Volkswagen’s ultracompact Up! is taking Japan by storm. Three weeks after its Oct. 1 release, orders for the up! have exceeded 3,000 units, The Nikkei[sub] writes.
The Nikkei thinks the diminutive 1-liter vehicle “may beat the Golf subcompact to become the German automaker’s most successful new-car launch in Japan.” The 2 door version costs 1,490,000 yen in Japan, about the price of a decently appointed kei car. Converted to dollars, it’s $18,600, but that’s with tax and converted from obscenely high yen to obscenely low greenbacks. Trust me, in Japan, it’s a bargain.
Can’t help but noticing: 3,000 Up! in three weeks, that’s what all of Ford sold in Japan January through September , and that’s more than double of what GM exported to Japan in the first nine months. If we believe the American Automotive Policy Council, then the Japanese car market is closed tight. But according to Volkswagen, it seems to be wide open to those who make what Japanese want.