Archive for the ‘Japan News’ Category

Auction Watch: 2008 Nissan GT-R

December 10, 2008

Have you heard of the that little name before? Of course, it seems as if everybody knows about the GT-R (of the Skyline heritage). In fact, it seems to be the embodiment of Japanese sports cars in almost every aspect. This huge name is in popular demand in many parts of the world and you might be interested to know that it easy to get (although expensive) on the used car market.

Yep, that’s right. You can pop over to your favorite exporter/auction agent and find a number of “used” 2008 (and soon 2009) GT-Rs. We call them “used” because they’ve been purchased once by the person putting it on market, not because they’ve been driven a significant distance. One such example is a car on JCarBuys: a 2008 Nissan GT-R Black Edition with Bose sound system. Here’s some details:

Equipment: automatic air conditioning (climate control), anti-lock brakes, alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, spoiler, supplemental restraint system (air bags), cd player, television, navigation, central locking, electronic fuel injection, electric seats, leather seats, power mirrors, stereo, tiptronic, 3-seat
Vehicle notes: BRAND NEW CAR, FACTORY BOSE SOUND SYSTEM, REAR/REVERSE MONITOR, Black Edition.
R35 - 2008 Nissan GT-R Black Edition/Bose System - Black R35 - 2008 Nissan GT-R Black Edition/Bose System - Black R35 - 2008 Nissan GT-R Black Edition/Bose System - Black
Advertisements

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!

Exports and the Economies

October 14, 2008

Right now the world is experiencing ups and downs in its economy. Besides US, Japan also has been affected. What about your country?

Data has not been yet produced (we’ll have to wait about a month), but has it been affecting your sells/purchases? While nations connect more directly to Western nations haves seen some fall, the are also many nations that continue to experience growth. Please let us know how your nation is doing in the comments section below.

Stats Review: JDM Used Car Exports in 1st Half 2008

September 4, 2008

I was able to obtain the statistics of how many used passenger* cars have been export from Japan during January to June. The statistics do not include trucks and other commerical/non-passenger type vehicles.

Overall Used Passenger Exports from January 2008 to June 2008

Car Units: 579,582
Value: ¥352,310,171,000
(or at today’s exchange rate: $3,249,516,575)

Over three billion (milliard) US Dollars! That’s a whole lot of money for used cars alone.

Top 10 Destinations

Rank Country      | Car Units | Value(Japanese Yen)
  1: RUSSIA       | 260,008   | 163,251,031,000
  2: CHILE        | 55,461    | 11,744,217,000
  3: UAE          | 37,167    | 9,321,093,000
  4: NEW ZEALAND  | 35,640    | 17,991,266,000
  5: MONGOLIA     | 14,322    | 4,342,595,000
  6: KENYA        | 13,013    | 7,342,810,000
  7: SOUTH AFRICA | 12,904    | 3,545,133,000
  8: SINGAPORE    | 12,894    | 21,078,435,000
  9: MALAYSIA     | 12,746    | 25,317,559,000
  10: BANGLADESH  | 10,208    | 10,706,168,000

Russia remains #1 way ahead of everyone as Japan is supplying their used car market rapid expansion. Others continue to remain strong, although old partner New Zealand has slowed down its imports since the new emission regulations have taken affect. Newcomers to the Top 10, Mongolia and Bangladesh, have seen recent sharp rises due to mostly political and somewhat economical changes. They’ve replaced Pakistan (19th) – which has gone through extreme political unrest, and United Kingdom (11th) which has seen reduced demand that is possibly related to economic downturn/unrest.

Together, the top 10 represent roughly 80% of the used passenger vehicles exported from Japan and 78% of the total value of the cars. Thus the top 10 importers hold a landslide majority of sales Japanese used car exporters have made.

Top 20 & 50

Adding the next 10 (Top 20) would make it 90% of car units and 88.5% of total cash amount. Counting the top 50 together will make it roughly 99% of both car units sold and total value.

Draw you own conclusions. The data is quite clear, and if your an exporter, you should have a clear idea what to do. If you want to look at the full data, you can do so by going to:

Japanese Used Passenger Car Export Statistics : January 2008 to June 2008

Note: Car Units and Value data for each country comes from Japan Customs Statistics Office. All other data is calculated by me. Percentages and VPUs are rounded to simplify view.

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

Importing Japanese Car Info Video

June 19, 2008

A little video for your enjoyment with a little reminder of where to go for information on importing Japanese used cars from Japan.

Driving On The Right Side… Of The Road Or Car?

April 11, 2008

As many of you may be aware, Japan is a RHD (Right Hand Drive) vehicle country like the UK. According to Wikipedia, about 34% of the world by population drive on the left, and 66% on the right. By roadway distances, about 28% drive on the left, and 72% on the right. To visualize this:

RHD vs. LHD on a World Map

Those in blue are RHD and those in red are LHD. The terms left or right hand drive refer to where the driver sits in the motor vehicle not where the car is on the road. So in the case of Japan, the steering wheel is on the right hand side.

Most markets that are already RHD will find much value in Japanese used vehicles. Areas such as South-East Asia, Oceania, Eastern Africa, and the British Isles are major importers. Because they use the same system as Japan, there are less hassles getting the vehicles imported. But just because a country doesn’t drive the same way as Japan doesn’t mean RHD vehicles can’t be imported.

For example, Russia is officially regulated for LHD traffic, but Japanese RHD cars are the single largest supplier of used cars to Russia. Last year over 440 thousand vehicles where exported from Japan into Russia. Russia is estimated to have more than 1.5 million RHD vehicles on its roads. In the far eastern regions, such as Vladivostok or Khabarovsk, RHD vehicles make up to 90% of the total. Many other LHD nations are also importing RHD in the thousands without any problems such as Canada, UAE, Chile, Mongolia, Cyprus, and Peru.

There are two considerations for importers. First, are RHD vehicles legally able to be imported, and more importantly, driven in your country. Even in the case that RHD autos cannot be used on your roads, many governments allow the vehicle to be modified so that it is switched to LHD.

The second consideration is if you are willing to drive “on the wrong side” or will you be able to sell cars to customers that are RHD. It is not a matter of being a safety hazard if the driver sits on the other side. A Canadian study showed that RHD drivers were more careful, thus less likely to get into accidents, than those who drove like normal.

It is also not about not getting able to feel comfortable driving RHD drive in a LHD nation. Most drivers who experience this challenge are able to overcome the awkwardness of driving differently within the first few hours on the road. The main issues are do you mind standing out a little bit and will it bring to much inconvenience to your lifestyle? For example, you’ll need a passenger to help you through drive-thru’s and at toll booths. If you don’t mind, and you can import, there are plenty of benefits.

Image and Statistics from Wikipedia under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Importing Modified Cars

March 31, 2008

Japan is a great producer of performance road vehicles. Names such as Impreza, Skyline, RX-7/8, Soarer, among many others all come from the Japanese. Many of these many of these low and mid-level racing class vehicles have many aftermarket parts that improve performance or appeal. Can you import cars that have aftermarks parts?

Recently, there has been a lot of news of Mine’s and Amuse breaking track records with their aftermarket parts for the new GT-R. Other aftermarket companies, such as HKS, are also constantly developing new parts that increase power or improve aerodynamics or just lighten the vehicle. Some of these kits are only offered in Japan, while others maybe be found elsewhere. A question that often comes up is whether you can import cars that are upgraded.

Ultimately, you need to ask to your customs, environment, traffic, and/or road safety government agencies. You might be able to find some information about importing to your country at www.Japan-Used-Cars-Exporting.Info/Import/. For some countries, the laws on importing car a simple and may not be concerned about aftermarket parts. On the other side of the spectrum, some countries refuse entrance to any modified vehicle.

Another case includes that you can import modified vehicles, but they need to pass normal and maybe additional test. You country might have also an approval list of parts that are acceptable.

In general, importing a modified vehicle would cost possibly significantly more. If you are able to find the aftermarket parts sold in your country, you may find it easier to import a stock car then have additional modification installed after the car is legalized and import process is completed. You might (if your country allows) be able to import aftermarket kits and mod later as another option.

Join Our Newsletter

March 3, 2008

I want to invite our visitors to join our newsletter hosted by our sister site. It is an excellent way to stay in touch with what is happening in the Japanese used car exporting/importing world. You can join by simply visit:

JCarsNow.com – Newsletter

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…)

What’s special about Japanese cars? (PART B)

December 4, 2007

Why would somebody be interested in importing a car? What would be its benefit?

In part A, I highlighted that JDM vehicles (those made for Japan) are made with more variety and technology. In this part, I want to focus on the condition of cars and how importers benefit.

The first thing that must be realized is that owning a car in Japan is Expensive! With this fact, the old proverb “Where your treasure is, so is your heart” can be easily applied here also. Your typical car owner, keeps their vehicle much cleaner than most of their American, European, and worldwide counterparts.

Yes, Japanese are found smoking, drinking (non-alcoholic) beverages, and eating just as others, but you will find much less cars with smashed chips ingrained in the carpet, spills spots on the seat fabric, and other “used” marks. If you are buying from auctions, you will have detailed notes if their are any interior flaws.

For most people, interior is important, but the exterior is even more important. For Japanese, when buying used, the want to know any flaws externally and all inspections sheets have a section specifically for noting any damage. Very often, you will find cheap used cars with no external flaws or at most a few small scratches.

Again, when buying, you’ll have professional assessments to consult. Additionally, in Japan roads are not salted during the winter which reduces cases of rust to very low levels.

Mechanical conditions on Japanese have many things preventing get bad apples. Not that every car in Japan is mechanically in excellent condition. Nevertheless, in Japan a vehicle must have a very stringent and expensive car inspection called “Shaken”. This promotes people to keep their cars well maintained.

Additional benefits are that the Japanese have among the smoothest road is the world making shock waring much lower. Japanese people also generate little mileage on their cars. You can find 9 year old cars with less than 90,000km and most cars most used-cars are running less than 100,000km on their odometers.

Stay tuned for more reasons Japanese imports are worth the effort.

What’s special about Japanese cars? (PART A)

November 21, 2007

Why would somebody be interested in importing a car? What would be its benefit?

This part A of a series.

These are question common among people who live outside the JDM world. This because they aren’t familiar with it, just as they aren’t familiar with the acronym JDM (which means Japanese Domestic Market)

For a car to be JDM isn’t just merely any car from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc., but rather any car designed, built, and marketed with the Japanese society in mind. For example, the Toyota Allion or the Nissan Figaro. This are called exclusive JDM cars as they were JDM car and where sold only in Japan.

There is another type of JDM cars, as you might guess, that are designed, built, etc. for Japan, but were/are sold in other countries, often re-badged. For example the Toyota Hilux Surf is the same as 4Runner and Toyota Rush is also sold as a Daihatsu Be-go. Also look at the Subaru line-up. The line between a non-exclusive JDM car and merely a Japanese make car is thin and some people consider them the same.

So in-route to answer the first question, I would like to point out the source of their “specialness” is the JDM competitiveness. Most countries don’t manufacture vehicle and America, one of the biggest automotive industries in the world, only has the “Big Three”. In contrast, Japan has Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Subaru, and Daihatsu producing cars and Hino, Isuzu, and Mitsubishi Fuso which mostly focus on the larger transport industries.

Because of the more competitive nature of Japan, there is more choices of models and sub-models/types that are offered that aren’t sold elsewhere. Also there are more technological advancements being introduced all the time. Navigation system are standard nowadays and many cars have much more advance systems for safety, performance, economical, and ecological purposes.

To put it simple, one point for why JDM cars are special is that there is more variety and they are more technologically advance (even compared to comparable Japanese make cars outside of Japan).