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48 U.S. lawmakers sound alarm on Japan joining TPP talks

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US cars manufacturers don't like competition. I am wondering why... Are they afraid better cars are made oversea maybe?

14 ( +21 / -7 )

American car manufactures and Japanese farmers are pretty much the same. They both need protection and funding from the government otherwise they can't survive.

They also blame everything but themselves for their downfall. But in this case it works out for politicians in both countries who fight for special interests instead of national interests so I guess it's okay.

14 ( +18 / -5 )

The lawmakers blame those low import numbers on a web of barriers, including currency manipulation, discriminatory taxes, onerous and costly certification procedures for foreign cars and unwillingness by Japanese auto dealers to sell foreign cars.

Here are the top five best selling vehicles in Japan for February 2013:

Toyota Aqua hybrid hatchback Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback Honda N Box minicar Daihatsu Move minicar Suzuki Motor Wagon R minicar

The top five best selling vehicles are either hybrid hatchbacks or minicars. Until the U.S. auto industry begins making cars specifically tailored to the Japanese market, market penetration isn't going to increase anytime soon. Simply sending the top selling U.S. vehicles won't work.

Here are the top selling vehicles in the United States for February 2013:

Ford F-Series truck Chevy Silverado truck Toyota Camry Honda Accord Ford Fusion

There really isn't any overlap between the two auto markets.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Complain, complain and complain some more and that's how you negotiate a deal in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

House Atreides...Does U.S. really need any of the unsafe cars made in Japan from the recycled Asahi beer cans? If U.S. could only sell less than 10,000 cars in Japan, maybe U.S. should call it even and ban all Japanese imports and call it a fair trade. The political weaknesses in Japan have made it difficult because of the limitations of the prime minister’s powers, making it more likely that opposition can effectively veto any government action. As a result, Japanese leaders are indecisive and do not have the political clout to overcome the opposition. Japan really needs a structural change, but they not know how.

-20 ( +2 / -22 )

@sfjp330

"If U.S. could only sell less than 10,000 cars in Japan"

It's because "the big 3" doesn't know how to sell cars people want. There are plenty of German cars in Japan. Just because they don't know how to conduct business in foreign markets doesn't mean they should get government help every time.

They are many American businesses in Japan that are successful. American people love to blame everyone but themselves for their incompetency if they don't succeed.

How long did it take the big 3 to realize that they need to starting vehicles with a steering wheel on the right hand side of a vehicle ? like 35 years ? LOL and they say it's because Japanese market is closed, smh

8 ( +14 / -6 )

American car manufactures and Japanese farmers are pretty much the same.

Really? I didn't know Japanese farmers are complaining about barriers to the US market for their crops. LOL.

US cars manufacturers don't like competition.

GM is No. 1 in China, a highly competitive market, and the world's fastest growing.

The problem is that Japan's market is highly unattractive. It's in decline due to demographics and the growing untrendiness of cars among the few young people here. Access to this market isn't worth the sacrifice, in the view of foreign makers. Hyndai just packed up and left in frustration a few years ago.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

ide SuzukiMar. 15, 2013 - 08:16AM JST @sfjp330 It's because "the big 3" doesn't know how to sell cars people want. There are plenty of German cars in Japan. Just because they don't know how to conduct business in foreign markets doesn't mean they should get government help every time.

Constant same excuses for the last 20 years from Japan PR. The only place in the world that Ford and GM have problem is Japan. They do well in Europe, Central and South America, Canada, China, etc. There are only 55,000 VW's and 36,000 BMW's sold annually in Japan. It's what 5 percent of the market? Heck, even Hyundai Sonata, which is North American car of the year sells less than 500 cars a year in Japan, and what does Japan do? Export 20,000 to South Korea? U.S. does not need imports from Japan. Keep it there.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Everyone is staking out their positions and there will be extensive back and forth, give and take negotiations. I predict that no one will be happy with the results (they never will be) but there will be an agreement in the end.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hide SuzukiMar. 15, 2013 - 08:16AM JSTHow long did it take the big 3 to realize that they need to starting vehicles with a steering wheel on the right hand side of a vehicle ? like 35 years ? LOL and they say it's because Japanese market is closed,

Best thing for U.S. goverment to do is not import any more Japanese cars and call it a fair trade. No hard feelings.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

U.S. does not need imports from Japan.

You'd think if that was the general consensus Japan could export as many cars as they liked, because no one in America would buy. If Americans in America are choosing Japanese cars over domestic, maybe the US manufacturers need to be doing a bit more market research at home and find out why.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

They also blame everything but themselves for their downfall.

But purchasing an American made car in Japan has more costs tied to it than a Japanese car sold in America.

Beyond the tariffs imposed Japanese regulations for the JCI create additional costs that the owner has to pay and makes AMerican made cars even more expensive. It's about parts as well. These are actually hidden "tariffs" in the Japanese market that ALL foreign makers face and HATE about the Japanese market.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

CleoMar. 15, 2013 - 08:33AM JST You'd think if that was the general consensus Japan could export as many cars as they liked, because no one in America would buy. If Americans in America are choosing Japanese cars over domestic, maybe the US manufacturers need to be doing a bit more market research at home and find out why.

All U.S. manufacturers have given up thinking about Japan. It's a dead road. What Japanese companies could do to meet U.S. demand for Japanese car is to expand their manufacturing in the U.S. The U.S. goverment should only let 10,000 cars to be exported from Japan, about the same as what U.S. export to Japan. This is fair trade.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

And here I was thinking it was the Party of Lincoln that was so protectionist in its tariffs. Or has the name of the party changed from R to D? 

US cars just don't appeal to the general Japanese populace, unlike many of the European makers.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

yubaru...when U.S. vehicle is exported to Japan, they have many bogus safety inspections that is not necessary at all. Is Japan really saying U.S. cars are unsafe and Japan is saying you cannot have a standarized inspection? Why do Japan need to review all the cars when there is no problem in U.S.? Heck, maybe U.S. goverment should inspect all the beer can cars that is exported to Japan and let the big 300lb guy sit on the hood and see if it bends? If it bends, send it back. It's a safety problem.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I believe the US builds many more "Japanese" cars domestically than what is imported from Japan. Also, these US Japanese auto factories are going to be EXPORTING overseas soon. So, this is really a non-issue in the near future.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@sfjp330

"U.S. does not need imports from Japan"

Why don't we let the consumers decide, since you don't speak for the entire country of America ?

You sound like a typical Japanese farmers who say "Japanese people don't like rice from foreign countries". If they or you are so confident, why don't you let the consumers decide ?

You defending the big 3 makes it sounds like they really need protection by outside sources since they can't compete by themselves in the free market.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I guess both parties should learn to make compromises... how about eliminating the 2.5% tariff on auto parts? On the other hand Japan can reduce it's 700% tariff on U.S rice to 2.5% maybe?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"US cars manufacturers don't like competition. I am wondering why... Are they afraid better cars are made oversea maybe?"

Precisely the same goes for J -farmers - are they afraid better, cheaper agricultural products are produced overseas? Absolutely -both examples are spot on..let the propaganda begin.

@Hide -took the words right out of my mouth mate. Plus1.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

While I can't speak about the rest of the country, Tokyo is absolutely jammed with German automobiles. Detroit simply does not make the type of cars that the average Japanese consumer wants. The American cars you do see here are pretty much all high end performance models or top of the line trucks/ SUVs that are out of the ordinary even on American roads. As far as mass market "normal" cars, the Japanese costumer sees no reason to buy a Chevy over a Nissan, (or a 1 series BMW, for that matter.)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

And regarding the cars that really sell here, other than the Prius, most of those super popular "box" cars are vehicles the average American driver would not be caught dead in. In general, "kawaii" does not sell in the US. Detroit makes cars for american tastes. It is no surprise that they don't sell here.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Perhaps if American car manufacturers made better cars they wouldn't have to feel threatened by overseas manufacturers.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I'd like to introduce a new argument to those who continue to think that Americans cant export to Japan because of unfair safety rules.

Australia: We take imports from both Japan and the US; dont discriminate (as far as I know) against US manufacturers in terms of taxes/testing, and the roads are big enough to accommodate regular sized American cars

http://www.caradvice.com.au/153575/vehicle-sales-figures-2011-total/

And yet US origin cars are languishing in 8th place, with less than a 16th of the sales of Japanese cars. Fact is, even in Australia fuel consumption is more important than horsepower for the majority of buyers.

And speaking of unfair import/export balances. How many Australian cars were sold in the US last year? Probably 2.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

KariHauka,

The 80's and early 90's are over. It's a pretty level playing field these days in terms of quality.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Haruka....sorry

How about an edit function already JT...!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

grr....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sfjp330Mar. 15, 2013 - 08:08AM JST .Does U.S. really need any of the unsafe cars made in Japan from the recycled Asahi beer cans? I

I really wonder where you get your views of Japanese cars. Of the 7 cars I have owned in my life the best 2 were Nissans made in Japan. The worst 2 were both Chryslers, Maybe you had a bad lemon experience? Detroit is still in a time warp living the 1980s and so are their representatives in congress, TPP isn't going to to have any effect the bulk of "Japanese cars" sold in the US because they are built in factories in the US. The comparison to J-rice farners is wrong, Farmers in all countries get protection not just from cheaper imports but because domestic food prodfuction capability is a national security issue.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

when U.S. vehicle is exported to Japan, they have many bogus safety inspections that is not necessary at all.

Are these 'bogus' inspections for US cars only? Do the German cars we see everywhere not need to pass these 'bogus' inspections?

let the big 300lb guy sit on the hood

The 300lb guy is a safety problem all by himself.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

yeah - zero sympathy with the US on that. The US preaches Free Trade but then seek to protect through tariffs. Hypocrite much?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Detroit in a Time-Warp?1980's?- That was the last decade they built a decent automobile. as for these nations worried about Japan's ambitions in world trade they really have only China to worry about.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sfjp330 ............... Hide Suzuki and kurumazaka are spot on correct.

You say American cars sell well in Europe - no they don't. You're being very liberal with your interpretation of an American car. Certainly Fords (like the European designed and built Focus and Fiesta) sell well, because they are excellent cars built by and for Europeans, as do some GM cars (Opel, Vauxhall) These are European designed and built cars from European companies bought over by GM most of which don't sell in America because they are so un-American. Chevrolet even sell a few cars in Europe (re-badged Suzukis). This does not represent American cars. The few Cadillacs etc. (Hummers in the past) that sell are niche imports and count for little in terms of sales stats - there are actually as many of that type selling in Japan - TV talent people like that sort of 'bling'. You will search long and hard for any standard American cars or those awful jacked up 'trucks' on the streets in Europe.

In the countryside and 2nd tier cities in Japan people prefer compact hatchbacks and mini 'yellow plate' cars (which America doesn"t build). But in the major cities there are a lot (and I mean a lot) of European cars. BMW, Audi, Benz, Volkswagen and increasingly Citroen and Peugeot are every 5th or 6th car that pass you on the street in the better off areas, and in the worse off areas they don't want any imports anyway. You say disparagingly that BWW and VW account for only 5% of inports - well then all the rest (incl. US cars) must count for less than 1%. What does that tell you about the US car v the European car? The style of American cars suits the same people in Japan as it does in Europe - 20-something boutique owners or trendy musicians. Real people don't want the typical poorly designed stuff with its dated technology. I can't think of a single American car that I would buy in any circumstances with any budget - and I'm not anti-American - there are other US products that I love. It's just that the cars look and feel as if the people who design them haven't got a clue and don't care that you don't live in Texas. Most Americans here don't buy American cars - why's that?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Once again America doesn't know what a free trade agreement means or is for

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are 535 members of Congress (House of Rep + Senate). 48 are upset about the TPP. That's a handful. The article makes it sounds like the majority of the US Congress feels this way. It's just 48 who want to get reelected by looking like they are doing something for their auto industry constituency. Otherwise they wouldn't have said anything. I don't understand the point of this article. That 8% of congress would vote against it? So what?.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@BPoint: How about realizing your own infallibility? Self check, edit, post. The Japanese economy is the most protected in the G8/10 and undoubtedly that is how it will stay because of how the Japanese have given to other regions in terms of industry, investment and skill share. Don't knee JERK to the facts, read up, stand back and you just have to give their approach some respect. It is fairer for a general populace when working within that system. Look at Japanese society, by no means perfect, but --for starters-- where the massive underclass, say, of the US? It's the most communist-capitalism system there is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The plea came one day before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to announce Japan’s interest in joining talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)..."

Quite frankly if I were the leader of a nation and could only announce interest, not intent, I'd be embarrassed.

That said, Japan should be given no exceptions whatsoever, and vice-versa. As with rice, if Japanese products are so superior (and vice-versa) there should be no concern about opening up the market to parts or complete automobiles. The arguments against make literally no sense whatsoever unless the people themselves doubt the superiority and sales potential of their own products.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I apologize to all readers for being a jackass.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

While generally US makers are awful at making cars for the J-market, their beefs(haha) about non-tarrif barriers are very legit.

Recently I have been saving bundles on shaken for our cars by taking them myself to the shaken-jo, where there is a sign pointing out foreign cars need not try to get the inspections done there.

There is plenty of issues wrt Japan but as a few have pointed out the market here is dieing, sales here on in overall will decline & will never recover unless Japan changes its immigration policies. Look at big oil/gas foreign interests are already pulling out of Japan, its a dead market.

SO! The poor designing, oversized USA makers are primarily interested in their domestic markets now, Japan simply is past worth even bothering much as far as autos are concerned for mass produced vehicles.

Japan has hate & has eaten its cake since the late 70s, NAmerica needs to do NO favours for J-made cars.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A no brainer, the USA should make cars that have the steering wheel for JAPAN, on the right side, like for the UK, etc..but if you look at most US made cars in Japan?? They keep selling them as if were part of the US market! Can you imagine what a pain in the neck to drive cars made for the OTHER side of the road. It is very, very SCARY! Easy to get confused! and then you are in an accident!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

One of the major problems for US auto part is that they still practice the imperial system for some nuts and bolts. They have some approximations done but quite frankly parts don't work well in approximations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Open MindedMAR. 15, 2013 - 07:38AM JST US cars manufacturers don't like competition. I am wondering why... Are they afraid better cars are made oversea maybe?

cough rice tariffs cough

But seriously, I think it's more an issue of costs and the deep hole the US car industry is digging itself out of. I thought I read that Auto maker free-trade would be off the table for 5-years?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Recently I have been saving bundles on shaken for our cars by taking them myself to the shaken-jo, where there is a sign pointing out foreign cars need not try to get the inspections done there.

I assume you went to a private-sector shaken garage, not user shaken at the government inspection station. I say this because I know for a fact that foreign cars can do user shaken at the inspection station. There may be restrictions for cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side, but foreign cars are certainly allowed. You don't have to take my word, there are plenty of blogs about taking a VW, Mercedes, Jeep, etc. and doing shaken.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

most of the people are complaining about Japanese cars, I bet those guys actually own Japanese cars....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YubaruMar. 15, 2013 - 08:35AM JST

Beyond the tariffs imposed Japanese regulations for the JCI create additional costs that the owner has to pay and makes AMerican made cars even more expensive. It's about parts as well. These are actually hidden "tariffs" in the Japanese market that ALL foreign makers face and HATE about the Japanese market.

...so goes the rumor on many internet blogs. Any sources? "Hidden tariffs"? The article says: "...currency manipulation, discriminatory taxes, onerous and costly certification procedures...". Don't you think that if there were "hidden tariffs", it would be raised by these US government officials?

Apart from the 2.5% and 25% US tariffs on imports, there are many costs related to selling Japanese cars in the US, just as there are for vice versa. These costs basically include having to build a vehicle to the safety, environmental, and quality specifications of whatever country the car is being sold in. Apart from tariffs, warehouse, and freight costs, THAT is the cost of doing business overseas for any company, and THAT is what these American government officials are complaining about, because Japanese car makers actually worked their butts off starting back in the 70's to find out what is required to sell cars in the US. They did their homework, and they BUILT these requirements into their system so that they weren't hit with any "hidden" costs trying to sell these cars in a foreign country.

Other than that, it's like HideSuzuki says; If the big3 want to sell more cars in Japan, they probably need to start making cars that Japanese consumers are actually demanding, as opposed to trying to sell what sells only in America.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@sfjp330: Best thing for U.S. goverment to do is not import any more Japanese cars and call it a fair trade. No hard feelings.

Again, you seem to forget that the millions of cars sold in the US are not imported but produced there and such production actually creates jobs for the US citizens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ford's recent ability to regain >10% market share in California was thanks to the Focus and Fiesta models, developed in Europe.

There's a very simple reason why American cars don't appeal to Europeans, Japanese or indeed Californians.

Ford and GM's grossly inefficient, oversized Tonka Toys with >$10k margins (despite dinosaur technology) subsidize lacklustre cars for the segments the rest of us drive.

Let them sell off their truck operations. As elsewhere, individual car models would then be developed as if the company's whole future depended on them, targeting top market share, not just half-hearted, fingers-crossed residual presence.

Strong, independent car operations would allow the strengthening of US emissions and safety legislation, in turn increasing the competitiveness of Detroit product. And the same regulatory screws could then be turned on the profitable and autonomous truck industry without political fallout.

http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/analysis/are-big-three-just-california-dreaming.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In 1936, the struggle for the 8 hour day and the infamous Flint Michigan Sit Down Strike, which ushered in the existence of the UAW; and much of the Unions that are struggling to stay afloat today. The membership of the UAW was 27,058 members; although much of the jobs in auto was segregated and did not have members who were not white and male. In the turbulent rise of conservatism in the 1980's, the Rise of Reagan-ism ( the Rise of the Conservative Right) the UAW had a total of 1,161,171 members. The first of the Free Trade Agreements began to unfold under Ronald (the Darth Vader) Reagan, and with it came the closings of manufacturing in the US as the Auto giants refused to retool and began a wholesale migration out of the Great Lakes area to any place that was Union Free and the labor was cheaper. Union free is the place to be; farm living is the life for me. Today the UAW can boast of having a union membership of 468,096 (1,161,171 - 468,096 = 693,075). With the TPP the UAW and the Big Three are weeping tears over the possible loss of 33,000 jobs, so why didn't they cry over the loss of 693,075 jobs in the last three decades? GM said, as it introduced the two tier wage system for new hires, buy American and save American jobs. Welcome to the Global Economy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the major problems for US auto part is that they still practice the imperial system for some nuts and bolts.

Just like Japanese and Korean TVs. All their screen sizes are in inches. And it doesn't hurt them, does it.

Actually, the nuts and bolts of today's US and British cars are nearly all metric. How do you think Mazdas and Fords can share the same platforms? Also, the specs for some of the gearing inside the transmissions of Japanese cars is imperial, since it was first designed by US and British engineers (which the Japanese are more than happy to use).

And Japan retains tatami mat measurements ("jo") in its housing, creating a market barrier for foreign house materials importers, right?

A lame argument indeed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

COMPETITION is the name of the game. Making a better if not the best motor vehicle will win the competition not to mention the price.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let's face it Japanese buy Japanese things. Fact!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JeffLee

Only in your dreams, only in your dreams. I had to buy inch scaled socket renches to fix some of the American made goods and the ones that labels 4/5 inches and/or 2/3 inches, what in the bloody hell are they?

Have you ever built a PC? You have inch screws and centimeter screws in the same box. Please can you at least unify into a single standard

As for one tatami mat the standard size (JIS) is 180cmX90cm. The long floor tiles are 45 cm and the standard floor tiles are 30cm, all in metrics.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JaneMMar. 15, 2013 - 01:11PM JST "@sfjp330: Best thing for U.S. goverment to do is not import any more Japanese cars and call it a fair trade. No hard feelings." Again, you seem to forget that the millions of cars sold in the US are not imported but produced there and such >production actually creates jobs for the US citizens.

I'll take that one step further. Not only are the bulk of "Japanese cars" built in he United States, the U.S. includes those US made Hondas, Nissans, Subarus, etc as "American cars" when they negotiate US car imports with the EU.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

pointofviewMar. 15, 2013 - 09:17PM JST Let's face it Japanese buy Japanese things. Fact!

Here's another fact. Oddly, people in the US, EU, all over the word, even the well-to-do in China buy Japanese things. Probably because the consumer is more concerned with quality/price than "nationality".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

.... Detroit-based automakers, which fear losing more sales to Japanese imports.

Are there Japanese cars being imported to the US? I thought all of the Japanese car makers had plants here in the US and there wasn't much demand for imports. There's a big Toyota Tundra plant here in my city. If cars are being imported, I think Detroit-based automakers should fear losing sales to "made-in-the-US " Japanese cars instead of imports. .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kashiwa...Toyota exports Prius, Landcruiser, and some of the high end Lexus line, such as LS460. Same with Honda and Nissan, they export most of the high end Acura and Infiniti from Japan. Japan still export alot of cars to U.S. Maybe still too much on a one way trade.

With the restriction by Japanese goverment, you do not see single foreign auto manufacturing operating independently in Japan. Why is that J-goverment put so much restrictions in the 80's, 90's, and 2000's? There is no GM, Ford, VW, BMW, or MB manufacturing plant in Japan. In Europe, GM employs over 40,000 European workers, and 22,000 alone in Germany. Heck, in Europe, with the very similar gas price as Japan, Ford sold over 60,000 cars in January alone, even with 20 percent drop in sales. Many people in this site saids "well, if GM and Ford adapt to what Japanese want, they will buy". Well, look at Korean manufacturers like Hyundai. They build very similar cars to Toyota with a right hand drive. And how did their sales add up? In 2012, the entire Korean manufacturer sold just 500 cars in Japan, and what did Japanese do in South Korea? They exported 20,000 cars? What GM and Ford knows very well is that it is a closed market. It's just one way trade and Japan call it free trade.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Toyota exports Prius, Landcruiser, and some of the high end Lexus line, such as LS460. Same with Honda and Nissan, they export most of the high end Acura and Infiniti from Japan. Japan still export alot of cars to U.S. Maybe still too much on a one way trade.

Which are: An expensive hybrid we buy few of, an expensive SUV we buy few of, and an expensive line of cars we buy few of.

The best selling non-truck in the U.S.? The Camry, which is made in Kentucky. Most of the Toyota's sold in America are made in, you guessed it, America. Even if the U.S. completely eliminates auto tariffs, production is extremely unlikely to shift since they already have substantial presence in the U.S. People will still buy the car that they like the most (the Camry) and the U.S. auto industry will still be too bogged down by the union's stranglehold to change their ways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bfg4987Mar. 16, 2013 - 03:50AM JSTWhich are: An expensive hybrid we buy few of, an expensive SUV we buy few of, and an expensive line of cars we buy few of.

Who are you kidding? Toyota sold 230,000 Prius in 2012. I guess you can call it "few of".

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Who are you kidding? Toyota sold 230,000 Prius in 2012. I guess you can call it "few of".

Citations? I see 126000 Prius sales in the US in 2012. Total auto sales in the U.S. in 2012 were 14.5 million. Nice market share.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Correction: I see I was looking at the wrong year. 237000 prius sales in the US in 2012, out of 2082000 total sales. Again, the vast majority of Toyotas sold in America are made in America.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here's the source, btw http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/december+2012+sales+chart.htm

From that same fact sheet, 70.4% of American sales were produced in America. These politicians are just using nationalist rhetoric to try and keep everyone afraid of the big, bad Japanese auto manufacturers who don't play by the rules, and keep their union supporters feeding them cash.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Correction: I see I was looking at the wrong year. 237000 prius sales in the US in 2012, out of 2082000 total sales. Again, the vast majority of Toyotas sold in America are made in America.

In 2009 Toyota had 17% of the US car market, second only to GM.

The fact that the vast majority of Toyotas sold in the US are made there is neither here nor there with regards the choice of car - people are choosing superior Japanese cars. In fact, in more cosmopolitanism areas the Japanese cars on the road will often outnumber the American cars - something that struck me about San Francisco.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ah_so Mar. 16, 2013 - 07:30AM JSTThe fact that the vast majority of Toyotas sold in the US are made there is neither here nor there with regards the choice of car - people are choosing superior Japanese cars.

But many of the compact Toyotas, the Yaris, Corolla, or Prius is hazardous to your life if you get into major accident. Americans equate the size of a vehicle with the vehicle's safety rating or ability to withstand the impact of an accident. While this may indeed be unfounded, it is a common stereotype and one that many Americans believed to be true. Simply put, many people believe the bigger the vehicle the safer it is. This belief can affect the number of potential buyers of a Japanese vehicle. While Japanese used cars are certainly well known for their dependability and reliability, they may not always be the best choice for you if you want to live.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Samurablue

"I had to buy inch scaled socket wrenches to fix some of the American made goods."

Well, Samurai, when a society or culture invents the industrial revolution and bulk of the today's manufactured goods and pioneered the technical specifications, I guess you have to live with it. If the Japanese -- and not British -- had invented TV, the screens today would be in centimeters, and the British would have to deal with that.

The world longer wants to bend to the demands of Japan, a nation in decline, and whose rapidly shrinking domestic automobile market is frankly not worth the effort anymore.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Maybe one of the 'hidden barriers' to sales of American cars in Japan is that most people know nothing about them except what they see in old films (=big, unwieldy gas-guzzlers not suited for Japanese roads and petrol prices). I see lots of commercials on TV for Volkswagens and BMWs, but I don't think I've ever seen a commercial for an American car. Maybe they need to go out and sell their cars, instead of waiting for people to come looking for them?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe one of the 'hidden barriers' to sales of American cars in Japan

The posters on thread this just don't get it. This issue is NOT about foreign cars' access to the Japanese market. Nobody cares about the Japanese auto market anymore. It's a dog. It's shrinking and about to die.

The issue is the Japanese makers, who are also confronted by this domestic nightmare, aiming to ramp out their sales in more dynamic foreign markets for their own survival. So it's not worth it for Americans and Europeans to allow a flood of Japanese vehicles in their healthy markets in exchange to get access to a dying, unprofitable market.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Doesn't it work the other way too, JeffLee? If the US manufacturers are worried that US consumers will prefer cars shipped all the way over from Japan to the home-grown variety, don't they need to do more market research at home, find out what the consumer wants, and provide it? What happened to good ol' personal freedom, letting the consumer decide what he wants rather than telling him what he is allowed to have?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Even for free I do not want a US made car. After 3 stops at the gas station you have spent the price difference of any other European, Japanese or Korean cars. Bad design, heavy, 90's technology, ...

I did it once 3 years ago with a Ford in Canada, but not anymore, thanks!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JeffLee: with more than 100 millions inhabitants, Japan remains a big market, especially when you know the margin made here. German car makers and even French ones are making very good profits here. Because they make car that are either socially attractive (high class population) or in line with market demands (Peugeot, Mini, ...). Which is definitely not the case of the US cars, just made for US wide space parking areas and cheap gas.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

German car makers and even French ones are making very good profits here.

You're kidding, right?

"ACEA has persistently argued that a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan will have a negative impact on the European automobile industry. Independent studies have shown that this deal is a one-way street as far as the automobile industry is concerned” -- ACEA: European Automomobile Manufacturers Assoc. (Nov. 12, 2012)

The European carmakers have been dead-set against free trade with Japan for the exact same reasons as the Americans. Both see Japan as a highly unattractive market.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

JeffLee

The European carmakers have been dead-set against free trade with Japan for the exact same reasons as the Americans. Both see Japan as a highly unattractive market.

Of course not why should they when Japan has no tariff on cars while EU is protected by them. They what to keep the tariff.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wasn't Japan always criticized about having such a closed market. Japanese only buy japanese products.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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