By on January 27, 2015

Clean-Camaro

Japan will continue to be a closed market…depending on who you believe. A new quota on U.S. imported cars was struck down as part of trade negotiations with Japan. In exchange, Japan will buy more American rice.

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114 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: January 27th, 2015...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Oh, no, according to some folks down under the US is the only closed auto market, so you must be mistaken, Derek ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The US has substantial non-tariff barriers to selling cars here. Our unique safety and emissions regime being the primary ones, plus the fact that Americans want bigger cars and engines on average than the rest of the world. Historically, the majority of what sells in the US, only sells in large numbers in the US. Even the shear size of the country makes setting up distribution extremely expensive.

      By comparison, you can pretty much offer for sale whatever you want in Japan – they are a lot more flexible. The government won’t stop you. But as sales of the Crapalier in Japan showed, it helps to have a product the Japanese might actually want to buy… Japanese are notoriously more fussy about the details than any other market, and American makers have never been much at sweating the details.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        This standards myth is tired and wrong.

        The reality is that Europe has different standards from Japan, which has different standards from the US/Canada, while much of the developing world barely has any standards at all (and the fatality rates to show for it.)

        The US-Canada bloc sells more cars than the EU. If everybody wants harmony, then they could switch to FMVSS, which still outsells Europe’s version of UNECE.

        But automakers don’t want to do that because it costs more to comply with what are generally higher US standards. It has nothing to do with harmony and everything to do with money.

        • 0 avatar
          jdash1972

          That’s exactly right. And there is no incentive to harmonize because standards enforcement and testing is a money making industry. Same with electrical standards, everybody has their own mark whether is UL, CSA, VDE, CCC, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I think it was true that in the past there was much less incentive to harmonize standards, because auto making was primarily a local phenomenon. Today development is so expensive that there is very much incentive to harmonize standards. I think it is completely inevitable now that the car makers actually want it. 10 years, I give it. And I could care less which one they pick, just pick one. US/EU/whatever, doesn’t matter.

            It is not so much the standards themselves that are the issue, it is the certification costs. If BMW sells an N20 with RWD and a stick in the sedan, why should they have to spend a dime to prove anything if they want to offer the identical drivetrain in a wagon body, just as an example?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m sure that the European automakers would like to have harmonization if it means following European rather than US standards, given the differences. But that will never happen.

            On the whole, they would probably be happy if the US would accept Europe’s standards for cars assembled in Europe. But that sort of agreement would encourage jurisdiction shopping.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Why not just get the two sides together to iron out one set of standards. The pointless differences just don’t make sense.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @MBella,
            That is the logical solution, but few who post here want to harmonise.EU standards affect more than the EU. US standards which are not very different are mainly applicable to the U.S.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @jdash1972
            Correct, it is one way you can restrict vehicle entry while supposedly having a “low tariff”

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @MBella – The US already has most of the top marques and models Europe has to offer. US OEMs have everything to gain from harmonization, while EU OEMs have everything to lose. So who do you think is holding up the process?

            Hint: It’s the s!de that invented regulations AFTER the US, zigging everywhere US regulations zag.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            The U.S. has everything to lose from Harmonization, so who is dragging the chain?

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I HATE agreeing with DenverMike, but he has a point about the absurdity of European safety and emissions regulations. Europe was the wild west until twenty years after the US was a bureaucratic nightmare of faux concern. All European regulators cared about was keeping the serfs in ‘sustainable’ death traps, if they had to be allowed to buy and drive cars at all.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @CJ in SD
            Euro standards not US standards are now the standards followed outside Europe. So who uses US Standards,, the US

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Why not just get the two sides together to iron out one set of standards.”

            US standards are generally higher, and are therefore more costly.

            The automakers would prefer to spend less when they can get away with it. They wouldn’t want harmonization if it required spending more money. Their idea of harmonization would be for the US to accept cars that were made for the EU, even though the cars don’t meet US requirements.

            And there is no way that California would accept cars that don’t meet emissions standards. That alone is a deal killer.

          • 0 avatar
            Occam

            “Why not just get the two sides together to iron out one set of standards. The pointless differences just don’t make sense.”

            USDOT standards are more stringent on some things (particulate emissions), but are way behind in other things.

            Have you noticed that every new car in America still has a flat mirror on the driver’s side, and “OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR” on the passenger side? Why don’t we have aspherical mirrors that were common in 10 years ago? Why are cars shipping with fancy headlights that aren’t self-leveling? Even thought our cars are longer, for some reason we don’t have standard side repeaters. Why can’t we have strobing brake-lights to signal sudden stops.

            To answer your question, everyone did sit down and hash out the differences, starting in the 1950s. The World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Standards, which developed the UN standards. Japan joined in 1998. Even countries that aren’t a part of the agreement typically follow UN standards. We chose to sit it out, and thus had no input into it at all.

            Also, what restrictions does Japan put on trade? I keep seeng that in here, but I was under the impression that it was very easy to import cars as long as they meet international standards.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Japan requires its own inspections for the whole car, plus many of the components. It isn’t possible to just import cars from Europe or somewhere else into Japan.

            European automakers complain that the Japanese stifle innovation by being unclear about what they’ll accept. Because UNECE has a “type approval” system, cars cannot be sold until they are approved (unlike the US, which has a “voluntary compliance” system that does not require pre-screening.)

            A lot of the stuff said about UNECE around here is wrong. Yes, there is an agreement, but it does not mean that all cars built outside the US can be freely exported to whereever or that they are all built to the same standard. Far from it.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Occam,
            Yes it appears the U.S. was the Johnny come lately to Global safety standards and as you point it still lags in many ways
            As far as Diesel emissions go , we are not Europe but a compliant US Diesel, cannot be sold in Australia, unless it meets Euro V regs. Current US Pickups with a chemical cleanier and some tweaking of the engine can just Euro V

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Perhaps our Aussie experts on, er, nothing could tell us which nation was the first to introduce crash testing.

            Feel free to use Google or whatever search engine that you fancy in order to look this one up.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Crash Testing. Italians did the first Radio broadcast, no they are are not leaders in Telecommunications either

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @PCH101

            While it is true that the US Government was the first to implement crash testing, individual European car companies were FAR ahead of the rest of the world in doing safety research and implementing safety features long before Governments mandated it. Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Saab in particular. There was less need of European governments to step in individually, and at the time there was no central authority there to do it across Europe. The American car companies had to be dragged kicking and screaming into building safer cars for the most part.

          • 0 avatar

            Another difference that might be salient. Those other countries, Japan and the EU, pay substantially higher fuel prices than we do. Their vehicles are designed for what their consumers want to buy. Taxes in the various countries vary depending on engine size. We have 50 different rules on that here in the USA.

            In Japan, 40% of the new vehicle market are keijidosha, which won’t begin to pass U.S. crash tests. They have 660cc engines. They’d sell like hotcakes here. We don’t build those, and they can’t sell those here. Are they protectionist, or our we?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        The people who made the comments regarding NCAP signatory nations apparently are clueless.

        We import and use NCAP data from all signatory nations. This reduces the cost of testing and re-engineering vehicles.

        NCAT and harmonization will become more entwined between the signatory nations as time goes by.

        It makes me laugh when people like Pch101 submits complete trash with very transparent lies.

        What does he gain from this? Who the f#ck is this fool.

        Look at it this way in 2009(?) it was estimated it is costing the US consumer an additional $13 billion per year to re-test vehicles from overseas nations.

        Becoming apart of NCAP, which is slowly occurring in the US will save the US consumer hundreds of dollars per vehicle sold.

        What dribble has been presented above.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          I’m sorry I meant to state retest and engineer vehicles for the US market.

          These vehicles also are not any safer. If anything US vehicles are more dangerous if one uses the US’s annual fatality rate compared to other nations.

          So who’s losing out?

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            Canada has similar fatality rates as European countries and Canadian standards are nearly identical to US standards.

            Both standards are different none is really better than the other. The big difference is us standards are self certify while ece standards require testing and certification. In reality it means very little as both products need testing anyway.

            ECE has amber turn signal requirements, white front markers, rear fog light(s) and DRLs is certain jurisdictions. US standards require side markers and retro reflectors. Front amber, rear red.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Onus ,
            Makes you wonder why the U.S. does not step in line with everyone else. European standards are not Euro specific

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          You’re worried that we’re paying too much for cars? That’s hilarious. I’ll tell you what BigAlfromSouthPark, get yourself the safest car that you can for 50% of per capita GDP in your home market. I’ll get the safest car I can buy in the US for 50% of our per capita GDP. We’ll play chicken at 40 mph. Then I’ll take a couple of Aleve and go to prison for vehicular homicide, and you’ll get your Darwin award. That goes for RobertRyan too.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        It’s not just the Japanese consumer that’s fussy about the details — it’s also Japanese regulators. A relative of mine was involved in the export of an American car to Japan back in the ’90s, and it got held up for several months because of a minor manufacturing change in a non-functional portion of a heat shield. The Japanese authorities wanted them to completely restart certification of the car.

        In practice, it’s very hard for non-Japanese to navigate the market, even if there’s no legal barrier in place.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @krohdes
        Surprising what is sold in Japan , from a incorrect US View a “closed market”

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        “plus the fact that Americans want bigger cars and engines on average than the rest of the world”

        “But as sales of the Crapalier in Japan showed, it helps to have a product the Japanese might actually want to buy”

        Yes, and if you want to sell in the US it helps to have a car we want to buy. The Japanese figured this out and have been doing so very successfully. The European Luxury makers have as well. The mainstream European makes (VW)…not so much.

        I once heard that American cockroaches like the Crapalier will continue to run poorly long after most Japanese cars had quit running. Judging by all the beater J bodies I still see there must be some truth there.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          There isn’t. J-cars were produced into the 2000s, they just looked like refugees from the ’80s. If you’ve seen one with two square headlights in the past twenty years, you’re ahead of me. I see Toyotas and Hondas a decade older than the oldest J-car still on the road about once a week.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        This explains it:
        http://dailykanban.com/2015/01/truth-japanese-import-quotas-none/

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Correct, extremely restricted

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’ll start to feel bad for the auto makers as soon as I get the keys to my R33 Skyline.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    krhodes is not going to be happy about this VW revelation. No siree not one bit.

    VW is killing itself by not offering a midsize SUV, and also by making their mainstreamers as bland looking as humanly possible in a market that is all about aspirational style (that strangely enough VW used to embody). They swung the pendulum too far. They need to be somewhere in the realm of Mazda with regards to their style/value balance.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      VWs sales goals were always out of reach, as they were completely ridiculous from day one with what they have to sell here. It was never, ever, ever going to happen, so going on and on about it is what I find silly. The only way they could sell 800K cars a year here would be to sell them for like $5K each. Probably not even then.

      I agree with you 100%, VW zigged just as the market started to zag. Hindsight being 20/20, they probably should have just made the Euro Passat here or in Mexico, and cut the prices a bit. Actually the Jetta has always been competitively priced, it just needed better, more efficient engines. Which it now has, but in an extremely bland wrapper.

      I love that ultra restrained oh so German style, but most people want flash. If I was in the market for a $20-25K car, I would certainly buy a Golf or a Golf wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        VW’s problem in the US is that they have the worse dealership reputation of any brand. The blame can be put squarely on VWUSA’s shoulders. VW Canada doesn’t have that problem, and sells a lot more cars per capita with the same product line.

        Tying-in two different stories: VW is the number 1 foreign automaker in Japan. Unlike the Detroit 3, they’ve figured-out that Japanese customers want right-hand-drive cars.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          That is A problem, it certainly is not THE problem.

          VWs product line is a much better fit for Canada than it is for the US.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            How is VWs product line is a much better fit for Canada?

            Canadians love crossovers, VW doesn’t have a competitive offer.
            Canadians love AWD, VW doesn’t offer it for less than $30k.
            Canadian roads are getting worse every day and VW offers low sedans.

            In spite of all this, VW outsells Subaru in Canada, and it’s tough to argue that Subaru isn’t theoretically a better match to Canadian conditions.

            The only aspect where I thing VW is a better match for Canada is that Canadians like cars that don’t rust and run forever on minimal maintenance.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @heavy Handle

            The Canadian market skews smaller and cheaper than the US market – especially in Eastern Canada. VW sells the Golf and Jetta at relatively bargain prices, and sells a ton of them. For ages they kept selling the previous gen cars at really bargain prices.

            I would imagine Subarus are too spendy for a lot of Canadians, and they have a significant gas mileage penalty in a country with fairly high gas prices. In Quebec, it is law to use snow tires anyway, so the allure of AWD is lower than down here. VWs are far more rust resistant than Mazdas. I’ll take a CEL over a rust hole anyday.

            Overall, a pretty good fit in the small car segment – which is a bigger chunk of the market. And oddly enough, here in Maine, with a similar climate and demographics to the Maritimes, VW manages to sell a ton of Golfs and Jettas too. I’d love to see sales figures by state – it would not surprise me if VW outsells Honda here in the Civic class at least. I’m sure they do not outsell Subaru though.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          The Detroit 3 have known that for a long time:

          http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/ford-moves-aggressively-in-japan-with-right-hand-drive-taurus-and-more-dealerships-156536035.html

          (Note the date.)

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “VW’s problem in the US is that they have the worse dealership reputation of any brand.”

          Part of the problem in that owners have to visit them so often.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Hmm, the only thing missing from that list to incite the B&B

    *Cadillac

    *GM

    *Trucks

    *UAW

    Slow news day?

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    to be fair, how big is the Japanese import market and what, if any US cars would be popular there in appreciable numbers? The rice, which they actually want and will eat and will lower food costs for them seems like the better choice for everyone.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Around about zero. If the U.S. or NAFTA made tiny Kei like cars, then you might have something . Outside of that there is little to actually sell there. Maybe a Chickens for Rice deal?

      • 0 avatar
        ccode81

        We are interested to place orders for F-35, not F-150.

        The fundamental problem of American marques are the lack of distribution network. I really don’t know where they sell.
        If not a toyota royalist, people go to the car outlet street which exists on any populated city, and cross shop. 
        No outlet there means they are not in the game. Very few travels 50 miles to check the odd ball choice.
        Same problem mitsubishi and Suzuki had in States.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Is that a fat @ss Pantera back there? mmm.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    VW will be lucky if they hit 500K by 2018. There is no new product until late 2016 (which probably means early 2017) which will be a new Tiguan and mid size crossover, and CC replacement.

    Meanwhile, Audi sold 180K vehicles last year–half the volume of VW brand. At what point can do we just call this the Audi Group?

    If VW wants the sales then they need to offer a full-line of vehicles in the US. Why not offer the Polo? How hard would it be to build it in their Mexico plant? Thats 50K sales right there. Build a retro-styled Bus to replace the Sharan MPV (or keep both and sell them along side each other like the New Beetle and Golf). Thats another 100K minivan sales in the US.

    Or, pull a Nissan and make strategic price cuts on vehicles that is comparable in size to the investment of launching another product. Give the Passat a significant facelift/content upgrade like the Toyota Camry and price it aggressively. That should bump up sales from a lousy 96K. No reason a Passat can’t sell in the Malibu/Optima range.

    Those three things give VW an extra 250k sales and I didn’t even mention a mid-size crossover that they maybe in 10 years might build.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “In exchange, Japan will buy more American rice.”

    And chicken feet.
    Ooops, wrong country, that is China.

  • avatar

    There was a push to import American cars in Japan back in the 1990s, during the Clinton administration. There was a joint venture between Toyota and Chevrolet to sell the Cavalier in Japan. It flopped. There was an attempt to sell KY made Avalons in Japan. That also flopped.

    I still have my Mr. Cavalier neck tie and lapel pin. I wonder if they will some day be collector items? The Cavalier had the dash board turned around for RH steering BUT they left the radio antenna on the right fender. The braking was modified with a bar to connect the brake master cylinder to the brake pedal. The linkage was clunky at best. The engine was the wrong size for the Japanese tax system. It was nowhere near as smooth as a Japanese engine anyway. The plastic door handles fluttered in the breeze. And the Americans complained that Japan was a closed market because Japanese consumers eschewed the car.

    In the case of the Avalon, there was nothing overtly wrong with the car, but Japanese consumers discovered the trunk mat was poorly cut, and word got out. Yes, the trunk mat. ANd it stopped selling after getting off to a good start.

    So what DID sell? The Jeep Cherokee, built in American for the U.S. Postal Service. Those vehicles had REAL RH steering and controls for rural mail carriers. What else sold? MB, BMW, in large numbers. But then, the Europeans carried with them the element of perceived quality, while the Americans didn’t. Interesting how the Japanese “protected” against U.S. cars while embracing Europeans.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I was literally thinking the other day, how nice the mats both interior and trunk have always been in my Infiniti products.

      Only my A8 mats were nicer, and there were actually two layers of mats in that car, one was a padding mat, with the carpet mat over top of it.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Also, wasn’t the Vibe sold over in JDM as a Toyota? Were those built here as well and sent over?

      (And no I do not mean as a Matrix!)

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The VW brand is sucking wind in the US. Last year, it had US market share of 2.2%.

      VW is the most popular import in Japan. Last year, it had Japanese market share of 1.2%.

      No import brand is setting Japanese sales records on fire. Even the most successful badges aren’t that successful: each of the German luxury badges has about half the market share in Japan that it does in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @ruggles “protected” hardly likely if you want to sell mediocre vehicles and one that do not need local needs

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @RobertRyan – Yes, US cars, including some Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Subarus, etc, would fail to meet sales expectations in Japan. That’s OK if OEMs opt out of such a small, uninterested market, is it not?

        Why would any OEM go after small, meaningless and niche markets, with such marginal volume potential? And that’s AFTER production RHD conversions no less!

        But when offshore OEMs with not relevant, redundant, crappy or uninspiring niche autos opt out of the US market, they’ve been VIOLATED by “protectionism”???

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Den Mike Yes you are right it is not protectionism that is stopping US cars being sold in Japan

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobertRyan – Exactly! OEMs opt out of, or abandon markets they don’t see as (or find) lucrative all the darn time. Just like you won’t see Toyota, BMW, Honda, Mercedes, Subaru, Audi, pulling out of the US market because measly tariffs or loophole workarounds. With Volvo or Mitsu, you never know. Point is with OEMs trading in the US, tariffs are a drop in the bucket when they’re selling in adequate numbers/volume. If not, then normally affordable tariffs become and issue, just like everything else.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Thanks for another article on oil prices by John Kemp. This particular article concludes “beats the hell outta me”, but at least it is a fair and intelligent analysis of the general uncertainty as to future oil prices and U.S. production for 2015.

    Put me down for voting for the lower end of the oil price spectrum – a continuation of $45 to $55 per bbl. for 2015.

    When costs fall in the U.S. oil patch, they fall quickly and by a lot. The immediate response is about -25% almost across the board – rig rates, service rates, acreage, et.al. From there, costs tend to drift down even more as productivity rises from using only the best crews and from practical innovations.

    Remember, OPEC has not only to stop the growth in U.S. oil production, but it needs to find a place for 3+mmbbl/d of currently shut in OPEC oil in a global market of around 85 mmbbl/d. Secondarily, the longer it can discourage fracking in other parts of the world, the better for them.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do know some of the countries, including Australia in the link regarding the Trans Pacific trade agreement have already made FTA’s with the Japanese.

    There is more to the story regarding the US’s stance in relation to the FTA.

    The US has traditionally had the upper hand in most trade negotiations. This is not the case with the Japanese.

    In our free trade deal with the Japanese I do know the rates of tariffs isn’t equal between the two countries. The Japanese do have higher tariffs than we place on Japanese imports, all imports, agri, motor vehicles, consumer goods, etc.

    But, in our case unlike the US we will not lose out. The reasoning behind this is we don’t have tariffs like the Chicken Tax or handouts for farmers like the US and the Japanese have. Australia is in a more liberal economic position to deal.

    So, any reduction in tariffs (which were halved by the Japanese to Australia in our FTA) will only benefit us at the expense of Japanese exports.

    So, what countries must realise, if they want FTAs they first must create an economic environment at home first that has a large reduction in subsidized/protected/rebated/handouts etc.

    The US, Japanese, EU, Korea, etc do have many measures in place that protect a swathe industries. More so than Australia.

    This is what is needed by countries that want FTAs or FTAs will not be viable as countries attempt to maintain the protection to appease large industrialists, unions, etc.

    All of the protection offered to industry hurts industries ability to expand and have global trade.

    So, if the US is not happy with the Japanese why doesn’t the US build, Ford, Chev, etc plants in Japan. This is how the Japanese succeeded in the US.

    Because US vehicles have a poor reputation in Japan and will not sell, this does not include the relative small size of the Japanese market to the US.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – The whole wide world must be an evil, hostile place for accepting foreign country’s import autos, since you cannot name a large, meaningful market LESS restrictive to imports than the
      US.

      Shouldn’t be so hard for you to make a LONG list with all the bellyaching and sniveling you do. That includes exotic imports, luxury car imports plus easy loopholes to take advantage of.

      I’ll wait here

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @DenverMike

        I would call most countries in Europe less restrictive, for the simple reason that you can personally import anything you want in most cases. Want a Raptor or whatever? Buy one here, ship it over, do whatever they want you to do to pass safety (amber turnsignals, rear fog, etc), pay the taxes and off you go. Might be expensive, but you can do it. You cannot realistically do that in the US for a vehicle less than 25 years old.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @krhodes 1
          Any country in Europe or in many places outside of Europe. Big exception the United States

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @krhodes1 – Mostly, were already have most of the luxury or specialty vehicles the world has to offer. What’s missing?

            When it was legal to “grey market” import autos into the US, what was being imported? Was it everyday foreign sedans, econo hatchbacks, wagons, etc, that we already had plenty selection of?

            Or was it mostly German luxury, and Euro sports cars, way too niche and low volume for normal federalization? And sporty cars from Japan?

            Again, what are we missing and who cares??

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            They must not have the internet in Kangarooland.

            Tariff schedules are a matter of public record. The EU posts theirs online.

            If you had Google skills and more than a second-grade education, then you could look it up yourself. But you don’t, so you won’t.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @krhodes1 – Sure, but wouldn’t you rather go to your local Euro Ford Dealer and buy (or lease, in your case) a Raptor with a full warranty and dealer parts network? Or zero warranty, you’re on your own, crazy markup, and pay it in full??

          The point is the EU bans, ipso facto, normal channels, import autos with obscene tariffs.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            If Ford sells the Raptor there, then sure – I don’t believe they do. Or let’s be even more absurd – if I wanted a last of the line loaded Grand Marquis, or a Chevy Impala – those were never sold in Europe, but if you want one, you can reasonably easily have one.

            I can’t even go to Europe and buy a stickshift BMW wagon and bring it here. A car that has a body that is sold here, and a drivetrain that is sold here, just not in the same car.

            Compared to the VAT and other taxes EU countries levy on cars in general, imported or not, the import duties are rounding error – it’s only 7.5% difference between us and them compared to 19% and up VAT, way up in some countries. Then carbon taxes and engine displacement taxes, etc. Complete non-issue really. And then there is that little matter of the 25% we levy on trucks.

            What’s with the lease crack, BTW? I’ve leased one car ever, and my employer paid for it, 14 years ago. Thinking about leasing my new BMW, but probably won’t.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @krhodes – Tell us more about this “25%” levy. Who’s paid it and why? Were they not aware of loopholes? Speaking of which, what are the loopholes EU offers to get around the 22% they levy??

            And there’s nothing stopping BMW from importing the 3-series variation you speak of. Not much demand, so there you go. Complain to BMW. Tell them you want that manual wagon in brown, awd and diesel too!!

            All apologies on the lease comment, but the point is it’s not much consolation for the average consumer to have grey market “options” available in the EU. Kind of kills the romance of “new” car ownership, even if it’s a (“used” only) Raptor.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            A 22% Levy ? Are you making it up as go?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Nobody pays the 25% duty on trucks, because it makes it uneconomic to try to sell anything here subject to it. Sometimes silly workarounds like the Transit Connect are possible, but what a colossal waste of resources.

            There are all sorts of interesting cars that would be nice to have available in the US, never mind the interesting variations on things we do get here. The point is, in most of the rest of the world, you can get whatever you want if it is not officially sold where you live. You cannot do that here.

            And yes I would buy a diesel stick shift BMW wagon, but not in brown. I’d prefer green, like the stick shift BMW wagon sitting in my garage.

            And again, what was the point of the lease jab, exactly? I would like to know. It seemed rather personal, like the gay jab from some months back. Out with it, don’t be shy, you rarely are.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If it’s not 22%, what exactly is the Euro levy (tariff) on import pickups (greater than 2.5 liter displacement)?

            Actually you’re right. It’s 22.5%. Sorry!

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            22.5%? Anyone in Europe can buy a US Pickup, and pay transport and traffic modification costs., if they so desire

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The EU truck tariff for 2.5+ liters is 22%.

            If you would read the HARMONIZED tariff schedule, then you would know this. (Actually, I take it back — the words are too big for some of you to understand.)

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Fantasy stuff now. Any European can purchase a US Pickup and pay shipping and traffic Harmonization costs.when shipped over You can import any truck from anywhere in Europe, without paying taxes

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @krhodes – You know what makes a niche vehicle grossly “uneconomical” to import? Other than the fact that it’s a low volume niche? Nothing!

            Never mind the cost of federalizing. It’s just a bad idea to import and bring to standards, a low volume a car, pickup, whatever, that’s for certain you’ll take a loss on. Import cars have 2.5% levied against them, which may be plenty to kill the deal, on top of other normal import obstacles and logistics. But who’s gonna cry for all the car brands missing from the US lineup? And where’s my TATAs??

            I already apologized for the “Guppy” and leasing comments. What more do you want?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The tariff is 22%. New or used, 22%.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            22% New or Used? Yeah right

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            DenMike,
            Agreed , if you are a Japanese importer why would you be interested in importing such niche products as Corvettes, Hellcats etc. There is no money in it for the dealerships

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            These are the schedules that cannot be found, but are quoted a lot on TTaC, Bit like Bigfoot, everyone knows he exists

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I am astonished that our Aussie experts on auto regulations aren’t familiar with the EU’s TARIC tariff database. Surely, they must have used it before in order to look up this stuff.

            Call me crazy, but I’m starting to think that they may not know what they’re talking about.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @RobRyan – By the same, why ANY new car OEM decide to set up an import dealer network in markets that they’ll struggle to move much metal?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @DenverMike

            I don’t want an apology. Well maybe I do, but I want to know what exactly you are apologizing for. Spit it out man.

            Somehow in the rest of the world it is economic to offer these niche options, but not here, even on vehicles that have fairly large profit margins. Why do you suppose that is?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Come on, we’ve already gone through this.

            Americans pay lower prices. We pay less, so we get less variety. The law of supply in action.

            A base 320i in Germany has a sticker price that is about $6,000 higher than it is in the US. (And no, I did not include the VAT in the German price.) Hopefully, you can see the implications of this.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM’est and Psick101,
            Again, you guys tell half the story.

            So, is the 22% levied against ALL commercial vehicles sold in the EU?

            I’d bet you forgot.

            So, this isn’t a tariff or protectionist measure.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @krhodes1 – A niche vehicle sold in its home market? Or FTA zone? Too easy. That’s a little different from having to set it up for foreign import regs and whatnot.

            Astounding how many niche British specialty and sports cars are available if you’re lucky enough to live in Europe. So why are they marooned on their home turf??

            The M3 GTS couldn’t come to America, but had too many missing safety and emissions equipment for legit export. BMW’s own fault, but lucky Europeans.

            I apologized for the leasing and Guppy (about a year ago) cracks. If I’d known they hurt your feelings bad, I never would’ve said them. Again, sorry. Can we move on? Or do we need counseling or something?

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @DenverMike

            Not really possible for you to hurt my feelings, I don’t even know you. I’m just curious as to what point you think you were trying to make with that comment. Call it idle curiosity and looking for more insight into your personality, since you seem to like to use what I am assuming was meant as some sort of put down.

            I certainly wouldn’t take it as an insult, leasing is just another financial tool available, it certainly is no reflection of the lease holders character or lack thereof in my opinion. But obviously you meant something by it, or you would not have wasted the calories typing that comment.

            There is no EU import ban via tariff. It’s only money, if you want something badly enough you can just pay the money and have it. Except in the United States, where no rational amount of money will get you a non-conforming car. Which is very much a non-tariff barrier. Sorry I didn’t realize the EU had a much higher tariff on trucks than cars – I really truly could not possibly care less about them, I just used the Raptor as an example because I know they are near and dear to you blessed little heart.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Does Australia still build any automobiles to export or has there industry gone the way of the UK?

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @mikey,
        Did till recently when the US HQ’s of Ford and GM closed those markets. Motto control your own destiny. Canada in a very similar position

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @mkirk,
        It seems we are allowing the lower paid nations do the arduous work whilst we maintain design and engineering.

        What do you want? A country designing and engineering or a country making T Shirts or cars?

        Not a hard one. The ability for a country to manufacture a mainstream vehicles is now left to developing nations.

        I suppose you consider a $12 per hour UAW worker well off.

        Kids here that work at McDonalds get that.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          How does it feel to design a product like the Camaro Z28 that sells for $72K in the US that’s over a $185K* AU? You get to design it, we get to drive it

          How about any LHD vehicle that’s ILLEGAL in Australia? Talk about a restrictive market

          *http://www.carsales.com.au/dealer/details/Chevrolet-Camaro-2014/AGC-AD-17222765/?Cr=5

          I think I’m beginning to understand all your anger and bitterness toward the US

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Lie2me,
            So what? Who cares !Your knowledge for want of a better word of Automobiles can be written on the back of a postage stamp. You posts are revealing an incredibly ignorant hick, rather than someone who can contribute sensibly to a topic
            We are trying to understand all the bitter and twisted hated for anything that happens outside the U.S, ignorance I guess

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Hit a nerve, did I? :)

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lie2me
            No just summing up

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            So was I

  • avatar
    mikey

    I think BAFO, and that Ryan dude, have some sort of schedule/shift arrangement worked out. It must be BAFO’s turn to do some USA bashing.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    This reminds me of the “Toyota Cavalier” deal made between GM and Toyota. It was an addition to the ongoing campaign in Japan to sell more American cars like Saturn, Dodge, etc. It was a big failure. Remember the rattling Coca Cola bottle found in the door assembly of a Cadillac driven by a major Japanese CEO? The amount of quality and safety modifications (100+ average mods per car) needed made no monetary sense whatsoever. Even the earlier Cadillacs needed heavy modifications like the feel and logic of its buttons and switches to the door hinges. Safety requirements are almost to the point of extreme when compared to our standards. There are safety and operating inspections every 2-3 years. Repairs are mandatory. Times have changed however. Living in Japan, I now see American badges everywhere because quality has improved. If it’s a good product, the Japanese will buy, even if it means paying additional tariffs and premiums. I bet they’re looking for alternatives to German makes.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      “If it is a good product” that is the problem, they are losing market share in the US to Japanese sedans. Camry and Accord best sellers in the US/Canada respectively

  • avatar
    blueflame6

    1) That’s a lovely Corvette in the photo.
    2) It may well be clean, but it is not a Camaro despite the URL and filename.

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