Posts Tagged ‘Cars’

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

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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

Excise Tax could Double in Mongolia

October 16, 2008

According to UB Post (Mongolian news agency), the Mongolian Parliament is looking to increase excise taxes on used cars to stem import levels.

Mongolia has been experiencing all time high car import levels these recent years. And as more young men and women come to driving age the expect a very large increase of drivers in the next 5 years. Unfortunately, the infrastructure in Mongolia is not prepared to handle the new massive load and Ulaanbaatar’s (the capitol) roads are already being pushed to their limits.

Mongolian car traders and exporters alike may want to complete deals before the proposal gets approved in Parliament and new import taxes rates are implemented (possibly).

Source- UB Post

Philippines Ban On Import Cars Questioned

August 5, 2008

Since our last post on the situation in Phillippines (read Import News For Phillipines), a series or rapid event have been taking place. It was just recently revealed that 5 government agencies purposly neglected to uphold the ban and there are a number of senators that disagree with the ban.

Just at the end of last month a Supreme Court ruling ruled in favor of the ban. But senators are still defying the ruling they feel is wrong. The problem is that the ban is an Executive Order (EO) made by the President rather than a bill/law passed by the Senate. The senators in objection feel that this area the EO affects is the Senate’s territory.

We must wait to see what will be the result of this: Either the ban stays and questionable import practices are stopped or the ban might be lifted. It’s question of who has the most authority.

Source – Inquirer.net

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

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.

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.

Back from Holidays – News on Bulgaria and Kenya

February 18, 2008

Hi readers, I just got back on the weekend from holiday/vacation last week. Reading my mail and RSS feeds seems that there hasn’t been too much going on while I was gone.

There are claims that Kenya might be hit in its imports due to the [big] political changes happening, resulting in possible tighter controls. On the other hand, Bulgaria’s used car import figures have increased, but in my opinion, that looks like a short term jump. The demographics just won’t be able to sustain to much imports. (Bulgaria has a small rich class, and the rest are of a quite poor class)

Other than that, check back later this week for more info coming up. And as always, if you got questions on importing, check out:

The Website – Japan-Used-Car-Exporting.info/Import/ -and-
The Forum – JCarsNow.com/JDM/

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.

Tighter Laws in Ireland for High-Emission Vehicles

December 7, 2007

Motor tax for cars with high emissions is to increase dramatically under new measures announced in a carbon budget by Minister for the Environment John Gormley.

Cars with the lowest emissions will be charged only €100, however, the cars in the top band will be obliged to fork out €2,000.

The measures for new cars will come into force from July.

More at http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/1206/budget.html

Additionally, VRT, or Vehicle Registration Tax, will be based also on Emission levels. Government’s proposed laws should, by linking the money in people’s pockets with emissions, reduce levels. According to the Government, car owners could benefit in reduced VRT rates if they choose greener cars.

More at http://www.rte.ie/news/features/budget2008/issues/airroadrail.html

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.

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.

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).