Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category

Russia Tightens Used Car Imports

December 16, 2008

In follow up to our previous blog post, we can confirm used car imports to Russia will have an increase in import duty.

As it was expected, Vladimir Putin has signed the governmental regulation on the increase of import duty on used cars to Russia. The regulation comes into effect in one month since the day of its official promulgation. It is informed that this duty is constituted for the period of 9 months concerning import of automotive engineering, trucks and automobiles.

Import duty on used cars aged from 1 to 5 years rises from 25 to 30 %.

For those who have been importing, you might notice it says 5 not 7 years. Here more on that:

The most disputable question is reduction of maximal import age of cars from 7 to 5. Cars over 5 years will be imposed from 2.5 to 5.8 Euro per 1 ccm import duty. Taking into consideration governmental measures taken on prohibition of car bodies with following parts it is evident that automobile market of Primorye will have hard times soon.

On the positive side, it looks unlikely that RHD (ie Japanese) vehicles will be banned. It is being discussed, but most authorities agree that to ban them would cause to much havoc in the Far East regions of Russia:

…the State Duma authorities discuss the question on imposition of technical regulations on prohibition of right-hand drive cars. But according to the talks of the governor of Primorsky region Sergey Darkin and Secretary of Industry and Trade of Russian Federation Viktor Hrystenko, it is unlikely to happen.

– Source: Vladivostok News

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Russia considers raising Import Duty …again

November 20, 2008

UPDATE: RUSSIA TIGHTENS USED CAR IMPORTS

Once again, the Russian government is considering sharply raising Import Duty on used cars to stem the tide of second-hand vehicles entering Russia. Consistently for the past few years Russia has been the top Japanese used car importer, where even last year alone they imported 441,539 used cars and this year looks set to clearly surpass that amount by the end of this year. Being that they import more than four times the amount of automobiles than the next biggest Japanese used car importing country, having Russia exports restricted can hurt this export industry.

The cause of them thinking about raising duties no doubt has multiple factors. For one, Russia has a long history of heavily favoring Lada (a Russia car manufacture) by keeping competition costly with high import costs. Another factors include the desire to get foreign car manufactures to set up plants within Russia (providing Russians jobs), cut the amount of money leaving Russia, and to be less dependent on the used car market.

On the bright side for Japan’s exporters, the idea of raise used car import duty is not new. In fact it has been discussed many times, but dropped when the far-east Russians protested. This is because the majority of the far east Russia relies on Japanese and Korean used cars which are affordable for those living in that market.

Source – Forbes

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

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.

Putin Tightens Import Taxes for Used Cars

June 3, 2008

Recently, the new Prime Minister Putin held a meeting on the condition of the Russian motor vehicle industry. In his opinion, foreign cars are stifling the success of national brands of Russia. To raise the competitiveness of Russian car makers, used car imports will now have higher taxes at a younger age.

Before the tax wall to keep out old cars from Russia was at 7 years and older, now importers will need to pay an considerable more if the car exceeds 4 years of age. Currently, we don’t know what the exact rates table will be, but we’ll let you know when we do.

Russian Car Importers Hold Protest

April 17, 2008

Last Tuesday Russian Car Importers held a protest against changes made starting April 1st in Vladivostok, Far East Russia, which have caused huge delays getting imported vehicles cleared.

On April 1, two customs posts – Vladivostok Auto Transport and Vladivostok Central – were combined into one – Vladivostok Commercial Port – by officials intended to smooth the process. In reality, the reshuffle has caused much chaos, delays, and as a result, money lost. Because of the large backlog and daily storage fees of about $20 per a car, auto businessmen acquire considerable lost which are bringing in double and triple digit numbers of cars each day. Ships are even being delayed as they must wait a few days before they can offload their vehicles.

In protest, traders decorated their vehicles with orange ribbons and the slogan “Car Dealers against Bureaucracy” and marched in front the Far Eastern Customs Department. Importers are look for the government to step in, cut, and normalize the clearance time. April may be a sluggish month for Japanese used car exports to Russia. Businessmen are looking forward to getting back to schedule.

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.

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.

New Year for Russia, New Rules for Importers

February 19, 2008

Latest news from Russia is starting this year, individual importers will be limited 1 car. Now what does that mean?

Very simple. People can’t import more than 1 whole car as a personal import. Importer businesses can continue on no problem, and for the individuals, you’ll have to resort to (but not recommended) importing parts which basically means cars split in half.

So at the moment, importing should see much of a big hit, but if other rules change, things can tighten. And for those not watching the news, Russia will be getting a new president this year so things might change a little.

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