By on September 15, 2010

The heavy handed attempts to put the Japanese car industry in its place were totally unnecessary. Japan is perfectly capable of doing this all by themselves, with the help of the Godzilla-strength yen.  Over the last issues, we have been chronicling the exodus of Japanese carmakers to lower cost countries with softer currencies. A trend even today’s yen intervention by the BOJ won’t stop. The last one we would have suspected of hopping on that bandwagon to cheaper shores was boutique carmaker Mitsuoka. But the purveyor of fine retro romance is also outta here.

Mitsuoka announced today that they will be making custom cars in Thailand. Then they’ll turn around and sell them all over Southeast Asia, the Middle East and India.

They’ll do that at a joint venture with Thailand’s Yontrakit. Mitsuoka holds a 45 percent stake, Yontrakit controls the majority rest, says The Nikkei [sub].

They’ll build the Himiko sports car and the Galue IV luxury saloon, based on Mazda’s Roadster and Nissan’s Teana.

Mitsuoka made roughly 650 cars in Japan last year, of which about 100 were exported . The JV plans to assemble around 180 bespoke cars in 2011 and about 280 in 2012. 90 percent are slated for export. Soon, there will be the time when even a lowly millionaire can afford a Mitsuoka, because “we can set the price sharply lower than when we export from Japan,” President Akio Mitsuoka said in a news conference in Thailand.

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