Why Buying Cars From Japan Is Important.
Why do I want to buy cars from Japan? I mean what advantages are the for me buying there than say in my own country?
Have you ever wondered why there are nearly 100,000 used motor cars leaving the shores of Japanese cities like Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Nagoya, and Osaka every month? These are just used cars I am referring to. This volume of vehicles has been exporting out of ports around Japan for the last 30 plus years or so. I can’t begin to ponder how many new cars, trucks, and vans are shipping out monthly/annually.
It’s hard to imagine countries like New Zealand, Tanzania, Kenya, and Australia progressing in terms of automotive advancement for daily life without the support if these Japanese imports flooding in monthly.
As a New Zealander, I can easily testify to this after spending many years in my youth driving around in cars that should not have legally been on the road simply due to the way they were made. Japanese cars were far superior to many vehicles we had from other global manufacturers at the time because we had little money to afford newer cars from these manufacturers. New Zealand was also a moderately difficult market due to its colonial alliances back in the day.
When Japanese imports started hitting the shores they nearly all had air-conditioning and electric windows as well. These cars were small economical and ultimately very reliable compared to the older British and Australian counterparts we had previously been forced to accept as our daily drivers.
There was a time prior to the mid-1980s when grown men would cringe and scream obscenities at family members and friends at the mere mention “Japanese Car” Jap crap was one that comes to mind or rice beater. It was simply a lack of forgiveness from the war and bitter memories and rightly so at that time in life as New Zealand was young and learning but needed to move forward.
New Zealanders have an amazing appetite for cars. I am sure that someone could tell you why but I cant in detail. Speaking from limited beer-infused memory we all have moderately good sizes properties and public transport around the city was abysmal back in the day so owning a car was paramount to your livelihood. Not only was public transport horrible it was also not punctual and unreliable in NewZealand 30 or so years ago.
We would often remark how every household had at least 2 cars in the driveway and one for parts out the backyard. In the mid 70`s Japanese car manufacturers had stepped up in their manufacturing quality and automotive design. NewZealand then opened its doors and the bias towards Japanese cars slowly diminished to a level that even my father was in a position to accept a Japanese car.
Yes, it was a monumental leap away from the Hillman Super Minx to the Toyota Corolla coupe. This was my personal catalyst that got a young man dreaming about cars from Japan and a future in the automotive industry from that point onwards.
Life Has Changed
Yes, my life changed as did the lives of many average income earners from Tasmania to Brighton and Dunedin. From the early 1980`s Japanese imported cars would become part of our lifestyle and change the way, we thought about buying a used car forever.
I should keep this short but to explain the concept of buying cars from Japan to folk who are not educated in doing so wisely or correctly takes time. For those of you who have all the answers to this story please feel free to move on at any time to the auction website and start bidding. For those people who want to read how its all come about, please read on.
So let’s digress and go back to the title of the topic, Why Buying Cars From Japan Is Important. Well for one, if you have owned and loved a new or used Japanese car at some point could you imagine life without that car?
Moving Toward Modern Day
Times have moved on from the prejudice days of Jap Crap to reliable Japanese cars and quality cars from Japan. When the Japanese think about a project they will have 3x as many people thinking about the project and it will take 3x longer or more than any other project in almost any other culture.
They do not move fast! Every little detail is dissected and thought over in hours of painstaking madness that will bring these automotive engineers close to the perfection they desire. I personally think they are even more anal than German engineers. (opinion only and nothing verified)
When the likes of BMW had just popped out of its reclusiveness and some other American car brands were struggling to make ground these Japanese brands Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda, and Subaru started making GTR, GTO, Supra, and WRX.
These cars really put Japanese cars on the map globally. At this point, I haven’t even mentioned Toyota Corolla and Nissan Bluebirds etc. These cars set manufacturers reeling and having to re-think the program for years to come.
Many faded into the abyss sadly and others are still struggling to compete or have very local market share only. Japanese brands made their mark and have lit the way for the future of modern-day automobiles.
You only need to Wikipedia Japanese automobiles and read a few lines to understand why Japanese auto manufacturers are at the forefront of their industry. Many of these current cars will be the next JDM in another 20 years which will give us something else to talk about on another post. One day we will see these cars at auction also.
There are very few homes around the world today that have not had a Japanese car grace their driveway at some point or another. Maybe it’s your turn.
The Facts About Japanese Cars and their Owners
Well, in reality, we have talked about Japanese cars already but lets fast forward and place ourselves in the laps of a typical Japanese Household an explain the auto buying process these families normally undertake.
I have been told that the average family in Tokyo with combined incomes brings in around 7 million or so Japanese Yen per year. Coupled with this there are normally two kids and a cat to feed. The dad will normally be the greater income earner and mom gives him a monthly allowance to keep him happy and out of mischief or into it.
You probably have a vision in your head already of these families crammed into little show box size apartments and dad staying out at night has been a slave to the job from 7 am to 10 pm. It not entirely incorrect but times are changing.
Yes, the average salaryman works darn hard but employers today have to show more flexibility and employer attitudes are becoming progressively more in tune with western society. Staying in the office until midnight etc is normally personal choice or some blind obligation that the employee feels towards the employer. Dads will normally be home bt 7 pm or thereabouts depending upon public transport and walking time to home.
You will notice above that I touched on Japanese public transport and for good reason. The public transport here in Japan and Tokyo where I know best is simply fantastic. Click on the link above to see for yourself.
This time will be accurate to 20 seconds either side and the train conductor will apologize if there is any greater discrepancy to this. in reality there are so many trains coming and going at this time it does not impact on your journey if you miss your first choice.
So with this in mind, we have to seriously consider why most households in Japan will have a car parked either in a monthly paid parking or their own car parks. One example is this. Imagine that you and the other 15 million families all living in apartments around Tokyo need to have a point of difference from each other.
You all have around 80 square apartments and two-plus kids. The weekends are filled with sports and want to see extended family or go on small trips away from Tokyo for a day or sometimes two and you don’t want to take the train.
We need something that makes us unique from the other apartment dwellers. There are great incentives and stupidly low-interest rates from Nissan and Toyota etc, not to mention the fact Mom and Dad got their yearly bonuses. So we head off to the dealers who specialize in different styles and sizes and pick out the best new or near-new car that suits our personality and lifestyle. The incentives to buy are huge and the dealers get you trading in cars your car on a semi-regular basis.
It Works For Everyone
Indeed the system works. The car alloys everyone in the apartment or little house in a small street feel unique. At the weekends they will spend hours cleaning this car and driving to Autobacs or Yellow Hat and peruse the shelves for hours looking for that special little custom accessory that fits perfectly into their special car. It’s a process that Japanese car owners love. These one-stop auto service centers are fantastic and stock great quality products for these auto consumers.
The car is an extension of living and not simply your personality. If folk are financially well-heeled many will buy European or American cars and especially have them ordered in left-hand drive for a little snob value.
During the 1980s in what many Japanese refer to as the bubble period, there was virtually zero unemployment and companies where feeding employes money as Japan was printing money and people were not afraid to buy. It was a cycle of consumer gluttony and cars were close to pole position on the 1980s bucket list. Why not go out and buy yourself a brand new Mercedes Benz 560 SEL or 500E. At the same time consider a BMW 7 Series or Maserati. It was easy.
So yes the Japanese car consumer loves cars and they love to drive. They will also service their cars regularly as the local Shaken procedure forces them to do so. Also, these companies mentioned as Autobacs will snare them and get the services as often as possible. It is a great cycle that ultimately will benefit the international car buyer.
Most of these cars are traded once or twice within 10 years! At this point, the cost of keeping them on the road here in Japan is somewhat prohibitive and not for reasons that you may think. Older cars (yes 10 years is old) cost more to keep on the road as you pay higher taxes, not to mention your servicing fee is going to increase. At 10 years its of to the dealers, yard to trade up for newer model. The system repeats again.
This is why there is an avalanche of used cars hitting auctions here in Japan on a daily basis. The average income is pretty good and parking not so expensive. Cars are a good way to show off also as we all know. We all do it even if we feel that we are not showing off. The car we buy suits us.
So ultimately, why not buy your next used car from Japan. It’s a sensible option for buying locally in many countries. Fresh imports as we like to refer to them as will normally have low kilometers and be within 12 years of age depending upon your price range and country rules. The condition will be great normally and servicing is up to date or close to.
These are all reasons why buying cars from Japan is important.
Need Some Questions Answered
Here we have simply touched on the concept of why you the global automotive consumer should consider buying a car from Japan. We didn’t even begin to talk more about JDM and the everyday saloon cars, models and makes, etc. Really it’s a brief explanation about why you should be looking at Japanese cars.
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