Archive for the ‘United Kingdom’ Category

Romanian Car Caveat Starts Filling

December 4, 2008

While imports (particularly used car trading) seems to be stagnating in most parts of the world because of economic turn down, there are still many nations still empty of affordable cars. Romania is one such place. According to Financiarul.ro:

In the first ten months this year, the number of used cars from import rose 105%, to more than 205,000 units…

As you can see, the eastern European nation is starving for affordable vehicles and while brand-new models remains prohibitively high, used car imports are filling all the holes in the social landscape. While nearly all of these cars are coming from Western Europe, there may be room for Japanese exporters to find sales direct or indirectly from this situation. While it may not be affordable to export cars to Romania (worth finding out for those looking to expand), we can expect the need of replacement cars in those nations that are selling to Romania. Maybe we’ll see increased imports for Ireland/UK/Netherlands as a knock-on effect.

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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

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.

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.