Japanese Auto Makers Crack The Closed Market

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
japanese auto makers crack the closed market

While the eternal debate about whether Japan is or isn’t a closed market continues to rage onwards, the Nikkei reports that a new phenomenon is occurring in Japan: imported vehicles from domestic brands are starting to trickle in.

Previously, only a very limited number of imported nameplates trickled into the Japanese market. The Ohio-built Honda Accord Coupe was one of the most famous examples, with right-hand drive units sent back to Japan and marketed specifically as an American-built vehicle.

Even though the yen has weakened – a key factor in the decision to set up overseas manufacturing facilities – Japanese OEMs aren’t so eager to move production back home. As the Nikkei reports

In some cases, the economies of scale from building cars where they sell the most makes those vehicles more competitive than those produced domestically. So the automakers are moving to import these models to beef up their domestic lineups… ‘Each automaker has taken risks to conduct capital investment abroad, so it’s unlikely that the trend to manufacture locally will change as a result of exchange rates returning to earlier levels,’ says Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association Chairman Fumihiko Ike.

While models from lower cost locales like Spain, Hungary and Thailand will be brought to Japan, Honda will be bringing the Ohio-built Acura NSX over, albeit as a low volume halo car. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting twist of events, given that the Plaza Accord and voluntary export restrictions aren’t too distant a memory for many people.

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 35 comments
  • Pch101 Pch101 on Oct 16, 2014

    It sounds as if the Nikkei got this backwards. According to the Japan Automobile Importers Association: New registrations of imports by Japanese automakers, January-September 2013: 53,389 New registrations of imports by all automakers, January-September 2013: 257,837 Market share of imports by Japanese automakers: 20.7% New registrations of imports by Japanese automakers, January-September 2014: 36,939 New registrations of imports by all automakers, January-September 2014: 250,400 Market share of imports by Japanese automakers: 14.8%. Their imports by Japanese automakers actually fell by 31%, faster than the import market as a whole. In any case, that's not a lot of cars in either instance. Japan's auto market is largely domestic.

  • Petezeiss Petezeiss on Oct 16, 2014

    Slow Nikkei day.

  • ThomasKing The right spec has a lot to do with the value you get for your money. No matter what vehicle you're looking to buy, there are certain specs that are important when it comes to making sure you get the best bang for your buck. Also, you check this http://bestrvextendedwarranty.com/ and get more new things for warranty problem-solving. The 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback is an excellent example of a model that offers very high value while still giving you all the features and amenities that make passenger cars so enjoyable.
  • Sayahh Toyota Century
  • Probert Really needed more front and rear overhang.
  • Varezhka Autozam AZ-1 or a Toyota Sports 800.
  • Jeffro I can’t recall a visit to a Honda or Toyota dealership that wasn’t revolting to some degree. Why run yourself ragged going through the sleazy and greedy system store gauntlet, when you can purchase your luxury vehicle with just a few clicks on your smartphone?
Next