… unless you’re Chinese, in which case Japanese luxury brands are definitely designing those grilles for you.
According to Automotive News, China is poised to eclipse the United States as the number one luxury car market. To get ready for that eventuality, Japanese luxury car brands are designing their cars to cater to the tastes of affluent, young, Chinese car buyers.
It’s no secret that Honda strives to offer a “Goldilocks-just-right” option in just about every segment — not too big, not too small; not too cheap, not too expensive; not too flashy, not too bland, and with a dollop of practicality on top. This formula has led to a lineup of sales successes with few exceptions. Oddly enough, Honda’s new-to-America HR-V is one of those exceptions.
Based on numbers from GoodCarBadCar, the Jeep Renegade is outselling the HR-V at a clip of 1.4:1 so far this year. Even Buick shifted more Encores — just — than Honda sold HR-Vs.
What gives? Have subcompact CUV shoppers forsaken Honda? Is the Renegade that good? Or is there some other explanation?
Mitsubishi’s fuel economy scandal blew up yesterday after the automaker admitted it has issued misleading mileage data since C+C Music Factory was at the top of the charts.
The scandal that started with inflated mileage numbers on a single minicar one week ago now extends to all Japanese market Mitsubishi vehicles sold over the past quarter century. Reuters is reporting that the automaker compiled fuel economy data using U.S. standards, rather than the Japanese standards that factor in much more city driving. (Read More…)
Four General Motors assembly plants in the U.S. and Canada will be closed temporarily due to supply chain disruptions caused by last week’s earthquakes in Japan.
The automaker announced today that four plants — Spring Hill, Tennessee; Lordstown, Ohio; Fairfax, Kansas; and Oshawa, Ontario — will be idled for two weeks starting on April 25. (Read More…)
When I started kicking tires and taking photos at the Fleet Activities Yokosuka Lemon Lot, I was hoping to document the dark underbelly of the Japanese Domestic scene. I figured I would find all sorts of bottom dwellers — you know, cars that should have been consigned to the junk pile years ago. That hasn’t been the case.
There are tons of large, respectable people movers on display and next to them are dozens of cheerful, little economy cars. Once in awhile we get a performance car, or at least something that could have been sporty if it had the right options, but I have yet to see any bestickered, black hooded, wanna-be drift cars. Finding interesting cars has been really difficult, so today I will show you something I have hitherto been ignoring – the imports. (Read More…)
A few weeks ago, one of TTAC’s Best and Brightest asked for my thoughts on driving in Japan. It’s not the first time the topic has come up. There were several comments in response to the series that documented the importation of my Town & Country, but I’ve been content to avoid the subject up ’til now.
I’d like to say I’ve abstained explaining driving in Japan because I believe my silence fosters discussion. But there’s a truer reason: I dread the scrutiny that follows any article about Japan. I know from hard experience that every westerner who has ever set foot in the country is an expert on every subject, and they will come out of the woodwork to dispute everything I say.
Don’t believe me? Wait and see. (Read More…)
The promise of improved performance and tree-hugging fuel economy has made turbocharged engines all the rage in luxury cars. Despite the often failure of those boosted motors to meet their lofty, published fuel economy ratings in the real world, forced induction has a significant — and positive — impact on performance.
It seems Infiniti had gotten the memo.
February ends. March begins. What better way to celebrate the sunny-but-cool weather of early spring than by looking at military castoffs? Luckily, the Lemon Lot full of them, and some were quite appropriately named.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one of Nissan’s cutest products: the March. (Read More…)
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
The Town & Country I worked so hard to import into Japan was supposed to be my wife’s. I had planned to buy whatever I wanted and, although I hadn’t quite decided on what that was going to be, classic Japanese iron was on my mind. The second-generation Toyota Soarer and the ’90s-era Toyota Celica GT-Four were leading candidates. I was having fun considering other options, too.
A second minivan, however, was not among them.
I had another opportunity to visit United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka last week and, naturally, I brought along my camera for another visit to the “Lemon Lot.”
While my last visit noted the many people haulers for sale and focused on a pair of cheerful Toyota Fun Cargoes, this time, my attention was drawn to sportier fare. (Read More…)