Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

Car Watch: Toyota Landcruiser Prado

November 14, 2008

The Toyota Landcruiser Prado has been a very popular SUV in Japan and other nations. The most obvious difference of it (the Prado) and the normal is that it’s noticably smaller. It goes by the name Lexus GX 470 in the United States, but it is still called Land Cruiser Prado in many other countries such as Australia, South Africa, and in the Middle East and Latin America.

To give an example, our friends at JCarBuys have a 2007 Toyota Landcruiser Prado available on stock. Here are some photos of how it looks:

KDJ120 - 2007 Toyota Landcruiser Prado TX-LIM - Black KDJ120 - 2007 Toyota Landcruiser Prado TX-LIM - Black KDJ120 - 2007 Toyota Landcruiser Prado TX-LIM - Black

As you can see, the Prado is very attractive and popular with importers in many countries that desire or need these types of vehicles. They also come with a lot of equipment. Here a list of some things you can see found in this type of car:

automatic air conditioning (climate control), anti-lock brakes, alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, sun roof, supplemental restraint system (air bags), four wheel drive, cd player, television, navigation, leather seats, stereo, tiptronic, 7-seats, and more.

Remember when your looking at different years in the Land Cruiser Prado model range, there are different different model generations:

  • First came the LC 70-Light series built on the J7 platform which was between 1984 and 1990
  • Second came the LC 70-Series also built on the J7 platform from 1990 to 1996
  • The LC 70-Series was replace by the LC 90-Series (J9 platform) during 1996 which last till 2002
  • Currently, the LC 120-Series has been in production on the J12 platform since 2003

You might want to consider such a vehicle for you and your customers if small, classy SUVs are popular in your country.

Information source – Wikipedia

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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.

New Zealand Used Car Market Subdued

May 27, 2008

In a combination of rises in fuel prices, costs of living, and government legislation, overall used car sales have dropped. Large, fuel inefficient cars got hit the most with a 20% drop in sales.

In comparison, smaller vehicles and “performance” vehicles have been able to sustain sales. Smaller vehicles because they tend to be more fuel efficient. Sporty “performance” cars because most likely the average consumer for these types of vehicles aren’t concerned with rises in costs too much.

Used car exporters will want to focus more on offering smaller, fuel efficient cars to New Zealanders. Kei-class cars might even break out into main stream exports if fuel prices continue to rise.

Source: New Zealand Herald

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.

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.

Top Importing Countries in Feburary 08

April 2, 2008
  1. Russia = 40,690
  2. Chile = 10,055
  3. UAE = 7,363
  4. New Zealand = 7,227
  5. Malaysia = 2,564
  6. South Africa = 2,139
  7. Mongolia = 1,759
  8. UK = 1,703
  9. Singapore = 1,646
  10. Cyprus = 1,612

Mongolia has been recently got more hungry for cars. New Zealand is feeling the restriction. Russia remaining as strong as ever. Chile has recently seen a rise of imports being the gateway to South America. Another hubs, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates are keeping steady, if not growing slightly.

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

New Zealand gets harder on Imports

November 27, 2007

Unless things change, our Kiwi friend might have a more difficult time in the future importing Japanese car. Here’s a clip from NZ that gives the crux of the issue.