Tag: Imports

By on October 19, 2011

According to U.A.W. talking points, the Japanese car market is closed to foreign imports, and the yen is kept artificially low. Utter insanity on both counts. The customs duty on new cars imported to Japan is exactly zero, and the yen is so obscenely expensive that Japanese carmakers openly threaten to leave and privately are shifting as much production as possible out of the country. Unbeknownst to talking point readers, Japan has had a thriving car import market for decades. For more than a year, imports to Japan showed an uptick. TTAC has been taking about this for quite a while,  here, then here  and also here.

Today, The Nikkei [sub] did wise up to the fact that imports are getting hotter in Japan despite a tepid new car market. The Nikkei sent a reporter to an Audi showroom, interviewed a BMW customer, and noted a societal change: “My wife prefers foreign cars, so that’s why we bought one,” a bank employee who traded his domestic car for a BMW told The Nikkei. “They have lower fuel efficiency than Japanese cars, but that is not a big problem because we drive only on weekends.”

Now what’s really going on with imports to Japan? Let’s look at it a little closer. (Read More…)

By on October 13, 2011


American Badass?

Anonymous writes:

Dear Sajeev and Steve,

I have the misfortune of working with a bunch of aspiring Yuppies. You know the types. The ones who believe that all American car companies make crap and the only true luxury cars come from Germany and Japan. Never mind the $1300 maintenance charge on their Audi or the fact that the Lexus ES is about as exciting as wilted corn flakes.
Long story short, I am sick and tired of hearing their crap. I want to buy the type of American car that will take these pompous, sniveling wussy boys and blow their stuck-upityness right out of their ass.
My choices are the following…
1) Corvette – preferably one with a muffler package that sounds like a roving gang of Hell’s Angels ready to roll.
2) Silverado – One with all the options. Throw in some Bigfoot tires so that I can roll over those little prissy scootmobiles.
3) Hummer H2 – Instead of a horn I would get four bullhorns and have them blare out lines from Ah-nold’s movies and Jesse Ventura’s speeches with every beep. Maybe a few fart noises too.
4) Chevette – I’m thinking if I go in dressed like this guy one day, and buy a few accessories along the way, I should be all set.
5) Adams Probe 16 – One of only three made. But built for a good purpose.
OK, I’m exaggerating with all this. But really. I want to get a luxury car that is All-American and the absolute best in it’s class. Price limit $40k. New, used, doesn’t matter. What do you recommend?
By on June 24, 2011

When you have nothing else to do down the road and read Japanese car import statistics, and when you will see a small bump of imports from Europe to Japan, remember what you did read here. Toyota will start importing its UK-made Avensis to Japan, where it will go on sale on September 19 for 2.5 million yen ($31,000). (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2011

Some people are still worried about the Chinese trade imbalance. They should look at the car industry. Car-wise, China’s trade is shockingly imbalanced, a report of Chinas automotive industry association CAAM shows. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2011


For years now the Chinese automakers have been the bête noir of the global car industry, inspiring equal parts fear and contempt in boardrooms and editorial meetings from Detroit to Stuttgart. In an industry built on scale, China’s huge population and rapid growth can not be ignored as one scans the horizon for dark horse competitors. And yet no Chinese automaker has yet been able to get even a firm toehold in the market China recently passed as the world’s largest: the United States.

Certainly many have tried, as the last decade is littered with companies who have tried to import Chinese vehicles, only to go out of business or radically rethink their strategy (think Zap for the former and Miles/CODA for the latter). Others, like BYD (or India’s Mahindra), have teased America endlessly with big promises of low costs and high efficiency, only to delay launch dates endlessly. In short, a huge gulf has emerged between overblown fears of developing world (particularly Chinese) auto imports and the ability of Chinese automakers to actually deliver anything. No wonder then, that we found what appears to be the first legitimate attempt at importing Chinese cars to the US quite by accident…

(Read More…)

By on April 4, 2011

The trade war that erupted between the US and China late last summer may have cooled to an angry simmer, but its effects are once again being noticed in the automotive industry. After President Obama slapped a 35% tariff on imports of Chinese-produced tires, the Chinese government started casting around for potential objects of retaliation, and, as Bertel reported, US auto exports to China made “a good tit-for-tat.” The US imported $1.8b worth of Chinese tires in 2009, while China imported $1.1b worth of US-built cars (including transplant brands) in 2008. You shoot our dog, we’ll kill your cat.”

Now, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has concluded its “investigation” into US auto dumping and illegal subsidies  in the Chinese market, and it just so happens to single out the two automakers who are partially owned by the US. Coincidence? Not so much. [Hat Tip: Michael Banovsky]

(Read More…)

By on February 26, 2011

In January, car imports to Japan shot up 53 percent, reports Automotive News’ [sub]Asia Editor Hans Greimel from Tokyo. Quick, who do you think takes top honors? (Read More…)

By on February 18, 2011

There is one area where the feared Chinese export machine is way behind, and this is cars. According to data published by the China Association of Automobile manufacturers CAAM, 566,200 units were exported in 2010. At and in the same time, China imported 813,600 units. (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2011

Again, China’s vaunted export machine received a black eye: China imported more cars in 2010 than it exported. Of the 18.27 million cars China produced in2010, a pittance of 2.98 percent left the country according to statistics released by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) via China Autoweb. (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2011

In the 80s, there were just 4 car brands in Brazil, all domesticated animals, carrying familiar names such as Volkswagen, Fiat, Chevrolet, and Ford.  The luxury car at that time, for which we had the privilege of paying over US$50,000, was the (modernized, but nonetheless a 1960s Opel Rekord) Chevy Opala. Then, the 90s came along and bang, the market was blown wide open. (Read More…)

By on December 26, 2010

With the economy pretty still mostly on the ropes all over the world, the favorite policy appears to try to export yourself out of the crisis, and to keep imports to the barest minimum. In pretty much all countries but one. Would you believe it: China. (Read More…)

By on November 15, 2010

Nick Taylor’s layman’s observations of American cars in China are a great first impression view.  But first impressions can be deceiving. It is true that the Chinese auto market is very much similar to the U.S. market. They love 3 box “real cars” (trend recently shifting a bit), they love SUVs, they love big cars if they can afford them.  “American” cars, mostly Buicks, Chevys and a smattering of Fords on Chinese roads are mostly made in China.  Just like the “German” or “Japanese” cars that are made mostly in China.

China as an export market for U.S. cars is a whole other matter. China has a 25 percent tariff on imported cars. That pretty much limits car imports to segments where price doesn’t matter, or where a high price acts as a differentiator from the riff-raff: Luxury cars. And this is where Europe reigns supreme. (Read More…)

By on November 8, 2010

Audi’s sales in Japan went down 20 percent in October. The macro-oriented crowd points at the fact that the domestic Japanese market was down 26.7 percent in October, and that Audi or its dealers have no reason to complain. And what are Japanese Audi dealers doing? They are complaining. They say that they have enough buyers, but not enough cars to meet the demand.

They all go to China. (Read More…)

By on October 6, 2010

Here is another myth that won’t die, as hard as we might be trying to debunk it: “Japan is a closed market for cars. They do everything to keep foreign cars out. Those Nips are unfair, and it’s time to do something about it.”

It’s baloney. Paul Niedermeyer debunked the propaganda, and said: “Want to import cars to Japan? It’s one of the easiest countries to do so.“ I did another  story and showed, for those with reading comprehension problems, a picture of Japanese im- and exports. But the story won’t die. Ok, let’s try again to put it to rest. (Read More…)

By on September 26, 2010

Where would the German car industry be without China? You guessed it: In deep Scheisse. China’s insatiable demand for German cars helped the German auto industry survive the crisis stronger than ever. Germany’s new car exports to China in the first six months of this year reached €4.4b ($6b). That’s 6.1 percent of its total car exports, says the China Business Times via Gasgoo. (Read More…)

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