Get Your Japanese Import Now (While You Can Still Afford It)

get your japanese import now while you can still afford it

Sometimes, strength is a weakness. Especially in currencies. The still surging Yen makes Japanese Exports expensive and unprofitable. Despite a lot of talk from their elected officials that the Yen is too high, manufacturers are thinking it will go higher. This could significantly alter the export-heavy Japanese industrial landscape. Case in point. Suzuki and a plot of land.

Suzuki had a great idea: They wanted to go into the industrial park business. The plan was to buy 100 acres of land between Suzuki’s Sagara plant and the port of Omaezaki. That port is Suzuki’s major export hub. Space in the industrial park was to be sold or rented out to affiliated parts makers. Everything was supposed to be up and running in 2014. Did we mention before that the biggest beneficiaries of just-in-time development are real estate developers? No profit this time: The project has been scrapped. Suzuki is writing off $3m in surveying costs, and told parts manufacturers to continue making parts wherever they are.

According to the Nikkei, “the yen’s advance played a part in convincing the automaker to give up the project because exports will likely remain weak if the Japanese currency stays strong.”

Currencies work in wondrous ways: The U.S. has pressured China to give up their dollar peg. They did that to some degree. As a result, China doesn’t have to buy boatloads of dollars anymore to maintain the peg. Instead, they are going heavily into the Yen, because the Chinese also think it will go further up. Just by the mere fact of the Chinese buying into the Yen, the Yen continues to go up. Lower demand for dollars makes the dollar go down. It’s heading south as I type this. This makes US exports cheaper. That creates jobs if the U.S. still has something to export. It also makes imported goods more expensive. Not just Japanese cars. Everything at Walmart. Everything the U.S. imports en masse. This creates inflation: Everybody pays the price to bail out the economy.

PS: If some idiot still mentions that the Yen is being manipulated and way too low, please do me a personal favor: Sock him. If nobody is watching.

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  • Mtypex Mtypex on Sep 02, 2010

    This just in ... the yen hit 10 per dollar ... but GM said it's still too low! The damn Japanese are manipulating the FX markets!!!!!!1!!!!11!!!!

  • Slumba Slumba on Sep 03, 2010

    Actually I have been considering buying a Ford for precisely that reason. If the yen continues to get stronger, replacement and service parts will rise significantly in price.

  • ToolGuy The only good thing about this car is the wheelbase.
  • MaintenanceCosts So someone really did build that car I drew while not paying attention in second grade. Too bad they screwed it up so badly.
  • MaintenanceCosts A bit after that experience, my family ended up owning an '88 Accord and an '87 Taurus--Detroit's big triumph--at the same time. The win for the Accord wasn't total; the Taurus's engine was better and it was quieter. But the difference in build quality and refinement can't be overstated.There were no rattles in the Accord, the materials are to this day some of the best in any car I've ever owned, every control operated with precision and just the right feel, and the ergonomics were perfect. By contrast, the Taurus was full of rattles from the day we got it, had hard plastic and slapdash fits all over the interior, had mouse-fur upholstery that showed wear by 60k miles, some parts of the control layout were nonsensical, and my car had a number of obvious assembly defects (including silver front bumper paint that all peeled off within five years). The cars' records in service also contrasted dramatically; the Taurus's lower purchase price (as a used car with similar mileage) was totally offset within a few years by higher repair costs.The thing that really puts an exclamation point on the contrast between the two cars is just how much better the Taurus was than its Fox-based predecessors.
  • Art Vandelay I am sure somewhere, somebody is saddened by this.
  • Dukeisduke It's becoming the norm for cats to be moved out of state for sale, and even out of the country. The thieves are looking for the easiest places to get rid of them, as laws tighten down in some places. Here in Texas, catalytic converter theft became a felony last September 1, so the stakes are going up.A couple months back, an off-duty Harris County (Houston) sheriff's deputy leaving a grocery store was murdered in the parking lot by a thief that was in the process of stealing the cat from his truck. As far as I know, they're still looking for the suspect, who would be charged with capital murder, and subject to the death penalty.
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