Detroit 3 Return To Japan With A Revolutionary Strategy
For long, Detroit automakers explained their miserable sales numbers in Japan with somersaulting logic: “Our sales numbers are so miserable in Japan, because the Japanese market is closed to imports. Proof: Our miserable sales numbers.”
German carmakers in the meantime, notably Volkswagen, do not complain at all. They control 80 percent of Japan’s growing import market. Volkswagen’s small Up! turned into an especially hot seller, and Volkswagen’s executives in Japan emphatically deny that the market is closed.
Now, the Detroit Three are back in Japan with a revolutionary strategy:
In Japan’s case, that’s smaller cars. “Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC are gearing up to release smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles here to better compete against German automakers,” writes The Nikkei [sub]. If they fail, they can always go back to claiming that the market is closed.
- At Ford, where big SUVs like the Explorer and Escape account for 80 percent of all of the 3,648 units the company imported to Japan this year, the big brutes will be joined by the Focus five-door hatchback next summer. Who knows, with a little success, maybe Ford will spend the money on a Japanese website with a menu and headlines in Japanese …
- GM hopes the Cadillac ATS, to be brought to the country in March, will sway Japanese customers. Cadillac needs a little help with only 1,122 sold so far in Japan. Even the Yakuza are beginning to think that Escalades are too ostentatious, a contact in Kabukicho tells me.
- Chrysler will launch the 0.9-liter Ypsilon compact this Saturday, its first new model in the Japanese market in four years. Now wonder the brand sold only 592 cars in Japan this year.
Together, the Detroit Three sold a total of around 12,000 vehicles here in the first 11 months of 2012, something they clearly want to improve on in the coming year. German brands sold more than 160,000 cars so far this year in the allegedly closed Japanese market.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- ToolGuy Nice writeup.
- Jamie Electric cars and their planet stripping unsustainable mineral needs. Nothing is perfect.....
- Tom Kenney Wondering the same. It's getting late for 2024....I should scoop up a 2023 3.3t now.
- Ja-GTI My father bought one of these new in '75, when I was an inquisitive lad of six with a younger sister of four. I showed her how to open the rear hatch, and then I noticed a convenient pull-down handle on the bottom of the rear parcel shelf. I couldn't reach it from the ground, so I climbed in the back, pulled on the handle, and quite suddenly shut the hatch on top of me. The four year-old sister couldn't follow my frantic instruction on how to open the hatch - she eventually left to go to our neighbor's house to "get some cookies", and I spent the next several hours having a very bad time.Finally, the older nine year-old sister came home from school and was showing the new car to a friend when she heard me yelling and freed me from my VW prison. Thankfully, I overcame my childhood PTSD and ended up owning an '07 GTI for fourteen years - which gave me another type of PTSD. And my VW circle of life is now complete. Well, except for the '15 Jetta TDI manual I bought for my son...
- Inside Looking Out In America non-violent crime is legalized in 2020 but in England not. That guy in America would be considered as the pillar of society. Wild west you know,