Archive for January, 2008

When to buy at Japanese Auto Auctions

January 31, 2008

Prices at Japanese auto auction fluctuate during the year. This is because Japanese tend to buy and sell at certain periods throughout the year. Here is some general periods of time during the year you will find to be on average cheaper.

End of March to Mid May
For many companies, this is the end of the accounting year and they need to sell of unnecessary cars to pay taxes. By the time the middle of May comes around, excess stock has now been sold off through the auctions and prices come back up to the previous levels

Late October to End of December
This is the most expensive time of the year in Japan for companies. Bonuses and end of year parties help companies offload their cars so they can cover the expenses. This especially happens at the end of December.

Other Factors
Other factors can cause a price of a certain type of vehicle to drop without apparent reason. For example, the drop in the Irish and English Punt and Pound in ’98 caused Pajero prices to nose-dive for the first time in 2 years.

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Interact on Japanese Import Forum

January 30, 2008

Hi all readers,

If you need some help on importing Japanese used cars, you should check our sister location:

www.JCarsNow.com/jdm/

It a great place for you to ask questions on many topics:

Buying from Japanese auto auctions or from dealer’s/exporter’s stocks, exporting, shipping, importing, customs, and of course, the cars themselves. Share your importing experiences and suggestions with others. You should find me online there everyday if you need help. Because it is a forum, rather than a blog, you should be able to interact a lot more over there. Enjoy!

More Thoughts on Nissan GT-R

January 25, 2008

Traditionally, Nissan GT-R = JDM Japan, but this might be changing. Would you ever imagine a GT-R not selling big in Japan? Well, there is a small minuscule detail one would never thought could cause so much problems: The width of the car is 189.5cm…

(more…)

Import The NEW Nissan GT-R to Australia!

January 23, 2008

According to Prestige Motorsport, the new R35 GT-R can now be imported legally under SEVS!However, compliance is as far as 12 months away (2009), and prices are expected to exceed AU$100,000 for the new Nissan supercar. Regardless, this is a big fist in the eye of Nissan Australia, as enthusiasts will now be able to grab the new car directly from the JDM without Nissan Australia’s interference!

[Source: ImportJap.com]

For more information:
SEVS Entry No. 477/00
Australian Importing Help

Japanese Car Age: How much does it matter?

January 22, 2008

When we are dealing with exporting/importing Japanese cars as individuals or as import businesses, we generally are speaking about Japanese used cars. This means there was a previous owner, whereas a new car would be one that never was previously owned. Note the distinction: a used car is one that is previously owned, not necessarily a old car. In fact within days of being out on the market, the new 2008 Nissan GT-R was sold as “used” at AUCNET last December.

So since age isn’t connected to the term “used”, what and how much does it matter when buying for export?

Well, most importantly, it matters to the ultimate customer which is either you or the people you will sell to. Some people just don’t want an “old” car in which they use the term very loosely, then there are also people very particular the age of the car for various reasons. For example, one model year could have major reworking of styling or performance compared to the last model year. Additionally, whole model generations can change the car you get.

What is good about Japanese Auto Auctions (Part 1 & 2 so far) is that they provide such an enormous supply of cars (and pictures!) that is changing every week and eventually the car that you want will be available. Of course, if you are extremely picky on the exact car, options, year, sub-model, etcetera, the longest I heard of was a few months wait.

Another reason buyers are concerned about the age of the car is the fact car do degrade over time in performance and condition. It is safe to say the average Japanese car is kept in good condition. The shaken (Japanese Bi-annual car inspection test) is very strict and it encourages owners to keep their car in good shape. Also, during winter in Japan, roads are not salted like many other countries tend to do. Thus a Japanese vehicle will experience much less corrosion and rust than a Western vehicle. In general, age does affect the car’s quality per say, but on average, much lesser of extent than elsewhere.

One final thought of concern is your governments regulations. Some countries regulate the vehicle’s age directly, some indirectly. For example of regulating by age:

  • The United States allow 25 years or older to import very easily. Newer vehicle must pass a number of standards, and car less than 6 years old become even more difficult to import.
  • In Canada, cars older than 15 years can be imported without restrictions. Newer vehicles must already meet Canadian Safety Standards at the time of manufacturing.
  • Australia allow imports free to enter if produced before 1 January, 1989. If newer, rules are tighter and vehicles must be complied to ADR (Australian Design Rules) by a Registered Automotive Workshop (RAW).
  • New Zealand has similar rules which allow cars built be 1990 to enter will little restrictions. New Zealand allow any car import for any age, as long as the meet requirements.
  • In the UK, any car at least 10 years old can be imported by just passing the MOT. A car less than that age must also pass the ESVA.
  • Cyprus requires special approval for cars older than 5 years since production.
  • In Pakistan, only vehicle less than 4 years old can be imported.
  • Bangladesh does not allow vehicle more than 4 years old to be imported.
  • In India, imported cars must be under 3 years old.
  • Nearby, Sri Lanka forbids import over 2 years old.
  • Peru doesn’t allow vehicle more than 5 years of age to be imported.
  • In Jamaica, imports are restricted cars 3 years or less, vans/light trucks 4 years or less, and returning residents may import vehicles5 years or less.

The age of the vehicle needs to fit all three needs (taste, condition, and regulations) for an enjoyable time importing Japanese used cars. For more information:

JUCE.info

Changes in Import Markets

January 15, 2008

Russia has seen a recent rise in the number of disassembled cars imported. The used cars are disassembled in Japan and imported as parts, rather than whole vehicles, to benefit from lower tariff rates. This is because Russian Customs office considerable raise the duties for whole car verses car parts. Once it is imported to Russia, a car is reassembled for on road use as a used motor vehicle. Because this has increased dramatically in the recent year (a knock-on effect of the revived/reviving economy), it is said Russia will be taking steps to discourage this “loop-hole” in the rules.

Peruvian importers have had a new regulation for importing used vehicles since the 15th of November, 2007 that put restriction on importing vehicles by allowing used vehicles less than or equal to 80,000km only. Not too bad for them. Many Japanese used cars sold at auctions can run below that limit and still be cheap.

It appears the New Zealand government will indeed put the stricter emission controls scheme into effect starting from the 3rd of January, which is expected to reduce the number of new and old vehicles compared to the previous years. At the requests of importers, they’ve made the ramp-up to higher emission regulations longer than previously set. This may (most likely some say) have an affect on number of imports coming in. Time will tell how long before importers start buying smart.

After all the disappointing news, there is a bright side. Imports are as strong as ever world-wide and people still like JDM cars. Look at all the car that are allowed into countries around the globe. I would predict no loss of ground this coming year as emerging market open up and mature markets get smarter on importing. Of course, that is if they have the knowledge necessary for importing. Something that starts over at Japanese-Used-Car-Exporting.info AKA JUCE.info

Japanese Auto Auctions (Part 2)

January 11, 2008

Start of where we left off (see Part 1), I will continue to explain some more aspects to Japanese Auto Auctions. The last article was about why exporters (also called bidding agents in these situations) choose auto auctions as their primary source for cars and the importance of picking a good partner for the Japan side of buying. This article will explain what types of auto auction are in Japan, and their benefits and disadvantages.

Japanese Auto Auctions: Types of Auctions

There are many auto auctions in Japan. Some are bigger than others, but you can easily categorize them into four types:

Independent Company Auctions

  • Many and are generally on the smaller side.
  • Might show between a couple of hundred and over 10,000 cars a month.
  • Examples would be NDAA, SAA (Sapporo AA), and the larger Zip.
  • Either sell everything, or they specialize.
    • For example, Zip sells a lot of imported cars (non-JDM) and TUS specializes in motorcycles.

Manufacture/Dealer/Rental Auctions

  • Set up by major dealers and/or manufactures to sell off used cars from different places.
    • For example, Toyota dealers can sell off trade-in cars at a TAA auction site.
    • Rental companies, such as ORIX, will have auctions to sell off their old vehicles.
  • Other examples would be SUAA (Subaru), SAA (Suzuki AA), HAA (Honda AA), and NAA (Nissan).

Auction Groups

  • Control large shares of the market.
  • Organized as either as a union of independent auction, a single company, or subsidiaries under one company.
  • The main AA groups are: JU Group, USS Group, and ARAI (also called AAA – Arai Auto Auction) Group.

Online/Satellite Auctions

  • Operate solely, or at least mainly, by internet or TV Satellite.
  • Some have their own stock, and some auction on the behalf of other auction companies.
  • Examples are AUCNET, ASNET, GAO!, and HERO (also called Hiro).

Japanese Auto Auctions

January 3, 2008

Well, the Holiday season has passed and now we’re in 2008. I had an excellent time with friends and family. Anyways, to the subject Japanese Auto Auctions:

When exporters are looking for a reliable source of supply for their customers. They often turn to Auto Auctions as the best source. The reason? Well, almost all of them give impartial assessments (NAA Nyuusatus just sells as-is) in their Inspection Sheets, there is a large section to choose from, and there is a reduced risk of getting cheated (most AA allow you to return a car that is below the ratings they give it). An auto auctions sells are directly linked with how many shoppers use their auctions so they are buyer orientated.

Other options exporter have as sources are usually dealership or individuals. Dealerships are quite expensive compared to the other choices so they are usually the least desired. Individuals (such as those found on Yahoo! Japan Auction) are rather risky as they generally have no reputation to maintain (unlike businesses) and can very well cheat you with a much worse off car than you expect.

There is a famous case in New Zealand where this inexperienced import bought a car from an individual for a friend. Ended in court which determined ultimately the friend (the actual buyer) was responsible (not the inexperienced importer) because they were both willing to continue the purchase even though they knew the risks involved. So this is why you should choose a good partner (whether your using an exporter in Japan, or a importing agent in your country) to help you import the right car.

This is why exporter use Auto Auctions as their primary source. You should realize though that exporters are not the main buyers in Japanese auto auctions. They are in fact a very small group of people who use the Japanese auto auctions. Most people buying at the auctions are usually used car dealers in Japan trying to add to their stock.

Next week I’ll add some more info on Auto Auctions.