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.

According to The Nikkei [sub], any drops in the tonier segments “stem primarily from falling inventories of foreign cars at Japanese importers.”

Japanese buyers of an Audi A3 Sportback used to have to wait around four months before delivery, now the wait is more than five months.This is not an isolated Audi issue, says the Nikkei.

“We almost sold out of our popular models in September, when demand spikes every year,” said an official at Yanase & Co., Japan’s top Mercedes seller.

Volkswagen Group Japan also has an order backlog of more than 2,000 Polo subcompacts. “We have already sold out of Polos that will arrive at a Japanese port in the next delivery,” a company official said. The Golf is also getting scarce in Japan. “Volkswagen cannot fully meet growing demand worldwide. We have asked the German carmaker to ship more vehicles, but additional shipments are not expected to arrive anytime soon,” the official said.

And who gets the blame? Not the manufacturers in Germany who don’t ship enough to Japan.

The Japanese blame China.

An official at one foreign-car dealer complained that overseas carmakers are giving higher priority to shipping their products to China than to Japan at a time when supply is tight. I don’t doubt him.

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7 Comments on “Japanese Importers: The Chinese Are Taking All Our Cars...”

  • avatar

    I presume that these VW and Audi that on are on a wait list will be set up to drive on the left hand side of the road and have to meet some other JDM specs.

  • avatar

    I never understood the American obsession with LHD and RHD, as if it comes from Mars.In a European factory, you will see LHD and RHD roll off the same assembly line, one behind the other. You’ll even see different cars of different brands. It is not a topic in Europe. Except when driving from France to the UK.

    • 0 avatar
      Cammy Corrigan

      And Ireland.

      Also, LHD and RHD should roll off quite a few factories in North America and Japan, since those areas build cars for UK and Irish customers. So, again, I don’t know why it’s such a foreign concept to Americans.

    • 0 avatar

      Same for US factories. Not far from me is where the Mercedes ML, R, and GL vehicles are built…one after another, RHD, LHD, diesel, gas, etc. I believe it’s the same with the Hyundai Sonata/i45 and the Santa Fe destined for some overseas markets (also built in Alabama).
      However, as far as vehicles I actually see on the road, I only spot a RHD car about once a year. Usually an older MG or Land Rover. It’s not a “foreign concept” but it is definitely a unique layout in most of the US.

  • avatar

    Hey, I once owned a RHD car in the US. A postal van. We were in the mailorder busness, and my mail guy got first dibs when the post office sold them off.

  • avatar

    sounds like a high quality problem for audi and co. In order to sell more cars we need to build more cars?

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