretty impractical. Take a look at Bertel’s most recent article on the top-selling cars in Japan:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/japans-july-sellers-prius-and-little-sister-rule-the-roost/

      Looking at the cars in the top 10, how many non-JDM brands sell cars which compete in the same segments? I can think of perhaps 3 or 4 cars which could compete against some of the models in the top 10. None of them hybrids (so not eligible for tax breaks), or kei cars. With no advertising and no dealer network exactly how are non-JDM brands going to sell?

      They’re not trying very hard, and it’s their own fault. Look at Ford in particular:

      http://www.ford.co.jp/

      Exactly what does Ford plan on selling to Japanese consumers? None of what they offer remotely matches the market.

      • 0 avatar
        SimonAlberta

        Also, is it not the case that the US makers are trying to sell left-hand-drive vehicles into a country that is set up for right-hand-drive?

        That is going to significantly diminish your chances of selling, surely?

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I suppose they’re afraid that such an FTP would result in hundreds of thousands of US made cars being exported to Japan, cars built in the US by Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. If the unions have proved anything, it is that they’d rather see production in other countries than in right-to-work states.

    • 0 avatar
      BrianL

      It isn’t a problem of tariffs on cars exported to Japan.

      Your statements are completely false.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Sell your propaganda to the people Boeing hired at their new factory in South Carolina.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        Seriously, if Toyota wanted to now, they could easily import cars made from the US into Japan today. Nothing preventing that. We don’t have an export tax on cars going to Japan. The Japanese manufactures there have just decided to start importing their cars from China, or haven’t you been paying attention.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        @ BrianL

        Could it be because China is still the cheaper place to import from compared to the U.S.? Not to mention the logistical advantage between shipping across the Sea of Japan as opposed to the Pacific Ocean?

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        @Freddy

        That is my point. His statement is false because they already have somewhere that they are going to import from. There isn’t an advantage to doing it form the US or they would have already done it.

        His points about the US exporting cars to Japan from Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are false simply because they would rather do it from China.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      CJinSD,
      You hit the nail on the head.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    Take a mallet to a Maibatsu!

    Also, I was surprised to see Mini selling only one car… until I noticed that it’s under BMW, separately, in seventh place. I figured being small, cute and sprightly had to be significant advantages.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I’d like to know how they’re still selling Pontiacs and Saturns in Japan ***three years*** after the end of production in the US? (I’m assuming this chart is for cars ‘titled as new’ sales?)

      Or is this including ‘titled as previously owned/registered’?

      Very odd.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If you want to make the case for an open market, then it would probably be best to not post a chart that shows that imports from non-Japanese brands have only 6.2% of the Japanese market.

    Over this period that there were 135,641 units sold from non-Japanese nameplates, total sales were 2,185,477. 23% of the imports came from Japanese brands.

    To put things in perspective, VW sold more vehicles in the US during July than it sold in Japan all year. And whereas VW is Japan’s leading importer, it maintains tiny market share in the US. To suggest that the US is a closed market is laughable.

    That isn’t to say that the US automakers are being particularly honest here, either, but to turn this into a pissing contest that favors either Japanese trade policy or the Detroit automakers is absurd. While the Japanese take a passive-aggressive approach to maintaining trade barriers, the US automakers whine about a market that is neither lucrative nor well suited to what the US makes.

    There’s plenty of dishonesty on both sides. I’ve learned in life that when two opposing parties are disingenuous, none of them are worth defending.

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      +100

    • 0 avatar

      That chart is not there to make a case but to provide information. Likewise, it will not be omitted to make a case.

      The “we failed, and therefore, it must be discrimination” is getting tiring.

      Please name the concrete trade barriers.

      Please note that I worked for 35 years for the largest importer to Japan, I personally know many of their executives who worked in Japan, and I never heard a single complaint about trade barriers.

      There is one formidable barrier to entry and that is the Japanese customer. They are sticklers for quality, which disqualifies most American cars. Foreign cars are a display of individualism, and the market share of individualists is small in Japan. The market is well served by Japanese manufacturers.

      A similar situation exists in Europe. American imports close to zero. GM sold 178 U.S. cars in Europe Jan-June ( http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/europe-half-year-review-bad-news-for-french-italians-ford-and-gm/ ,) That’s LESS than to Japan – where is the outrage about discrimination in Europe?

      For many years, the market share of all Asian-BRANDED cars in Europe hovered at around 15 percent. The market is well served with EU cars. While EU consumers are a bit more individualistic than Japanese, there simply aren’t enough customers for a higher market share. The EU homologation rules are similar to those of Japan.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        I think US Manufacturers would increase their market penetration if they researched those markets more thoroughly and produced vehicles that could meet the requirements of those markets. Too much guessing, of what someone outside NA wants, not good enough.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Please note that I worked for 35 years for the largest importer to Japan, I know many of their executives who worked in Japan, and I never heard a single complaint about trade barriers.”

        Perhaps you should spend some time with the folks at the EU, because they do plenty of complaining:

        “According to our survey estimates, EU exporters of motor vehicles pay an extra cost of 10 percent. EU producers therefore face a serious disadvantage since the costs of TBTs fall disproportionately on exporters compared to Japanese producers. To reduce these barriers will require that the Japanese authorities streamline and simplify the certification process and find procedures for revising standards and technical guidelines to better accommodate innovative products…

        “…A speedier certification process is listed by responding managers as a means of reducing barriers related to conformity assessment requirements. Next follows the use of international standards and the simplification of certification procedures.”

        http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2010/february/tradoc_145772.pdf

        The US government makes similar complaints:

        “The U.S. Government has expressed concern with the overall lack of access to Japan‟s automotive market for U.S. automotive companies. For example, U.S. automakers seeking to introduce, for testing and demonstration purposes, automobiles using new technology (i.e., fuel cell vehicles) have faced a lack of transparency and other barriers to certifying these new products in a timely and efficient manner. Beyond emerging issues related to new types of vehicles, additional issues include, but are not limited to, standards and certification issues, lack of sufficient opportunities for stakeholder input in the development of standards and regulations, as well as barriers that hinder the development of distribution and service networks. The U.S. Government urges Japan to address the full range of barriers in Japan’s automotive market.”

        http://www.mac.doc.gov/japan-korea/nte/2012nte-japan.pdf

        “There is one formidable barrier to entry and that is the Japanese customer.”

        That’s probably true. But it’s a bit tough to pitch and to persuade them to like a product if it is difficult to get distribution or if the barriers raise prices to a level that they don’t allow for price competition.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        “The EU homologation rules are similar to those of Japan” The rules are similar all over the world, with one noteworthy exception, the country with the automakers claiming that they are being discriminated against.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        GM selling 178 cars in Europe just means that GM import 178 cars from the US. Hardly anything important. In fact, that might be just Corvettes or something. Pretty sure the Volt/Ampera is made in the US and not included in that total.

        For Japan, I don’t think GM cars were they cars are made that get sold into Japan. In fact, they would probably be built in Korea, and probably a few Camaro’s from Canada, and maybe some from China.

        GM has brands in Europe that sell. Ford has plenty of cars that sell in Europe. This isn’t a ANTI-GM discussion anyway since it is ALL manufactures, outside Japanese manufactures, that have problems selling cars in Japan.

      • 0 avatar

        @ PCH101

        This is exactly why I recommend seeking real life information instead of information from politicians. Lobbyists to the EU are no better than lobbyists to DC.

        The kvetching about certification procedures is as old as the industry. An auto manufacturer is only happy if there either is no certification, or the certification which he already has.
        Like any developed country, Japan has rules for emissions and safety. It is disingenuous to call them a barrier. The fact is that JP certification is relatively easy for a manufacturer who already has EU certification, and vice versa. Both are ECE signatories. There is extra paperwork and testing (on both sides) but nothing insurmountable.

        MeaCulpa is right when he says that there is a noteworthy exception which is America, and by association Canada. Here, the certification regimen is completely different, and it requires considerable engineering for compliance.

        Many car manufacturers privately contend that from a non-tariff standpoint, the U.S. has one of the highest barriers. It is easier to get a car into China than into the U.S. Likewise, a U.S. manufacturer will have a hard time and will have to re-engineer both for EU and JP certification. The price of living in a walled-up market.

        HOWEVER, Japan has what is called a “Preferential Handling Procedure” for small volume vehicle imports that allows those cars to be imported if they comply with extremely simplified and expedited procedures. Under this procedure, cars can be brought into Japan with minimum paperwork, not even a test vehicle is required. The ceiling is 2,000 vehicles per type and year. Most American cars (as the import numbers will attest) come in under that ceiling.

        Europe has a similar exception for low volume imports, called ECSSTA (EC Small Series Type Approval). The ceiling is 1,000 vehicles per type and year.

        The U.S. has no such low volume regulation.

        When in the glass house ….

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        “The U.S. Government has expressed concern with the overall lack of access to Japan‟s automotive market for U.S. automotive companies. For example, U.S. automakers seeking to introduce, for testing and demonstration purposes, automobiles using new technology (i.e., fuel cell vehicles) have faced a lack of transparency and other barriers to certifying these new products in a timely and efficient manner.”

        Oh, it’s their onerous regulations discriminating against our advanced technology vehicles that create the “non-tariff barriers.” ‘Coz, otherwise, we’d be exporting zillions of fuel cell cars to Japan.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Bertel, Canada, a longtime occupant of that class house, now accepts many EU safety standards, so there may be hope that eventually there will be a plethora of those manual diesel wagon models available for sale in Canada!

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Lobbyists to the EU are no better than lobbyists to DC.”

        Those lobbyists are delivering the message that their companies want them to deliver. When the EU pays Copenhagen Economics to conduct a report that says that Japan has barriers, you can bet that they are saying what the EU automakers want them to say.

        “Japan has what is called a “Preferential Handling Procedure” for small volume vehicle imports”

        That would help to explain why **large** volume imports (i.e. the sales numbers that automakers would prefer to have) pretty much don’t exist in Japan.

        Again, a little perspective would help here:

        -Based upon YTD 2012 sales, the Volkswagen brand had 2.9% of total US market share.

        -Based upon YTD 2012 sales, the Volkswagen brand had 1.5% of total Japan market share.

        In the US, VW is considered to be a tiny player, dwarfed by substantially larger transplant and import brands.

        In Japan, where its market share is half of what it has in the US, VW is the leading importer, and at least in your mind, some kind of powerhouse.

        Let’s get real. Out here in the real world, 3% market share is pretty much spit, and 1.5% is negligible. Yet you post figures that try to make a 1.5% performance appear to prove that imports are all the rage in Japan.

        Your data, when placed into context, says exactly the opposite of what you claim that it says. Imports are essentially a non-factor in the Japanese car market, while the US market has them in abundance.

        In the real world, US barriers don’t mean much. If a company is large enough to pay for the R&D needed to hurdle the emissions and safety standards, then it’s pretty much home free.

        The regulations are transparent and negotiable, the tariffs include massive loopholes (remember that the next time that you try to claim that the chicken tax is keeping Aussie utes out of the US), and the costs of complying with the rules are predictable and manageable. They may help to keep out the likes of Peugeot, but they are no barrier of any sort to TMC, Honda, Hyundai and the like.

        Unlike the Japanese rules, which can be opaque and keep inventory stuck in inspection mode for weeks or months at a time, a car that is made for the US can be sold pretty much at will once the design and emissions have been approved. US distribution channels are accessible — setting up a dealership network is feasible — and the market is large enough to make it worth the expense. Of course, the US has barriers, but those barriers are essentially meaningless to any company that is large enough to build the sort of volumes that are needed to maintain a US market presence.

      • 0 avatar
        OldWingGuy

        @Bertel

        I can’t comment on tariff barriers in the EU, Japan, etc.
        What I do know all too much about is the protected Canadian market.
        Cars and motorcycles that cost way too much in Canada.
        The RIV program, and having to get recall clearance, LATCH, immobilizers, day-time running lights, etc. Try importing a trailer over 10k lb GVWR (ie a car-hauler with tandem 5200lb axles). I dare anyone to decipher the Transport Canada regulations.
        Why in the world Canada can’t harmonize the vehicle standards with the US is beyond me.
        We have NAFTA, so no duty on a NA built vehicle, but still many non-tariff hurdles to overcome.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        @ PcH101 you mention things I’ve heard before about the Japanese market and how hard to penetrate that market is due to costs (the example I’ve seen before is the lowly Chevy Cavalier costing as much as some high end domestic luxury vehicles).

        Anyways, these protections seem to be built in because of Japan’s high social costs and if a free trade eviroment were to be allowed it would be devastating to the governments revenue stream.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        “There is one formidable barrier to entry and that is the Japanese customer. They are sticklers for quality, which disqualifies most American cars.”

        One US product that has cracked the Japanese consumer in a big way: iRobot Roomba. Also evidence that innovation sometimes supercedes quality with respect to the Japanese consumer. I haven’t heard any trade complaints from my contacts there.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Bertel:
        Ever hear of BSE? How is the US beef exportation business doing? PCH101 has a point: ludicrous inspection and grading criteria is alive and well in protectionist Japan. Aussie beef is now king where the US changed the face of yakiniku (IDGAF about spelling) style eating with beef tongue and skirt.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        @Bertel

        Lobbyist didn’t research this. Ford paid for it. You quote the AAPC because it is convenient. But they are just relaying data from someone else.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      So at this point it all boils down to “We’re america and we’re big, so our refusal to get with the program and thereby erecting huge trade barriers means nothing as those who cant’t overcome those barriers is insignificant”. I think you have forever alienated one buyer from anything bearing the stench of Detroit, if not the US outright.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “So at this point it all boils down to ‘We’re america and we’re big, so our refusal to get with the program and thereby erecting huge trade barriers means nothing as those who cant’t overcome those barriers is insignificant’.”

        The sales numbers speak for themselves. Foreign companies are obviously not locked out of the US market, otherwise their sales would not be as high as they are.

        As an example, the EU maintains a 10% tariff. That’s fairly formidable, since the tariff doesn’t scale — whether you sell one car or ten million cars, you still have to pay 10%.

        The US barrier costs are largely fixed, so they scale. The way around those costs is to sell a lot of cars, or to use luxury branding to justify the premium; the cost per unit spent on complying with those safety standards ends up being lower than that 10% EU tariff, and it can be mitigated by designing cars that can be successful in the US market.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @Pch101

        Free trade great, barrier not barrier if some overcome it, except in Japan. Japanese consumers should wan’t inferior American product or expensive European product not developed with their taste or requirements in mind. This we all know by non coherent contrived correlation based reasoning and anecdotal evidence.

        Oh I forgot, the closest thing to actual evidence is something about it being difficult to import fuel cell cars into Japan, what a blatant attempt at keeping all those production hydrogen cars – from the undisputed leaders of alternative energy in Detroit – out of the Japanese market.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Again, logic would suggest that a country with a high volume of import sales is not keeping out imports. It should be pretty obvious that the Detroit automakers have no monopoly over the US car market.

        Meanwhile, Mr. Schmitt is trying to convince us that companies with tiny market share prove that there is an open market. Anyone who can crunch numbers should realize the logical disconnect in this claim.

        The lowering of Japanese barriers would most obviously benefit the Germans, not the Americans. The EU is complaining about those barriers for a reason, and it isn’t to assist the Americans.

    • 0 avatar
      challenger2012

      +1000 To say Japan’s Automobile market is open is foolish. Example: In Communist China where one political party rules with total control, you find all sorts of foreign car makers building there, yet no foreign maker builds in Japan’s open market. How is this possible? No foreign car builder builds in Japan, yet somehow GM is in Chain, Korea, Europe, South America .. Ford in India, Russia…Fiat in Russia and South America, yet not a single foreign car maker build in Japan, not VW, MB, BMW, GM, Ford, Fiat, Citroen, Renault,Kia Hyundai etc. If you want to talk currency exchange think of this. In 2008 1 Yen was equal to 7.8 Won, today 1 Yen equals 14.3 Won (reference http://www.xe.com). This means that a Korean car that sold for $30,000 in 2008 in Japan would now well for $16,360. You would think that Korean cars would be carving out market share in Japan like they are all over the world, yet in 2011 Kia sold 3 cars, Hyundai sold 81. As a matter of fact Hyundai lost sales, for in in 2010 they sold 208. Let me guess the Koreans don’t know how to build cars for an oriental buyer.

      • 0 avatar
        Vera

        You ought to know that LG and Samsung are two other Korean companies who haven’t moved the needle in Japan. It boils down to Japanese chauvinism and feelings of superiority. Read some history.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Not surprising, the Japanese prefer their own vehicles. The Halo European vehicles sell well, but vehicles that can be offered by Japanese Manufacturers ,do not.It is a “trade barrier” that will be never eliminated . Preference’s are barriers that are very difficult to overcome.

    • 0 avatar
      eamiller

      I think that the Japanese prefer domestically produced vehicles because the companies who produce them know their market very well (not only design, but also marketing).

      I think Japan culture is very open to “westernization” (or Americanization). There are certain “western” products which do very well in Japan, and are even desired by certain groups of the Japanese population (one need only look at Japanese Anime to see how popular such things are). But it is clear that western cars aren’t desired at all.

      I think the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the US manufacturers. They have utterly failed at understanding the Japanese market. My impression is that they mostly don’t care, except when it serves them to have the appearance of caring.

      That being said, I think it is completely possible for foreign manufacturers to do well in Japan. The cost/benefit analysis probably doesn’t work in Japan’s favor, given the size of the overall market and the amount of unique engineering and marketing needed cater to Japan.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      Exactly RobertRyan… part of the NUMMI agreement in the 90s included a Toyota-badged Cavalier, and that didn’t help the GM’s cause much.

      In fact, NUMMI is a great analogy for why brand image for domestic makers has suffered even in the US. And then US automakers expect Japanese to buy their cars. Two identical cars and the Corolla sold in much higher numbers than any iteration that GM sold. A Corolla is still worth quite a bit more than a Prizm too, even at 15-20 years old. Just the way it is.

      I’m assuming that the American cars sold in Japan are either trucks or pony/muscle cars.

  • avatar
    eamiller

    I do not support the TPP, but not because of the free trade component. TPP has become a way for Hollywood to insert considerable control over copyright (see copyright maximalism) which only hurts the economy.

    On a related note, anybody who thinks tariffs are beneficial is either ignorant of economics, stupid, or both. There are extremely rare instances where tariffs are beneficial to the country imposing them, but the vast majority of tariffs limit economic growth of both the country imposing them and the country subject to them. It’s a lose-lose situation that only benefits the domestic producers of the tariff-ed good and the politicians who appear to be “doing something to protect jobs” (anything!).

    Tariffs are a tax on consumers, plain and simple. Domestic suppliers will raise prices to match the import price, which pulls money out of the economy that would otherwise fuel economic growth (overall).

  • avatar
    JK43123

    Shouldn’t Japan have a 2.5 percent tariff against American cars and a 25% one against American trucks? Wouldn’t that be fair?

    John

  • avatar
    Rday

    Isn’t CAR a paid for client of the UAW? Don’t think that you can believe anything much that comes from these people.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    “According to our survey estimates, EU exporters of motor vehicles pay an extra cost of 10 percent. EU producers therefore face a serious disadvantage since the costs of TBTs fall disproportionately on exporters compared to Japanese producers”

    Try exporting cars to the EU, it is by definition protected by tariffs and barriers.

    ““The U.S. Government has expressed concern with the overall lack of access to Japan‟s automotive market for U.S. automotive companies. For example, U.S. automakers seeking to introduce, for testing and demonstration purposes, automobiles using new technology (i.e., fuel cell vehicles) have faced a lack of
    transparency ”

    Same complaint has been made by others trying to do the same thing in the US. A case of the kettle calling the Pot Black.

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    Just like KORUS(S. Korean FTA) the Japanese FTA should be good for American made cars and parts.

    We’ve seen Hyundai planning on importing American made cars into S. Koreas. Even Toyota is importing American-made cars into S. Korea instead of shipping them for Japan.

    A Japanese FTA will likely see a flood of American made Honda, Toyotas, Nissans flood the Japanese market.

    As we’ve seen “Made in Japan” is dead. High yen. High labor costs. And lack of workers willing to work in manufacturing. Which is why there are many Brazilian immigrant workers working in Toyota factories.

    A Japanese free-trade agreement will be GOOD for “Made in America”, but it would hand a competitive advantage to Japanese companies like Toyota/Honda that would benefit from importing more American made cars and parts into their domestic market.

    This is why Detroit and the UAW are against it. Because it benefits American manufacturing in the Dixie area and hands Japanese rivals better margins.

    • 0 avatar
      BrianL

      According to Bertel, that isn’t a problem today to import cars into Japan. If that is the case, what is preventing Honda, Toyota, and Nissan from sending cars to Japan from the US now?

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        What is manufactured in dixi that would be attractive in Japan? A Tundra (as an example) is hardly an attractive vehicle in Japan, to be able to set up an operation that benefits from the weak dollar toyota basically needs the whole chain of suppliers in the US to gear up for Japanese spec models, model specific stamping equipment and what not, the savings will also have to be able to offset the added transport cost associated with shipping cars to Japan. I’m not sure that it would make all that much sense when the Japanese can manufacture in Asia instead.

      • 0 avatar
        TEXN3

        Nothing is preventing that, and it may happen at some point. However, why import cars from the US when you can import them from other nations which are closer and building cars which share a market with Japan (kei cars, compacts, etc). Japanese brands with manufacturing in the US mostly makes midsize sedans and crossovers, minivans and trucks. Very few of those models are sold in Japan. There are exceptions, like the Accord, and those are sold as a ” luxury” car, just as they are in Malaysia and other SE Asian countries. It makes more sense, if the Accord was to no longer be built in Japan (for Asian markets) to have models exported from a factory located in Asia than in the US. At least it seems so to me, logistically and financially.

        Plus, Japanese brands making cars in the US are selling everyone of them.

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        American-made Japanese cars currently don’t get imported back to Japan as often because the types of cars Japanese buy are not made in the US.

        For instance, cars like the Fit and Yaris are much much more popular in Japan than the Accord or Camry (which are too big for Japanese roads and are taxed more due to engine & weight). Sales of small cars are generally very poor in the US (as Fit/Yaris sales show),so they aren’t built here (currently the Yaris is being shipped in from France).

        The types of cars that Japanese and Americans buy couldn’t be more different. US production is aimed at the US market as of now.

        This is changing. As the Japanese yen stays strong, Japanese are moving production away from Japan even for small vehicles (Thailand and Mexico are major destinations).

        In the future cars like the Prius are prime target for American production. They can be made in the US, they have acceptable American sales, and can be exported across markets where the US has FTA agreements with (which is significant).

        The TPP would allow America to become a global production hub for Japanese car manufacturing. We’re seeing this happen, Honda is moving more R&D and administration here as well.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        @MeaCulpa and others…

        You are missing my point. According to Bertel, nothing is stopping Japanese companies from importing cars back into Japan today. Nissan, Honda, and Toyota could start building whatever they wanted here in the US and start shipping it back. But, they haven’t. Instead, they are importing from China.

        The point I am making is that there isn’t fear in the US about making cars and importing them back into Japan. That has been open for a very long time. But, it hasn’t happened yet and this agreement won’t help with that.

        I am not saying that Japan is in love with the Tundra, Accord, or Camry. But we do make a whole bunch of Corollas and Civics here. Who is to say they couldn’t start making Japan only models here. The point is, none of this today is getting exported and it won’t be in the near future. This agreement doesn’t do what L’avventura suggests it would.

  • avatar
    AJ

    My DD is a Civic. Last time I was at my dealer, it was cool to see new Civics that said built in Indiana on them. UAW free too! Now if only Jeep could be saved from the evil UAW…

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” if only Jeep could be saved from the evil UAW…”

      That’ll never happen since the UAW is part-owner in Fiatsler.

      That said, I continue to be impressed with our 2012 Grand Cherokee Overland Summit we bought last year. It is the best Jeep product we’ve ever owned (so far). All the others we owned were bought used, out of warranty and were crap products.

      My grandson has also told me that the 2012 Wrangler I bought him a couple of months ago has been excellent. I told him to use Premium gas in it and not lug the V6 and he has not had any ticking, pinging, banging or clanking so far.

      He has taken it to the Mojave with his buddies and has not experienced any problems with it. That Pentastar packs an amazing amount of power over a broad power band.

      Is it possible that the UAW got Jeeps right? I’ll tell you when I get ready to trade ours before the warranty expires.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    “Europe has a similar exception for low volume imports, called ECSSTA (EC Small Series Type Approval). The ceiling is 1,000 vehicles per type and year.

    The U.S. has no such low volume regulation.

    When in the glass house ”

    We have low volume imports as well in Australia. US Diesel Pickups do not meet Euro V regulations but can be imported under the low volume regulations and sold to customers. None of this applies in the US. I noticed a Toyota Hilux imported into the US for aftermarket company testing procedure had to be put on a TRAILER as it could not be registered in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      In Europe there’s another exemption. You can import any standard car as an individual, from pretty much any country, provided that you pass an inspection concerning emissions, sound and light (sniffer, dB meter visual inspection) even if the car is not up to ECE snuff.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    The sign in the old picture says “UAW says: if you sell in America, build in America.” I think the Japanese manufacturers have complied with the UAW’s demand to the letter. They didn’t say “build EVERYTHING you sell here in America,” did they? Be specific about what you want!

  • avatar
    el scotto

    For the pitchforks and torches crowd after the UAW workers; they do what they are told to do. Building a vehicle takes thousands of production steps. Do you really thing management goes: yep, the PowerPoints look good, I guess parts will get here somehow; let ‘em start working on the line. So glad I was in a trade union where we told them what we were gonna do.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    How old is the article’s picture? The script on the sign looks 19th century to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      The marker lights in the bumper indicate an early 1970s Toyota Corolla, so there’s your maximum limit on backdating the photograph.

    • 0 avatar
      schmitt trigger

      My exact same impression.

      Actually looks like the script that one would see in circus banners circa 1900…
      Like: Come see the world’s strongest man! Bearded baby! Toyota bashing!

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    I’ve been driving Tennessee built Nissans for over a decade now. The last time I checked, that makes them built in America. Just get over it UAW. If you cant convince half of America to buy your cars, how do you think you’ll manage to force the Japanese to buy them ?

    I understand that Harley Davidson motorcycle sales are growing in Asian countries. How can that be with Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki in their back yard ?

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Part of it stems from excellent craftsmanship and distinctive styling, another part is the heavy tax placed on liter-bikes in Japan; H-Ds are a symbol of affluence there along with all other large displacement motorcycles, but their lines make the hogs that much easier to identify in a sea of Japanese rocketships. I can imagine similar appeal in other Asian countries simply through increased difficulty in obtaining one.

      • 0 avatar
        schmitt trigger

        Harley Davidson is a company with a loyal customer base, equal or even superior to Apple’s…

        How did they achieve that, when there are arguably faster, quieter or better Japanese or European machines?

        For one thing, they have nurtured an image that really conveys freedom and living on the wild side.

        Of course, this image would be shattered in a millisecond if they did not deliver the goods, which they do.

        In my opinion, US automakers should study Harley’s recipe for success…remember, they were also in their death throes during the ’80s but came back to life with force.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @schmitt trigger

        So is Harley doing all right these days? Harley’s image is already in pieces, the typical buyer is a 60 year old dentist, recruiting younger buyers to the “vibrations are nice when you have hemorrhoids” brigade isn’t the easiest of tasks, especially when you’ve either killed or mangled the products that might appeal to active and younger bike riders (Buell and the sportster becoming a budget chrome sled).

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        Every ten years the average age of a Harley-Davidson customer goes up by ten years. When they’re too old to ride anymore, the company will be screwed. That jackass Wandell ditched Buell over a personal vendetta; the shareholder report said that they didn’t even bother doing an analysis on how much the move would cost. They’re not as screwed a company as they were when those bowling guys owned them, but selling incompetent gaudy boat-anchors is only going to work for so long.

        Yeah, they’ve got a niche in Asia as a status symbol. So does Buick.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    The only result of Japan’s “currency manipulation” for me has been my cessation of importing Japanese media products. A shame, too: there were several shows I enjoyed ordering directly, and most video discs shipping from Japan are equipped with multilingual subtitle tracks these days.

    Many quality audio equipment makers in the US have established their reputations in Japan and China before ever being noticed at home. There is a market for US-made goods in Asia – it’s just not a market for automobiles.

  • avatar

    Americans should be worried about the Germans. In the most profitable market segment Detroit’s market share is rapidly diminishing.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      They should be much more worried about the Koreans and Japanese who have much more market share and profits. VW has the biggest slice of the U.S. pie and can’t even compete with the smallest Korean brand Kia.

      • 0 avatar

        VAG (VW, Audi, Porsche), Daimler (Mercedes) and BMW made close to a record 30 billion USD in 2011. A large part can be contributed to their sales success in the U.S. (and China). I don’t think that any Asian country comes even close. Besides that, ever noticed anything American on the German Autobahn? Don’t think so. And why should they?

  • avatar
    rpol35

    I think the biggest “trade barrier” for the Detroit Three exporting to Japan is their lack of right-hand drive models. Jeep used to make some (Cherokee)and maybe they still do (Liberty) but I don’t know of any others.

    I’d love to have a Holden “Ute”, if I could actually import one, but that right hand drive thing makes it completely impractical for the U.S.

    • 0 avatar
      BrianL

      Well, Ford and GM operate in the UK and Australia. They have RHD models.

      • 0 avatar
        juicy sushi

        yet none of the right hand drive cars which might possibly be appealing to the Japanese are being offered there, except for Chevy attempting to sell them the Sonic. The Ford Ka and Fiesta are not offered, despite being fairly competitive against japanese equivalents. The new Vauxhall/Opel Adam could also do well probably, but that,s not being offered either. If you don’t sell what the customers want, you can’t complain when they don’t your stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        “Well, Ford and GM operate in the UK and Australia. They have RHD models.”

        Yes, I know but those would be UK or Australian exports to Japan not U.S. exports to Japan.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Adam Smith called this “mercantilism” and was a very against it. Japan has the highest rate of debt per capita of any nation, higher than Greece.
    Japanese industry is state socialist and far from laissez-faire capitalism. Both the Japanese and American middleclass suffer from this currency manipulation and the the elite in both nations once again steal from the workers and consumers and claim it’s “free markets”.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Mercantilism? What? Where did you find anybody mentioning or implying a search for tight regulations aiming for trade surplus?

      Ah, the Japanese debt myth, I presume that you mean sovereign debt per capita, in that case you’re correct, but the Japanes Net external debt is among the lowest in the developed world making the argument somewhat less valid.

      Japan far from laissez-faire capitalism? You don’t say, you might also want to give an example of any developed country that’s anywhere near laissez-faire capitalism. I’ll wait.

      Currency manipulation? I think you should demand a refund from your economics professor, that guy was clearly not performing near the top of his game,

  • avatar

    The complaint is that Japan is devaluing the yen. For someone who has supposedly done a lot of research, you would know that Japan has spent $350 Billion in 2011 alone trying to devalue the yen, while many here get their panties in a wad over the $50B bailout to Detroit.

    Just cause the yen is at historic highs, it does not mean the Japanese govt is not actively devaluing their currency. The same way i cant claim I am not trying to kill someone I am stabbing at, just cause the victim is still alive. You would also know that there is a huge resistance at the 75 yen to dollar level. All currency traders/investors know from experience Japan will intervene when the dollar reaches 75 yen level.

    I would do research on why foreign brands have less than 5% market share in the worlds third largest economy. Show me one country in the G20 with a similar take rate of foreign brands. I would also try to find out why the imported from Japan Yaris/Fit costs the same as a locally made Sonic in the US, while the imported Sonic costs 50% more than a locally made Yaris/Fit in Japan. Chevy is definitely not being greedy nor is the Sonic equipped any better than the Fit/Yaris.

    But you know what, fact finding takes time and energy. Its easier to be a their mouthpiece and regurgitate their garbage.

    I have nothing against the Japanese. My company has an office in Tokyo with 400 employees and I regularly interact with a dozen of them. Such amazing people they are. I am not going to let a few sleazy companies like Toyota and Honda and some scumbags in the Govt doing their bidding define the country.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      So, Japan is trying to depreciate the yen, that is surely odd and nothing every nation in the world tries from time to time when their currency is perceived as too dear. But if currency manipulation is the metric that shall be applied, I do wonder if Detroit shouldn’t be considered the recipient of a couple of trillions in subsidies.

      “Chevy is definitely not being greedy nor is the Sonic equipped any better than the Fit/Yaris.” Oh, chevy not greedy? Please do tell what a Corvette costs in Europe, excluding sales taxes and the 10 customs duty.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    Here is something MC to think about. How is it that in Communist China, where one political party decides who will build and where, there are all many different (foreign) car makers building in China, yet not a single foreign car maker builds in Japan’s free market?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States