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Big three U.S. automakers to skip Tokyo Motor Show

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The only good US auto is Cadillac... The rest sucks so it's good that they didn't appear rather than making a fool of themselves....

Ah compare the subcompact and compact cars and I think you will find that the US automakers do in fact compete quite well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@OpenMinded,

Get Real: you are talking about value, super value cars or trucks. These do not need to be in a motor-show, where high tech and design are promoted.

That might have been someone else..

However, what message does a manufacturer give if it fails to bring its mass market cars to a motor show?

The bread and butter models may not take center stage, but are polished to just as high a sheen as the exotics and prototypes that they often subsidize.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only good US auto is Cadillac... The rest sucks so it's good that they didn't appear rather than making a fool of themselves....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese brand cars in USA are awfully inexpensive. Also, Japanese car makers have excellent TV commercials. They have fashionable interior and excellent colors on bodies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For years I've been a loyal Honda or Toyota customer.... I recently moved back to the USA from Japan and I can definitely say that GM and Ford have some very stylish looking vehicles now. Back in the 80's and 90's I thought Japanese cars hands down looked much better than the U.S. product. Now I think that the U.S. has jumped ahead especially over both Nissan and Mazda.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese brand cars in USA are made-in-USA by Japanese auto plants for left side handle cars for left side driving roads in USA

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the message between the lines is; "Japan does not matter anymore,we are focusing on China and India,which is more than enough for our profitable operation compared to the pain and costs in Japan" may be too hard for Japanese Motor show organizers to digest.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Get Real: you are talking about value, super value cars or trucks. These do not need to be in a motor-show, where high tech and design are promoted.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Not really a surprise. Because of cash-flow problems, none of the American Big 3 are willing to expand their product lines beyond their traditional markets. However, cars and trucks useful in the wide, empty spaces of the Americas are going to work in compact Europe or Japan.

And why risk the cash cow for markets they aren't penetrating? It's a vicious circle that may destroy them in their own homeland eventually.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The US Big Three have very limited presence in any abroad big motor-shows (e.g. Frankfurt or Geneva). The reason is plain and simple: they design and produce cars for the North American market with very particular liking and with no care re gas consumption. Except for a few global or fancy successful models, there is no demand for that worldwide.

TPP would not be of any help.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They can't change the handle to the right side. It will cost too much in production adjustment.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan NEEDS U.S. cars. Cars here are ugly. Not all of them but the typical cube shaped cars are not only ugly but no muscle as well. and too small.

Hahaha! Are you crazy?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In fact it beats Japan in the world's biggest market, which is China. GM is No. 1 there.

... with Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac's combined 500,000 units for year to date, well in front of Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda's combined 1,000,000 units. Errrm..

http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2013/05/13/china-april-2013-honda-cr-v-up-to-5/

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The Fiesta is a European car. No argument. Do your homework, please. And it's made by Ford, which is an American company. Do your homework, please.

By the same rationale, Jeep is Italian, and Range Rover is Indian.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why don't you hear about Volvo, Renault, VW, BMW or Citroen complaining about not selling masses of cars in Japan, yet the US makers are always bleating on about it?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"The US auto industry can't compete with Japan.

Yes, it can. In fact it beats Japan in the world's biggest market, which is China. GM is No. 1 there."

why don't you just compare US and Japan car sale statistics in Iran instead.

ya know people in Iran won't got beaten up for driving a Japanese brands car.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

No point in US makers going, their products are far inferior to Japanese and European cars and the market is speaking.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Fiesta is a European car. No argument. Do your homework, please.

And it's made by Ford, which is an American company. Do your homework, please.

The US auto industry can't compete with Japan.

Yes, it can. In fact it beats Japan in the world's biggest market, which is China. GM is No. 1 there.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I'd still take the 1970 Chevy Camaro SS over a Jeep any day of the week. That car had boatloads of power and would quit only for an empty tank of gas.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the reason is most japanese likes german or european brand cars rather than american cars.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why I think all 45 posters before me didn't get this article's meaning right?

How I feel is the Tokyo motor show organizers are "crying" that US top 3 brands are not showing. Even more - my feeling is the organizers hint that those makers might be boycotting the show.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

YubaruMay. 14, 2013 - 10:45AM JST Until recently, maybe this isn't 100% true, but Japanese makers have had a slew of recalls recently and their image has taken a hit

Every automaker has a slew of recalls, but only a handfull are shown on the news.

Let me help you out...

http://autos.aol.com/info/recall/

AT the bottom of the page are more lists of recalls.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The US auto industry is lacking in creativity and proformance.

The US auto industry is more concerned about making monster gas guzzling SUVs and trucks that make them money than cars with an eye to the future.

The US auto industry can't compete with Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Hmm, the Ford Fiesta was the top-selling car in Europe for a number of years, and the Ford Combi Van has been popular for generations. American cars have sold well around the world, and continue to do so.

The Fiesta is a European car. No argument. Do your homework, please.

80% of the cars in the world drive on the left side of the road ...that statement is an outright lie

Strong language there, especially as the original statement was 80%... are left-side controlled.

The typical Japanese car will see about 60,000 kilometers of service in it's (sic) life

What about this guy's 600,000 mile Corolla? http://jacksonville.com/business/2010-06-05/story/car-has-603500-miles-5-years

or a pristine Kei truck with 200,000 miles on the clock? http://www.goo-net.com/usedcar/spread/goo/19/700110115720120626009.html

..anomalies in the time/space continuum?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think its a smart thing to abandon the Japanese auto market. Its a waste of money having to cater to such a small market that has already developed a homegrown prejudice against you. Plus, going against domestic competitors such as Toyota and Honda where most Japanese would only buy Japanese or a luxury brand from Europe would kill any opportunity for US automakers. US automakers are not in the luxury car business. They build cars for the average joe except for a few lines such as Caddie and Corvette. Anything from Ford or Buick would be redundant in Japan.

So why bother? Getting into Japan would actually help the domestic growth of Japan since more jobs and investment will definitely be created to supplement auto sales. But why invest in Japan when we can invest in China. Its cheaper, the market is growing, not shrinking and they actually like out products. GM outperform any Japanese automakers in China. Them Chinese are not stupid, they know quality as well so US autos can't be that bad if the Chinese are buying in mass. Other than pure prejudice, I don't see the reason we can't compete in Japan.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

yeah but harleys have always been well-built, while the friday night specials made in detroit were poorly built and designed.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

While they are not "cars" per se -- and therefore my post may risk deletion for digressing -- Harley-Davidson motorcycles are exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show and the display invariably attracts lots of visitors. It would seem that by flaunting its "American" image, H-D does very well here, with both used and new models enjoying high demand. I fully realize Harleys are not cars but some of the debate here seems to be dealing with issues of overall appeal to Japanese consumers and fairness in two-way trade, and Harley seems to be doing a good job of overcoming these barriers. I feel this is at least worth mentioning.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I need to clean my glasses because I think someone just claimed that American cars are higher quality than Japanese.

Until recently, maybe this isn't 100% true, but Japanese makers have had a slew of recalls recently and their image has taken a hit.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

That's exactly the attitude that the big 3 has and needs to change. As long as they keep blaming everything and everybody else but never themselves, they will never succeed.

True, but the Japanese market is too small for US makers to design cars only for the Japanese market alone I would think. Sure the US makers have problems, but the market here makes it difficult if not impossible for them to be profitable without lowering tariffs and eliminating the middle-men suppliers that jack up prices.

If the playing field was more even I would bet that US makers would have built factories here YEARS ago, but costs were prohibitive and now in the current economic climate it's not worth it to invest here for them on a major scale with the shrinking market.

Yeah they shot themselves in the foot years ago, and they are reaping what they sowed

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Everyone here is just blabbering about the US automakers not having access to an equal and open market, I would seriously like to know what exactly is it that is stopping them. And why in the world Japan is more open to European Automakers and not the US.

The first and foremost reason I can see is that the US automakers think that the Japanese people are actually not worthy enough to own US made cars. If not then why else would they not bother to manufacture their popular cars conforming to the basic necessity of having the steering on the right-hand side, with the exception of Chrysler and Tesla. I mean , seriously cars like the Corvette, Camaro, Mustang, Viper, Charger and even their people haulers and SUV's, are not conformed for the market here. Comparably all European manufacturers do offer their cars in both right and left-hand driver versions.

The second reason is size. US automakers make bloated cars which are not suitable for Japanese roads and the frosting on the cake here can be the unavailability of suitable parking spaces for such cars. To prove my point try sizing up a Toyota Landcruiser (already a big car here) next to a Toyota Seqouia you will know. Even Japanese Automakers have specially bloated cars for the American market. Rural Japan does not need trucks, they are happy and content with their long-lasting Kei-Trucks which are small (3.4m x 1.48m), economical (approx 25km/litre,660cc engine) and cheap to purchase (new cost around 700,000yen). Any automaker beating or even competing those odds has a chance of selling something but, alas, no one bothers.

The third argument can be on the mileage. As much as we would like to, people in Japan do not pay the same for gas at the pump as Americans do, which makes for thrifty shopping choices. All those decision makers in the auto industry should come and take a stroll down any popular road in Japan. They would be shocked to realize that half the cars plying Japanese roads are econo-cars mostly popular because they are running on 25-30 km/litre mileages.

Many fallacies in your post. Most high-end performance cars in Europe are not availalble in right-hand-drive, which is why most of these cars sold in Japan have the steering wheel on the left (including my Porsche).

660cc K-cars cannot be sold in America or Europe because they do not meet even the most minimal safety standards, and cannot keeo up on American or European highways where the speeds are 100kph and up.

The most popular car models in America are not the large-sized cars. Cars like the Focus, or Cavalier are the same size as a Corolla, and are smaller than Tokyo taxis. The market for large SUVs is not big, but I have seen Hummer H1 and GMC Suburbans navigating Japanese raods with no problems, they are much smaller that the Japanese delivery trucks which you see on nearly every Japanese road every day.

The issue at hand is Japanese protectionism. Japan is the world's third-largest economy, but it is more or less closed to American and European sellers. Cars, televisions, and countless other goods made elswhere are simply not available in Japan, or are priced out of the market. America and Europe have allowed Japan free access to their markets, but Japan has not done likewise. This is not fair.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

It's common knowledge that the Japanese aren't buying cars, especially the type coming out of Detroit with their big engine displacement.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I need to clean my glasses because I think someone just claimed that American cars are higher quality than Japanese.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Hmm, the Ford Fiesta was the top-selling car in Europe for a number of years, and the Ford Combi Van has been popular for generations. American cars have sold well around the world, and continue to do so.

80% of the cars in the world drive on the left side of the road? America has about half the cars in the world, add Canada, all of the Americas, most of Europe, much of Africa, and much of the middle east, all of which drive on the right side of the road--that statement is an outright lie.

Japanese cars are no better made than most other cars, and cars built for the Japanese market do not meet basic European or American safety standards. The typical Japanese car will see about 60,000 kilometers of service in it's life, an American market car will see more than 100,000 miles. American-market cars have far better warranties than Japanese market cars. Quality must be good in a lawsuit- happy country like America, which is home to more than half the world's lawyers. No car made in Europe or America is deemed unsafe in Japan.

Technically-speaking, Japan charges no tarriffs on imported cars, but mountains of red tape add a lot to the price. That, and the typical collusion between sellers to fix prices (which is patently illegal in all other developed countries) also adds to the price. As a result, these safer, better-quality, foreign cars make up only 7% of the cars on Japanese roads. This side-stepping to charge more for non-tarriffed items is why many countris do not want Japan to join the TPP.

I have to agree with the American car manufacturers, much as I don't like them.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Everyone here is just blabbering about the US automakers not having access to an equal and open market, I would seriously like to know what exactly is it that is stopping them. And why in the world Japan is more open to European Automakers and not the US.

The first and foremost reason I can see is that the US automakers think that the Japanese people are actually not worthy enough to own US made cars. If not then why else would they not bother to manufacture their popular cars conforming to the basic necessity of having the steering on the right-hand side, with the exception of Chrysler and Tesla. I mean , seriously cars like the Corvette, Camaro, Mustang, Viper, Charger and even their people haulers and SUV's, are not conformed for the market here. Comparably all European manufacturers do offer their cars in both right and left-hand driver versions.

The second reason is size. US automakers make bloated cars which are not suitable for Japanese roads and the frosting on the cake here can be the unavailability of suitable parking spaces for such cars. To prove my point try sizing up a Toyota Landcruiser (already a big car here) next to a Toyota Seqouia you will know. Even Japanese Automakers have specially bloated cars for the American market. Rural Japan does not need trucks, they are happy and content with their long-lasting Kei-Trucks which are small (3.4m x 1.48m), economical (approx 25km/litre,660cc engine) and cheap to purchase (new cost around 700,000yen). Any automaker beating or even competing those odds has a chance of selling something but, alas, no one bothers.

The third argument can be on the mileage. As much as we would like to, people in Japan do not pay the same for gas at the pump as Americans do, which makes for thrifty shopping choices. All those decision makers in the auto industry should come and take a stroll down any popular road in Japan. They would be shocked to realize that half the cars plying Japanese roads are econo-cars mostly popular because they are running on 25-30 km/litre mileages.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Who cares, I'd rather have a quality Toyota or Honda rather than something from Government Motors. More Japanese cars are built in America than American ones. And no, Japan exports around 4 million cars a year.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

and "too small" is relative to body size.

and convenient for street size.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You drive on the wrong side of the road, and 80% of the world's vehicles are left-side controlled. Look at the success of the show's participants from a global share perspective. Economics 101.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Who gives a care if they attend or not, who would want to purchase their vehicles here anyways. Sounds like a lot of pouting to me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Yubaru

"The US automakers are after a different market, which is basically closed to them in comparison."

That's exactly the attitude that the big 3 has and needs to change. As long as they keep blaming everything and everybody else but never themselves, they will never succeed.

How exactly is it that expensive car market is open but the same market is closed when it comes to more affordable cars ? It makes no sense at all

And they have pretty good success in China, partly because of their anti Japanese sentiment.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Wait, do any American cars actually fit down the back alleys in the walled village streets of Japan?!

The Toyota FJ Cruiser doesn't either, and there's a couple in my dense Tokyo neighborhood. What's your point?

Anyway, the Americans have given up on Japan. It's a small shrinking market with no future. They're much more interested in China, whose future prospects are much brighter and where GM is the most popular automaker.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Empty vessels:

Look, the regulations, the "middle-men", the problems with licensing, JCI, lack of parts, all make the Japanese market "closed" in everything but name

The regulations?

Do a little research on your own

..can't be arsed to validate your arguments? Blame Japan!

The middle men. Importing and selling direct beyond Detroit's capabilities? Blame Japan!

Problems with licensing See 'regulations' above, but anyway, Blame Japan!

JCI Roadworthiness tests a challenge for your product? Blame Japan!

Lack of parts Can't control your own supply chain? Blame Japan!

I don't particularly like US vehicles either

Oops! Can we Blame Japan for this too?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

why wouldn't they skip the TMS? i mean this is a shrinking market where they never made a dent in. spending tens of millions of dollars to show off cars that japanese consumers don't want would be foolish.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wauw, American car companies have an history of failing to provide what the foreign, market needs. I see many foreign cars here in Kobe but few American ones, but you still lay the blame on regulations?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Not all of them but the typical cube shaped cars are not only ugly but no muscle as well. and too small.

With gasoline prices skyrocketing the LAST thing Japan needs is "muscle" in it's cars. Muscle is not going to sell well, and "too small" is relative to body size.

The argument could be made too that America is "too big" when it comes to their auto's for the market here.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan NEEDS U.S. cars. Cars here are ugly. Not all of them but the typical cube shaped cars are not only ugly but no muscle as well. and too small.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Nowhere in the report do they offer any specifics about these mysterious Japanese "regulations" that prevent US cars from succeeding in Japan.

Never said it did, just an interesting read. You assumed something different.

Which government regulations are impeding Detroit in Japan? If they are so obvious they should be easy to name and describe.

Don't expect a response from me, I explained why previously as well.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Japanese automakers built plants in the US as well due to export restrictions by their own government. They got around that because the US market being what it is, more open (relatively).

It's as a result of the Plaza Accord. It's even mentioned in the link you provided.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Considering that General Motors is sold over 2 million cars in China last year and... what.... 20,000 in Japan, why even bother with Japan. China is relevant in this story. 2 million versus 20,000. Don't stop on Japan but go directly to China!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Further signs of the shift of power and influence to Shanghai and Seoul. Plus US just doesn't seel cars in Japan (although not sure they sell many is Korea either). Maybe the answer is to bomb the North into oblivion and then flood it with cheap American cars (Iraq anyone?).

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Wait, do any American cars actually fit down the back alleys in the walled village streets of Japan?!

Generally speaking that's true, but certain brands have done well here in their niche, such as Hummer. They're pretty big.

But with growth in Korea and China, why would America come here with the way they're treated in this country. It must be more productive for them to concentrate on those countries than Japan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL32649.pdf Interesting reading for those interested.

Nowhere in the report do they offer any specifics about these mysterious Japanese "regulations" that prevent US cars from succeeding in Japan.

Which government regulations are impeding Detroit in Japan? If they are so obvious they should be easy to name and describe.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

tokyo motor show had decreased in relevance over the last few years, with seoul and beijing becoming much larger and more important in the process

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

How often must this pathetic argument be regurgitated? Detroit should:

a) up their game by divesting the profitable truck operations that subsidize their car operations;

b) look closer to home, and why they struggle in California;

c) stop comparing Japan with China. The latter is an artificial, immature market. Compare with Europe instead - how many US cars are sold in the EU despite half a century of repeated efforts and inward investment?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL32649.pdf

Interesting reading for those interested.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Which specific regulations are preventing a US car market from sprouting in Japan?

You are looking for one tree in the forest to justify your point somewhere down the line. Do a little research on your own and you will find out about the Japanese market and imported foreign goods and the problems they face here.

Japanese automakers built plants in the US as well due to export restrictions by their own government. They got around that because the US market being what it is, more open (relatively).

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Hade Sazaki.....ever think that it could be because the market the the German automaker's are selling to is very different that the US one's? The German cars are higher end and typically people with "money" are the one's that purchase them.

The US automakers are after a different market, which is basically closed to them in comparison.

Have to agree with Yubaru, There's a reason All American cars sold in Japan, totaled some ridiculous number like 1300 last year, mean-while how many did Japan unload on the U.S last year..? Maybe 1 or 2 million..?

But here's a term for you, that may help you to understand a little more of what's going on in Japan... "Zaibatsu"

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Which specific regulations are preventing a US car market from sprouting in Japan?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The only half-decent US vehicle sold in Japan is Jeep.

I don't disagree, and I don't particularly like US vehicles either, however if the US makers had more even playing field to start with, maybe they would have manufactured vehicles to fit the market here.

Who knows?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I prefer Japanese cars myself. Would like to buy American but........

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Look, the regulations, the "middle-men", the problems with licensing, JCI, lack of parts, all make the Japanese market "closed" in everything but name.

It isnt cost effective for US makers to sell their cars here, unlike the Japanese makers who built factories in the US. The US might have done the same here, but protectionist policies by the Japanese government and industry made it impossible for them to do business here.

Give them equal footing like the Japanese have in the US and things might have been different. That's part of the problem.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

In what way is the Japanese market closed to American autos?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@ Hade....

German auto manufacturers don't seem to be having that big of a problem selling their cars in Japan...

Hade Sazaki.....ever think that it could be because the market the the German automaker's are selling to is very different that the US one's? The German cars are higher end and typically people with "money" are the one's that purchase them.

The US automakers are after a different market, which is basically closed to them in comparison.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Quite. Yubaru; please tell us how the US makers are being disadvantaged by the Japanese market rather than by their own product strategy, quality etc. The only half-decent US vehicle sold in Japan is Jeep.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I know American vehicles don't typically sell well in Japan, but you would think this is something where you could at least bring out the line of cars that fit on Japanese streets.

Wait, do any American cars actually fit down the back alleys in the walled village streets of Japan?!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@Yabaru

"until there is a more open and equal market in Japan"

German auto manufacturers don't seem to be having that big of a problem selling their cars in Japan...

10 ( +16 / -6 )

“Honestly, we don’t know why,” he said. “As a matter of course, we wanted them to take part and we asked them to do so as we have in the past.”

Which translated means, "We know why, but can't say publicly". In other words, the cost vs the benefits don't equal out, and until there is a more open and equal market in Japan for our products and parts (TPP) we regret to inform you that we'll pass.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

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