By on May 16, 2011

Logic makes you think that used cars sales would skyrocket at the moment in Japan. The auto industry barely has started producing and will not be back to normal before the end of the year. Hundreds of thousands of cars have been destroyed. In Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture alone, 146,000 cars are estimated to have been severely damaged or destroyed, 10 percent of the 1,540,000 cars registered in the Prefecture. Used cars should be flying off the lots. But the opposite is true.

April saw the second lowest level of used car sales since their statistics were recorded starting in1978, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association told The Nikkei [sub]. Used car sales dropped 9.8 percent on the year to 309,693 vehicles in April, their fifth straight month of decline. Why? Lack of trade-ins. Supplies of used cars were tight before the quake, because new cars sales had been down.  With new car sales down by 51 percent in April, inventory of trade-ins became even tighter.

Logic was rehabilitated in the quake-stricken Tohoku region where used car sales increased.  People there had no other choice than buy used cars, sometimes at new car prices.




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9 Comments on “Yet Another Tsunami Victim: Used Car Sales In Japan...”

  • avatar

    I have an idea. Japan is holding about 900B of our debt and they have a huge shortage of cars/trucks. We have over capacity in the US. GM has 275,000 new trucks in their inventory. We could send them about 200,000 trucks in exchange for 6B$(30K a pop). Japan exports millions of cars/trucks a year to the US. The least they could do is buy about 200K of our trucks and help out auto workers in the US, you know in exchange for all the money the US spends with their military bases protecting Japan. None of this is obviously going to happen.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry to burst your bubble and to destroy a tired UAW talking point

      – Depending on how you look at it (, Japan pays between $2 billion and $5 billion annually for the honor to host U.S. troops
      – Some ingrate Japanese (remember Okinawa)insist that the Americans should go home (or at least to Guam) and that the Japanese can handle the North Koreans by themselves
      – America insists that Japan is too good an aircraft carrier right across the water from North Korea, China, and Russia

    • 0 avatar

      I think that if they wanted big American trucks, they would buy them.

  • avatar

    Never mind the steering wheel is on the wrong side.

    OTOH, we were told if the U.S. auto industry went to metric bolts and nuts, exports would skyrocket. How’s that going?

  • avatar

    May want to run a carfax on that vehicle for water damage.

  • avatar

    “in the quake-stricken Tohoku region where used car sales increased. People there had no other choice than buy used cars, sometimes at new car prices.”

    Can’t someone from Tohoku take the train to Kyushu, buy a car there and drive it back? Or does that involve a lot of bureaucratic red tape?

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