Archive for the ‘Auto Auctions’ Category

Auction Watch: Excavators and Industrial Equipment

December 2, 2008

I would like to continue with our series of vehicles you can find at Japanese auto auctions. But I going to take a small detour from the regular cars and get into something bigger (literally). Excavators and other industrial equipment are often sold in Japanese auctions for a number of reasons. Just like private car owners, industrial vehicle owners need/want to change their vehicles according to demands the business has at the time.

Since it is no easy thing to sell such equipment alone, you will find several auto auctions selling industrial equipment on the side. In addition to the general vehicle auctions, there are also specialized auctions that focus just on industrial and construction equipment. Often these auctions use the parade auction format (cars are “paraded” in front of buyers and auctioned individually) due to the size of the vehicles and the money involved.

The quality of these vehicles can vary, but you will see many that are in great condition (for their use). Those who are serious about buying used large equipment should really consider buying from Japan. Many importers (from Canada to East African nations to South-East Asian to South American countries) purchase from Japanese auctions because even after shipping costs and other fees involved, you will find better quality for a cheaper compared to purchasing from a local market.

To give an example, here is a 2001 Kobelco excavator currently available for export on JCarBuys Stock:

YV02 - 2001 Kobelco SK115SR-1E Hydraulic Excavator - Green YV02 - 2001 Kobelco SK115SR-1E Hydraulic Excavator - Green YV02 - 2001 Kobelco SK115SR-1E Hydraulic Excavator - Green

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Webtip: Searching Foreign Images

November 25, 2008

I would like to suggest a new tool I’ve found for those interested in search images that are tagged with foreign words (ie: Japanese) without having to know what to type.

To explain, ForiSearch takes one language input and translates it into a second language, then it searches Google, Yahoo!, or MSN images searches for images with such text.

LANGUAGE #1 > translates to LANGUAGE #2 > search GOOGLE, YAHOO!, OR MSN for related images.

It is very simple and useful for Japanese used car exporters and importers to use. There are many applications to use it with. For example, an Importer can search for a particular word and get 1. the word in Japanese, and 2. images to confirm the translation is correct.

To show: I typed in “rust” with Japanese selected as which language I wanted to search in. I got さび (if you see question marks, don’t worry, they mean rust). And to make sure my translation is right, I see a number of images with metal having rust forming.

Don’t worry if some of the images aren’t exactly what you are looking for. Sometimes that is because in the other language, the word has more than one meaning. Just as long as you get a majority of the photos of what you are looking for, you should have the right translation.

Link: ForiSearch

UPDATE: You can also search videos in Youtube in foreign languages!

Car Watch: Mercedes-Benz A-class

November 18, 2008

Looking around to find the most opposite vehicle I could to the last car we’ve highlighted (the Toyota Landcruiser Prado), I found the 2001 Mercedes-Benz  A-class 5d  A160. Compared to the Landcrusier Prado, there seems nothing similar except that it’s a vehicle. The A-class is a much smaller 5door (hatchback), German, in the sub-compact class, much more efficient (13.2km each liter or 4.9L for each 100km), and much different styling. Here’s some photos of the vehicle:

WDB168033 - 2001 Mercedes-Benz A-class 5d A160 - silver WDB168033 - 2001 Mercedes-Benz A-class 5d A160 - silver WDB168033 - 2001 Mercedes-Benz A-class 5d A160 - silver

It’s not a beast. It’s the complete opposite. Maybe you or your customers are looking from something that is effecient and fitting for a city. Having such a small car (although not a Kei) is a big benefit in many ways. Also, perhaps you can find the European look stylish to your taste. However it is, if you or your customers are liking this, don’t forget that you can get them in Japan. Japan has both LHD and RHDs of these models (although more often you will see RHDs).

Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 7 – ORIX

August 8, 2008

Company: ORIX
General Website:
Locations: Kobe, Atsugi, Nagoya, Fukuoka
Auctions Held: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

In continuation to our series on different auto auctions in Japan, I would like to present ORIX Rental Service Auctions. ORIX is a major rental company in Japan and Asia. Like most rental companies, cars must constantly be replaced with new, more attractive. So you might wonder where that car you rented a few years went? Well most like for ORIX cars, they were probably auctioned off to smart buyers.

One benefit of buying from a rental company’s auction is that you know all the cars are from the same owner. That means there is a roughly the same owner’s care to all the cars presented. Also, the cars would’ve been reguarly checked and serviced by their mechanics. As a rental company, they will want to recover as much value from the car as possible and most likely wouldn’t neglect the cars condition.

One thing to note is that this auction is “Nyuusatsu”. That means you just place a bid once instead of “battling” your way up. All offers are collected and the person with the highest bid wins. This is different from the typical, but it has some benefits. For example, the agent is not wasting time on the actual bidding process and can spend more time on other things like inspecting.

Buying from rental company auctions, such as ORIX’s, has many benefital aspects. Having your exporting agent able to check their auction would be useful, especially for cars and trucks you would expect in a rental fleet.

Related:
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 1 – USS
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 2 – JAA
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 3 – Zip
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 4 – AAAi / ARAI
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 5 – Bay Auc
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 6 – TAA

Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 6 – TAA

July 1, 2008

TAA Japanese Toyota Auto Auction Logo

Official Website: taaweb.jp
Established: 1967
Locations: Chubu, Fukushima (Tohoku), Hiroshima, Kanto, Kinki, Kyushyu, South Kyushyu (Kagoshima; Minami Kyushyu), Okinawa, Yokohama
Auctions Held: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

TAA (Toyota Auto Auction) is another type of auto auction found in Japan. This group of 9 auction house was created for Toyota dealers to sell any unwanted cars, such as older cars customers traded in while buying from the dealer. Not only are there such auctions available for Toyota dealers, but there is HAA (Honda), SAA (Suzuki), SUAA (Subaru), NAA/NTAA (Nissan), MAA (Mitsubishi), and IMA (Isuzu).

One advantage TAA has over most of it competing auto auctions is that they publish higher quality images of vehicles from the inspection. While most auto auctions have 300px by 225px photos of the cars, TAA saves photos at 640px by 480px. So in a real way TAA gives auction bidders a “clearer” picture of what condition the car is before the auction begins.

More information is available on the Japanese website: TAA Web (Japanese)

Related:
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 1 – USS
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 2 – JAA
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 3 – Zip
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 4 – AAAi / ARAI
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 5 – Bay Auc

Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 5 – Bay Auc

June 6, 2008

Bay-Auc - Japanese Auto Auction in Osaka, Japan

Official Website: www.bay-auc.com
Founded: 1977; Established: 1982
Location: Osaka; Patners: MAA, SUAA
Auctions Held: Wednesday

Bay Auc is a well known auto auction in Japan. One particular advantage this auto auction has over many other auctions is its location. It is situated in an very good location in Osaka, one of the biggest international shipping ports of Japan. The city itself is second only to Tokyo in economical power. You will find that many Japanese used car exporters are either based in the Osaka area or heavily use the Osaka Port for shipping vehicles.

The car auction promises to exhibit at least 3,500 to 4,000 cars every Wednesday starting at 9 AM. It has two simultaneous auction “lanes” running at 400 images an hour. Auction lanes are where they have more than one car being auctioned at any moment. This makes getting through the thousands of cars possible. Bay Auc is not the biggest auction, but they do a good job and have many cars to go through.

Related:
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 1 – USS
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 2 – JAA
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 3 – Zip
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 4 – AAAi / ARAI

Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 4 – AAAi / ARAI

May 12, 2008

Official Website: www.araiaa.jp
Established: 1920; Incorporated: 1956
Number of Auction Sites: 4
Auctions Held: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Locations: Bayside, Fukuoka, Oyama, Sendai

This auction company has two names attached to it which can be confusing. Don’t be mistaken, it is one company being referred to: ARAI. AAAi simply means “ARAI Auto Auction international”. They have this longer name because they are capable of directly shipping the vehicles from the auction. This can reduce you FOB costs if your export agent takes advantage of this offer.

ARAI is a very diversified auction group in that they have many specialised auction meetings. On Tuesdays they have two locations where they sell 2 wheelers (motorcycles and such), Bayside and Fukuoka, and one location, Sendai, that sells four wheelers (cars). On Thursdays, Oyama has a 4 wheeler (car) auction. On Fridays, Bayside then switches to also sell cars. Finally on Saturdays, Oyama opens up an auction called VT auction (Van & Truck) specialising in the larger vehicles of the market such as commercial vehicles.

ARAI Auto Auctions provides a large assortment of vehicles to choose from and somewhat sorts them out according to type. This is useful for your auction agent (your exporter) to organise his schedule better to fit more auctions in for you.

For more information about other Auto Auctions such as ARAI/AAAi, join our Newsletter.

Related:
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 1 – USS
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 2 – JAA
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 3 – Zip

Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 3 – Zip

May 1, 2008

Official Website: www.zipco.co.jp
Founded: 1996
Number of Auction Sites: 2
Auctions Held: Tuesday, Thursday
Locations: Zip Tokyo, Zip Osaka

The Zip auto auction is unique from other auctions in Japan. What makes it different is that it focuses on auctioning imported cars only. If you are looking for an non-Japanese car to import into your country, this is the place. You will find LHD vehicles as well as RHD vehicles which makes it very flexible for foreign buyers. This auction is very valuable for exporters to participate in.

Whether you are looking for an everyday French or American car or an exotic German or Italian car, this is the place for you. To give you an idea of what you will find here, you’ll see cars made by Alfa Romero, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Bertone, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroen, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, General Motors (GM), Hummer, Hyundai, Iveco, Jaguar, Jeep, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lincoln, Maybach, Mercedes Benz, Mercury, Mini, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, Rolls Royce, Rover, Saab, Saturn, Smart, Volkswagen, Volvo and many others.

You may find that it is cheaper to buy an non-Japanese car from Japan through Zip than have one shipped from the Country of Origin. If you are planning to buy foreign in Japan, make sure your exporter has membership to Zip in Tokyo and Osaka.

Related:
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 1 – USS
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 2 – JAA

Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 2 – JAA

April 23, 2008

JAA Japanese Auto Auction

Official Website: www.jaa.co.jp

Founded: 1971
Number of Auction Sites: 2 throughout Japan
Auctions held each Month: 10-14
Number of Cars Available in 2007: nearly 700,000 (Includes HAA Kobe, part of the JAA group)
Number of Cars Sold in 2007:nearly 365,000 (52.2%)
Locations: JAA Tokyo, JAA Tsukuba, HAA Kobe, JAANET (Satellite), JAAWEB (Internet)

Calling themselves the “Pioneer of The Japanese Automobile Auctions”, JAA is the oldest operating Japanese auto auction group in Japan. The continue to carry a good reputation that allows them to continue to compete. On the negative side, they are know to not have all the technological advancements that the larger, newer auctions have. That being said, they a higher sell completion rate than USS group.

Not many locations, but they are a noticeable part of the non-specialty used passenger car market. If your looking for a everyday car from Japan, the typical Nissan or Toyota car, you should watch their 3 locations.

Related:
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 1 – USS Group

Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 1 – USS Group

April 15, 2008

I’ll be trying something new besides the regular news and articles. Each week, hopefully, I’ll be able to post information on one auction establishment in Japan. To start off, we’ll go straight to the top by focusing on the biggest single auction company in Japan, USS Group.

USS Group Japan

Official Website: www.ussnet.co.jp

Number of Auction Sites: 19 throughout Japan
Auctions held each Month: 60-80
Number of Cars Available in 2007: nearly 3 million
Number of Cars Sold in 2007:nearly 1.7 million (57%)
Overall Market Share: 34%
Membership: On-site:41,000; Internet:17,500; Global Network (Sat):6,000

USS Group Auto Auction Site Map

USS stand for Used-car System Solutions. October, 1980 was the month that what became USS Co., Ltd. formed. In August 1982, the first USS auto auction in Nagoya was conducted with 255 vehicles up for bidding. Two hundred and eighty auctioneers participated in this auction coming from throughout Japan.

Over the past few decades, USS Group’s seen huge amounts of growth as they build, acquire, and expand new auction sites to a current of 19 (including 2 recycle auctions). What gave them an advantage to grow into the top position in the market is their development of computer auction software. Allowing others to copy their software, the became immediate market leaders in the technical area.

Besides coming in just before a time of rapid growth in the car auction world, they were able able to capture that growth and increase their reputation through wise business practices. Now they are among the most respectable auctions in Japan. Almost all exporters will carry a USS members ID because mostly of the volume of cars they auction all around Japan.

USS Member\'s ID

Information from USS Group.

Finding Vintage Cars at Japanese Auto Auctions

April 3, 2008

Japanese auto auctions are a great place to buy classics and other vintage models. There are many advantages of buying you dream cars from Japan. As mentioned before, Japanese auto auctions aren’t limited to just Japanese makes, but you are able to also find classics from North America, Europe, and elsewhere. While by far the majority of cars sold at auctions and exported are modern 15 to 5  years old, there are plenty of precious gems that can come around every once in while.

First advantage is the Japanese market. Japanese must continue to keep a car in excellent condition or it won’t be allowed to be driven. Many will sell the prize cars in it best condition to get the most return on it. Also, because car collectors are a small minority,  (A) they usually have good mechanical skills to keep the car in top condition, and (B) the market demand is a lot less than other countries. That translates out to relatively cheap but top quality classy cars for car hunters to find.

Another advantage is, when importing, the deals you find in Japan can stay bargains even after importing costs. While there are some countries that restrict import to less than 5 year old cars, such as countries found in South Asia, there are also many Western nations that make it easier to import top quality classics. For example, many have an age exemption rule for older cars. United States makes it easier for cars over 25 years old, Canada 15 years,  the UK 10 years, Australia has the “1 January, 1989” rule, and New Zealand relaxes the rule for car made before 1990.

Importing can be fun and exciting, especially when you’re importing something you would never have been able to lay your hands on. Japanese auto auctions are quick to use because they are mostly accessible online with quick search engines to find the exact car you’re looking for. You can be a better buyers of classics and not get stuck buying some in your country that is way over priced.

Japan Used Car Auctions: Not Only Japanese

March 21, 2008

When you think of Japanese used car auctions, you immediately think: Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Suzuki, Subaru, etc. But Japanese make cars aren’t the only cars you can get in Japan. Did you know that there are thousands of non-Japanese used cars going through auction in Japan everyday?

Seriously, the big auctions have sold today (this Friday): 1,012 Mercedes-Benz, 777 BMW, 412 VW, even 166 Mini. Over 230 Chrysler, 113 GM, 230 Volvo, 182 Fords, 106 Chevrolet, and hundreds of other foreign made cars.

If you are in a country that doesn’t have direct access to a particular brand, you could buy it at a Japanese auto auction and have the vehicle imported from Japan. For more information on exporting and importing used cars from Japan, you can visit JUCE.info.

Another reason to buy non-Japanese used cars in Japan is because you will be able to get a cheaper car than importing from another country while the condition of the vehicle has been kept very well. For example, there is a classic that you can buy in your country, but it will cost you a ton of money. You might be able to find the same car for a cheaper price and better maintained in Japan. Many exporters will allow you to use their access to search auto auctions for free if you register with them.

Just to point out, there are many auctions that auction foreign cars in Japan. There are also some Auctions that specialize specialize in Import Vehicles (into Japan) that have many foreign vehicle. One example is Zip Toyko and Osaka. For more information on other auto auctions, visit this Auto Auction In Japan List.

UK Waits Till March 2009 For Nissan GT-R

March 5, 2008

Just out, Nissan UK puts a price tag on the all-new GT-R that is coming to the Isles in March, 2009. Pre-orders start this April, but why wait?

The UK branch has decided to charge £52,900 for the base GT-R, £54,200 for the Premium Edition, and £55,500 for the Black Edition. In comparison, Japanese auto auctions are selling the Premium Edition for £43,000. You can import a GT-R yourself for not that much more and get the car one year earlier than everyone else.

With all the costs involved in importing (Duty, VAT, test, registration, etc.), you can pay a few thousand more (about £59,000) and skip the wait, getting your GT-R one year before others in the UK. If your able to afford a GT-R, you’re probably able to afford paying a few more quid if you want the GT-R. If you need more help on importing, visit this guide for importing into the UK.

Buying From Auctions: Inspection Sheets

February 25, 2008

Auctions are an excellent place to start your search for a Japanese used car from Japan. This is because it has many benefits over other choices. The most obvious is the selection. On average there is about 20,000 vehicle listed every day, for that day alone, on the top 20 auction group listings. Another benefit is the value where, because there is so many cars to choose from, you’re not stuck with one costly vehicle to choose from because everyone want it. Another big benefit is the Inspection Sheets most auctions have.

Inspection Sheets were designed to give you, the bidder and buyer, a quick idea what kind of condition the car is in. Each auction does things a little from others, but in general they have the same content.

The first thing you might notice is a big car diagram usually found on the bottom right of most inspection sheets. This diagram show you the physical flaws on the body and glass on the car. The different symbols/letters mean different things to different auctions, but for some general information, look here for some general guidelines for auction grading.

On the top, you will often find especially on paper-based inspection sheets to larger box on the top left, and top right. On the left side this is usually the Exhibit number, the number give for that car so people can identify it on auction day. If you find a car you like, this is the number you should write down. Your auction agent (also called bidding agent) will be able to quickly find the vehicle to do a hands on inspection.

The box on the top right is car’s grading box. It will usually show a number, dash (not rated or worst condition), asterisks (***), or a letter. A zero or non-number usually signifies it’s been in an accident and/or repaired. An exception is R1 which means it has been modified for racing. Of course, as said earlier, there is a slight variation between auctions. With the numbers, the higher the better. In general, 3.5 is average/decent quality. That means it doesn’t have much more than a few minor scratches or very small dents. For exporting, this is probably the lowest standard you’ll want to avoid additional repairs.

Just a few more exception to the grading system. First the letter “S” means brand new and “T” mean special purpose vehicle. Also, if there is a smaller box below this grading box and has a letter or number, that box is for when they separately rate the interior of the car. Without the smaller grade box, the grading box is for both exterior and interior.

Other information you will find in an inspection sheet include:

  • Car identity numbers and information
  • Engine information
  • Transmission type
  • History
  • Last Car Inspection (Shaken)
  • Mileage
  • Color (Exterior and Interior)
  • Equipment
  • Fuel Type
  • Dimensions
  • Other sales points
  • and Inspection Notes

Most is self explanatory. One important thing to note is that all the grading is for the body’s condition and not include the rating for the car’s mechanical condition. To find how the car is mechanically, this information can be found in the “Inspection/Inspectors Notes” section. This is written in Japanese so will need to have it translated by your auction agent.

Auction Inspection Sheets are excellent tools for searching for cars, but they are not a substitute for hands on inspections of your agent that will be there at the auction physically. Make sure you mention to your agent exactly what you want and what is acceptable before he bids for you. Often, auction sites provide digital images for your agent to send you before bidding happens. Take your time, there are often many cars available that match your specification.

For more information on Inspection Sheets visit:

Japanese Used Car Exporting.info – Inspection Sheets
Japanese Used Car Exporting.info – Japanese to English Inspection Sheet Translations

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.

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!

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

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.