U.S. President Donald Trump points to a reporter while taking questions during a news conference at the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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Trump says Japan treats U.S. unfairly on trade by not taking more American cars

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And.... of course here comes the U.S. Car haters..... ohhh, the quality is bad, their too big. Yes, U.S. Auto manufacturers do not make their cars exactly for the Japanese market.... mainly because they've never had major success here. But don't tell me, at least now, it is due to size and quality. U.S. cars, suvs, and trucks, come in all shapes and sizes and the quality is on par with Japanese makers. I hope Japan will do what S. Korea did.... give U.S. Automakers an amnesty on a certain amount of vehicles. Basically let in a number of vehicles with out all the red tape.... let them in as is and not require any modifications and no tax. S. Korea is doing this.... my hope is that Japan will let in around 100,000 U.S. autos and pickup trucks. I'll be in line for a Ford F-150.

-35 ( +15 / -50 )

Japan will never be more than a small side market for American automobile makers.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

And yet, Japanese buy thousands of BMWs and Mercedes... Maybe they just don't like American cars. The fact Japanese don't want to buy American cars is not a Japanese problem. If the US made the cars that people want to buy, they would buy them.

43 ( +50 / -7 )

American products aren’t bad but this is a Trump loaded statement, by him, to HIS audience.

Theres a lot more to it than just whats in this article.

Firstly, Japan loves its own brands more than anything. Japan is a massive manufacturing hub. It’s an island, and folks would barely know how to use items from abroad at this point in time (not talkin cars here).

I don’t know exactly what the deal is here with say a $20,000 in America always becoming a $30-35,000 car here. But thats the case for all inported vehicles. You can’t buy a Merc, Fiat, or Ford for its sticker home price.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

It's not that "Japan" doesn't "take" American cars, it's that Japanese consumers provide no demand. I'm American and can't imagine a single model I'd prefer over the plethora of models provided here.

Trump needs to beef up on the basics of capitalism.

28 ( +32 / -4 )

My American friend said to me before that Japanese roads are alleys in American standards. I agree. It takes a lot of energy to drive cars in Japan's narrow roads. Many "kei" small cars are running in Japan. Roads American cars can run in Japan is very limited.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Japan needs to loosen restrictions on US imports. I doubt American imports are likely to ever be popular but it would kill off that long standing and legitimate complaint.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Japan needs to loosen restrictions on US imports.

What restrictions are there on the import of US cars?

16 ( +18 / -2 )

If Japanese drivers eventually did buy American cars, it won't make any difference to American workers as those cars would be made in China.

https://nypost.com/2017/07/02/gm-is-producing-popular-car-in-china-exporting-to-us/

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Japan treats U.S. unfairly on trade by not taking more American cars, Trump says

Trump is a deal maker.

Everything is leverage.

He'll get the deal he wants, one way, or another.

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

Sounds like a spoiled child: "Japan doesn't treat the United States fairly on trade."

And just like a child he fires Sessions during a tantrum.

Japan, ignore this guy, do whats best for you right now. In two years when some normalcy returns we can talk about trade again.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

Ah_so

Do you mean those non-existent import tariffs? When you look at the numbers, Japanese brands enjoy about a 90% share of the domestic market, where in America it is around 40%. Then in America, American brands make up about 50% of the domestic markets with imports making up the remainder. Sort of need to ask the question why? Japanese car makers and dealers have a pretty broad maintenance and dealer network, customer service is pretty much second to none. American car makers struggle to make inroads into the market because of a number of reason, protectionist practices not being one of them.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Japan importing cars is like Eskimos importing ice. Trump is just running his mouth off and attempting to bully Japan into accepting more US gas-guzzling tanks.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

When Trump says "American" cars, he doesn't mean GM, Ford, and Chrysler brand cars; he means Toyota and Hondas manufactured in the US and shipped back to Japan.

So move the Prius and Fit production to the US and ship back to Japan, problem solved.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Oh this didn't take long! After the election loss, Trump seems already started campaigning for the next election by getting his supporters riled up by focusing on Japanese car imports. As others have mentioned, if you have a good product for a market and good sales staff sales increase but you need to make the investment first.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Trump seems to think that American automakers have a huge demand and market recognition in Japan.

He is sadly mistaken, the Japanese consumer, in general, may know that America produces cars, but none of those cars, outside of maybe a Hummer, not recognized as a Humvee, (tongue in cheek) are all but unknown to Japanese consumers.

American car makers have little brand recognition, and to get to the point where it would be profitable for them to make any money here, it would take literally billions of dollars and years of work. Aint gonna happen!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I'm not into cars, but around me I see general consensus of "American cars drink too much fuel", so most people I know avoid them due to that spread popular opinion.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Every car consumer in the world should be forced to buy American cars or be sanctioned. Owning a foreign car should lead to your bank account and assets seized.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

I live in America and I don't want the junk that Ford,Chrysler and GM produce.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

P.S. The only thing trump knows how to negotiate is bankruptcies. His supporters have all been conned into believing a TV reality show star's narrative. That's why we have a $1 TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT in his FIRST FISCAL YEAR. He's a fiduciary INCOMPETENT.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Japanese buy thousands of BMWs and Mercedes...

The Europeans only have a 5% market share and their auto association has a long litany of complaints over non-tariff barriers in Japan. In fact, the Euro auto industry held up the free-trade deal with Japan, citing similar complaints as Trump's.

The

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I've driven American cars and they were just fine; plus there are actually several models that are smallish and suited to Japan with great fuel economy such as Chevy Cruze or Ford Focus; even there are hybrid ones like Chevy Bolt.

Probably the problem is due to the carmakers themselves? German makers are aggresively marketing their products here on TV, newspaper ads; even non luxury brand such as VW is doing well here with routine test-drive ads. Jeep & Chrysler is still selling car here after Ford pulled out the market, but I don't recall ever seeing their ads and have no idea about their models or features. So most Japanese consumers have no idea about American cars, and most will probably associate them with big gas-guzzling Ford F-150 or Chevy Suburban.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

US cars = garbage, always have been and always will be.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Whether it's justified or not, American-brand and built cars just don't have a good reputation worldwide. How can you expect the Japanese to "take" more American cars when people don't trust or want them?

In Australia, US cars are a real minority market. Japanese, Korean, German, sure. But American? No.

You'd think the land of the super salesmen could do a better job of selling their product, if it was truly as good as the products of other countries.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I watched this, he was clearly very emotional and agitated because his party lost seats in the congress.

he was quite literally throwing tantrum, I was bit shocked how he treated the journalists.

but as for trade, he was just regurgitating the same old complaints

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Ford do make some decent small cars at least but the brands just aren't popular here. BMW, Benz and even VW now to some degree are status symbols yet practical for Japanese roads. The American cars that are status symbols here are the big ones, not practical around town and uneconomical. For American cars to be popular here they need to work on brand awareness first, if Trump just hurries and dumps a load of American cars here that no one really wants it will do the brands more harm than good.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I see quite a number of Jeeps, muscle cars like camaros, challengers in Japan. Not to mention Harleys. Clearly there exists a "niche" market for certain American cars. But really, only a fool would think US cars in general have any real chance of competing with not just the domestic Japanese cars but European ones as well. I say forget the cars, someone tell Trump it's not 1985 anymore. We already have a monopoly on weapons and support systems sold to Japan and the regional situation outlook is clearly going to keep increasing sales. Focus on what we make best, not what we used to make best.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

What's wrong with that joker in chief? Even his redneck supporters living in Japan wouldn't want those gas-guzzling, inefficient, taking up the whole road jalopies.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Foreign-made cars are absolutely unfairly priced here. No question about it and it's not American cars only. German, French and Italian ones as well.

And it's not only automobiles, either.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

And.... of course here comes the U.S. Car haters..... ohhh, the quality is bad

Unfortunately, my friend, that is simply a universal truth! I worked for a very large German automaker specifically in processing their warranty data. Unquestionably and without exception the build quality of US vehicles in general resulted in many rib tickling quips while the main Japanese automakers were talked about in hushed tones of respect in terms of build quality and reliability. These were industry insiders!

Simply driving around Japan one realises in about 2.2 seconds that big US cars are simply unsuited for many of the tiny village roads here unless you are simply using them for highway use. All the US made cars I have seen here appear to be novelties driven by Japanese who want to drive something different as a statement piece rather than something that gets you from A to B.

Simply put, there is nothing really here that is not already made by Japanese car makers. I would say the only foreign cars that actually had a chance here to compete would be specifically the German car manufacturers.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I strongly assume that the Japanese don't want/can't drive around with oversized weals in their already packed cities... But Trump can't process this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No tariffs or anything, but US car makers can't make it in Japan. How about US car makers actually doing some homework and finding out what Japanese consumers like. This is all on them, not on us! Look at the success of European car makers in Japan. Oh yeah, remember the bowling balls!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

US automakers have said repeatedly that it’s not worth the cost to set up the dealer and service network that would be required to sell their cars competitively in Japan. Niche auto makers like Porsche, etc. have found it a worthwhile investment because their cars sell for much higher prices. But most people aren’t going to be willing to pay a much higher price for the same level of car with less service and support. So the manufacturers either have to go all in on setting up the sales and service network and just eat the costs while they try to market their cars, or they can just skip Japan and aim for less saturated markets that don’t have as high of service demands.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Unfortunately for Trump, US cars cannot compete with Japanese hi-tech vehicles. US cars are too big, use too much gas, poorly made and not reliable. Parts are expensive. The paint fades and car rusts. Japanese customers do not want them. German cars are popular,however as they are reliable and well made. PM Abe knows this, but is too polite to tell Trump.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Trump's stuck in the 1950's (the post-WW2 era when the US was all powerful) of big auto, big steel and big oil. To Trump and his supporters 'progress' is a nasty word.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I think Trump is dead wrong on this. It is not a simple issue. If he wants to speak on this issue he needs to quantify specifically what the tariffs are in both countries which he did not do. He cannot force the Japanese consumer to buy more U.S. made vehicles. Also, Japan has invested billions in manufacturing plants inside the U.S. This is a silly argument and in making this argument Trump sounds like he is stuck in the 80s/90s and not at all in touch with the present reality.

Ford makes some excellent vehicles. I have rented some in Europe and they suit smaller roads well and are fuel efficient. I would second what Abbeyroad says. The automakers have made a business decision as it would be quite expensive to set up the infrastructure to support the Japanese consumer. They would also need to consider shifting to a right hand drive vehicle.

In the US I had an F150 now being driven by my son which seems to want to last forever. I have also owned Japanese vehicles here in Japan and would say they are of equal quality. Both countries make excellent vehicles. Interestingly enough I seem to see more U.S. made vehicles in Korea than in Japan. Perhaps it is related to the location of the steering wheel. I do not think it is an issue with tariffs.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

talking about fairness, there is quite a bit for him to learn first before picking on others.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I don't know what was worse; Trump's attitude toward the Japanese reporter, or the Japanese reporter's terrible English.

I know lots of Japanese people don't have the best English, but a foreign correspondent being sent to the White House? Come on, guys.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

As an American who has served in the US Military and lived a long time in Asia, I am totally embarrassed that Trump represents the USA.

Saying that I often argue with good friends stateside, that they lost faith in the US Political system

Trump, talking about American cars not being sold in Japan is probably well aware that no one wants them in Japan, but he does not care.

He treats everything as a business deal, America is a giant and he believes Japan should reward them . That’s it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

"Perhaps it is related to the location of the steering wheel."

I agree.

I have thought the same thing. You can get Audi, BMW and Mercedes cars in both left and right hand drive here. But here most of the US cars are only left hand drive. Jeep, Chrysler, and Ford have models here that are right hand drive, but most are not. I feel that right hand drive models would sell better here. I am surprised that Australian market GM and Ford models not sold here. Actually I did see a right hand drive Ford Ranger for sale here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hey Dump, make good products and people will buy them.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Of course everyone knows (including Trump) that the last thing Japan needs is cars. However, Japan can very well lower tariffs in other areas to reduce its current trade deficit with the US. This is Trump's way of reminding Japan of that imbalance.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Trump the "shock jock" is the Howard Stern of US politics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japanese people are brand-loyal, and they like the "Made in Japan" brand even more than Americans like the "Made in the U.S.A." label. This makes American cars a hard sell.

The best American offerings are middle-class, working-class vehicles. When Japanese people buy imports, they want status cars--high-end luxury brands. The luxury cars that America does build are oversized and generally don't have the brand appeal that European cars offer.

American car manufacturers build big cars for wide American roads and big American people. American car makers have been cutting back on their mid-size and small-size offerings in favor of trucks and SUVs. Yes, an F-150 is a workhorse, and it's the best pickup truck on the market. It's also too wide to fit down narrow farm roads built for kei trucks. Some suburban streets built in the last 20 years or so are wide enough to accommodate big cars, but many city streets are so narrow that two full-size American cars couldn't pass on them.

It's not a matter of tariffs (especially as many Japanese cars are built in the U.S. anyway), but of the market. American automakers aren't interested in making the cars that Japanese people will buy. They don't see substantial enough returns in building up expansive dealer networks in Japan. They don't have the brand appeal to sell well as an import.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Someone needs to educate Trump on the realities of driving in Japan. It's not just Americans cars, but any cars that are not compact and/or do not have a tiny engine are not really popular in Japan due to:

(1) super narrow, poorly designed and/or historically dictated windy roads that are shared with bicycles, mopeds, and electric poles;

(2) expensive gas prices at 3x - 4x the price in the US;

(3) expensive car taxes (based on size), the world's most expensive highway fees, and even the expense/time to get a driver's license in the first place (thus, many don't get one until their 30's). As a rough example, owning a $10k car over the course of 10 years will end up costing $20k (due to $10k in taxes).

Japan is basically a factory for cars, just like Vietnam and Bangladesh are factories for shoes/clothes. This does not mean that these countries consume these items. In fact, I see more large/powerful Japanese cars (Lexus, Toyota SUVs, etc.) in America, Europe, and China than I do in Japan. Trump can forget selling cars here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I actually used to drive an American car here in Japan. I had no complaints about quality. But then again, it was BMW assembled in South Carolina... so not sure if that counts :)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Don’t know about you, but in my area, only chimpura, Yankees and Brazilians drive these cars. Why do I always have to reverse and give way? There number plates are not from my area. I pay city tax. The-drivers of these SUV’s have no respect. Like Harley Davidson, they seem to feel empowered by driving such a big stupid car. I don’t want to quote Freud.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Just listen to this PEARL, Harbouring bad things about Japan. This bozo does not know his history from his A==E.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yeah, as Goodlucktoyou says, most big US cars are driven by Yakuza and chimpira now, so there is an image problem. If you look at pictures of post-war Japan, you see lots of US cars on the roads, but then they disappeared. I'm guessing that Trump will not be satisfied until Japan passes a law saying that every Japanese has to own at least one US car. But come to think of it, maybe even Yakuza and chinpira have stopped driving US cars as I never see that these days, unlike when I was a kid in the 80s.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Foreign-made cars are absolutely unfairly priced here. No question about it and it's not American cars only. German, French and Italian ones as well.

And it's not only automobiles, either.

Those who disagree with this comment are blind to the fact. Or, don't want to know the truth.

I know, there are 'no' taxes nor tariffs for products coming here but why does everything end up being so crazily marked up?!?!? Try building a house and see what I mean. Foreign made appliances are at least double if not triple priced.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Trump, angry about the poll results, reverts to default language. Smokescreen and blustering.

You cannot argue to him logically about how more Japanese cars are produced in the USA, creating jobs, and helping boost US exports. He has heard that all before, understood it, and forgotten it again. He is in an emotional, and not a listening frame of mind.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Is there a market for American cars in Japan? Yes, but probably very limited. American cars that are popular in Japan are retro ones, made back in the 70s, to car enthusiasts. Recent American cars fail in the design department - there's very little appealing about the way they look. Also, there is an image issue - I think many Japanese who buy foreign cars are looking for luxury image cars (Mercedes, BMW, etc). GM, Ford, and Chrysler don't scream luxury

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Almost confused with ALmost. To build a house doesn't require appliances, only after built it.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I know friends here who own Caddillacs, Teslas and the same Camero from Transformers here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the main issue is marketing, there needs to be more marketing, generally we love western stuff, Disney, Apple, Hollywood etc, though American cars here need to heavily push more marketing, if Apple can sell crap plastic phones, then anyone can sell anything here, just stronger marketing with Dentsu perhaps.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Even Nike conquered all the shoe market here for example, Asics and co stand zero chance to Nike.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As an American who has served in the US Military and lived a long time in Asia, I am totally embarrassed that Trump represents the USA.

Saying that I often argue with good friends stateside, that they lost faith in the US Political system

Trump, talking about American cars not being sold in Japan is probably well aware that no one wants them in Japan, but he does not care.

He treats everything as a business deal, America is a giant and he believes Japan should reward them . That’s it.

I also feel the same as you, even though I tell people here that he doesn't represent me. It's also embarrassing that he and his kids need fact checks and schooling on their comments. It's just too boring that he makes bullying into an art form as well as playing the victim, which is what bullies do when they are defeated.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Trump hasn't come to grips with the fact that us cars aren't such a hot commodity overseas.

Jeep and Cadillac do have (I think) pretty recognisable brand names but most ppl wouldn't buy their cars; owning a Cadillac or a Jeep is (even for those who can afford it) a bit of a 'fantasy'. 'Must be nice' type of product.

And there's just nothing special about other us cars I.e not particularly good nor cheap nor robust nor etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Trump says Japan treats U.S. unfairly on trade by not taking more American cars

The subterfuge master is back at it again. It's proven to be easier for pickpockets to steal, when their victim is momentarily distracted by something flashy.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If the tariffs are the same for US vehicles entering Japan as they are for Japanese vehicles entering the USA, I wouldn't expect anything more.

Just read that Japan has zero tariffs on car imports from the USA, so it is clear that the sellers of US-made vehicles aren't competing. Simple as that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I know friends here who own Caddillacs, Teslas and the same Camero from Transformers here.

The problem is that those are luxury cars, not many people buy those, and since it is a niche market, the market is always present, no matter how small they are.

What American carmakers need is the good strategy to market good normal American cars such as Chevy Cruze, Bolt, or Ford Fiesta, Focus, etc., which will suit to Japanese environment since those cars are quite popular in Europe. And the marketing is just not enough since "American cars" word often evokes big and gas-guzzling large pickup trucks, although sensible American cars do exist.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Lexus etc are not that much cheaper anyhow, when you think of it. Toyotas and co have gone up in price here too.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

We are starting to like big American stuff, Costco is packed, people eat large steaks at Tony Romas etc, the image of eat less, consume less, is a very out dated image of us

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

On the topic, funnily enough in Odaiba last week, I even saw a lot of low rider classic cars with hydraullics, so the image of American cars is respected, just the marketing needs adjusting. Basically our car industry wouldnt exist without American cars of the past.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the saddest parts about this -- and of course lost on the Trumpers -- is watching his fans, who have in the past SCREAMED about the Constitution being the most sacred thing on earth, cheer on Trump as he stomps all over it (either with this or saying he can single-handedly ignore the 14th Amendment) and turns the nation even closer to a dictatorship. I mean, seriously! some posters on here CLAIM to work for the media and cheer on Trump when he says they are the enemy of the people. Clearly those posters have zero credibility and Don't really work for the "Media" per se, but personal blogs or YouTube videos if they are being serious in supporting Trump on this. What's more, Trump spits out very personal, very bigoted insults against reporters, in some cases saying the bombs were justified, and then turns around and bemoans how unfair people are and Don't treat him like the "nice guy he came out here to be".

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Akie

Almost confused with ALmost. To build a house doesn't require appliances, only after built it.

Oh, Akie. Thank you for that totally nonsensical comment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If Japan wants to please Trump, allow American business to set up car dealerships with their money and bring the cars in but by no means try to encourage Japanese to buy those cars. No one should be forced directly or otherwise to buy anything and fracly after being in Japan many times I do not see much reason why would Japanese buy American cars. Most of American models are inferior in their class or simply are not suitable for the Japanese conditions and applications. It is actually many cars made and used in Japan that would be advantageous for our north american use but are not available here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kenji Fujimori: " It is not like in the west, people are not frugal here, they spend even in the bad economic period we are in."

So, Japanese waste money Simply to raise their appearance in other people's eyes? That's not saying a lot about the culture, bud, and certainly not that they are stoic or good at setsuyaku. In any case, what does it have to do with Trump being a dictator?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

American cars just don't have a good reputation in Japan and it probably was justified in the past. However, times have changed, and the American car manufacturers now have several issues to deal with before they can successfully establish themselves here:

1) They have a huge perception issue to get around in terms of their cars being poor quality, inefficient and unsuitable for narrow Japanese roads. This is a marketing issue.

2) Japanese people have a vast selection of makes, models and sub-types to choose from. There is little compelling a Japanese person to choose an American vehicle over a Japanese one.

3) European vehicles still come with that 'aura' of luxury, that often follows European goods. German vehicles also have the perception of quality and reliability surrounding them (rightly or wrongly)

4) Japanese people are often more receptive to European styled vehicles.

5) And the big one is the long standing relationships that corporate, organisations and the public sector has with Japanese vehicle manufacturers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Does no one remember some past US President saying almost the exact same words about 20+ years ago. One of the Bush's I think. Really! Almost word for word.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

saikophysko

without any modifications! You do realize Japan drives on the right hand side. therefore right hand drive vehicles. As far as im aware most US cars dont fit into that category. Go figure why they cant sell cars here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Blame the Europeans, all the cars in my hood are Mercedes, BMW, VW, Audi, Alfa Romeo.

Is Jeep American? There are some of them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Tokyo-Engr

Interestingly enough I seem to see more U.S. made vehicles in Korea than in Japan. Perhaps it is related to the location of the steering wheel. I do not think it is an issue with tariffs.

Koreans are wealthier than Japanese nowadays, a median Korean full-time worker earns 50% more than a median Japanese full-time worker.

This extra income affords Korean consumers with higher priced cars. In Korea, the average selling price of a new car is $35,000, so consumers have a wide variety of choices from around the world. By comparison, poorer Japanese consumers can only afford Kei-cars, if at all, and are simply priced out of imported cars.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

SaikoPhyscoToday  06:48 am JST

And.... of course here comes the U.S. Car haters..... ohhh, the quality is bad, their too big. Yes, U.S. Auto manufacturers do not make their cars exactly for the Japanese market.... mainly because they've never had major success here. But don't tell me, at least now, it is due to size and quality. U.S. cars, suvs, and trucks, come in all shapes and sizes and the quality is on par with Japanese makers. I hope Japan will do what S. Korea did.... give U.S. Automakers an amnesty on a certain amount of vehicles. Basically let in a number of vehicles with out all the red tape.... let them in as is and not require any modifications and no tax. S. Korea is doing this.... my hope is that Japan will let in around 100,000 U.S. autos and pickup trucks. I'll be in line for a Ford F-150.

Right! That fixes the problem, oh, actuallt it doesn’t! America has to put the steering wheel on the other side, and they are not willing to do that OR pay for opening up car dealerships and pay for advertising. Just too much expense, so they are left whining about the situation. Other companies have succeeded here. 7-11,in fact the Japanese 7-11 subsidary was so successful it bought the American one. American car dealers are just lazy!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So all that "face time" with Trump amounted to nothing, Abe opened the doors for the farmers so that Trump wouldn't impose traffifs on cars but already changing his mind. #noonewantsAmericancars

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Odd that the Germans don't have the same problem. Maybe it's because they make stylish, well-designed, well-built cars that are suited for Japanese roads... Other than maybe a Tesla, I can't think of a US car I'd swap my aged BMW for.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In a free market you have to convince the consumer to buy the product. The average Japanese knows that thier cars are superior because they are manufactured by Japanese workers with thier legendary work ethic and attention to detail. Why buy American or anyone else's cars?

Where the Americans do better than the Japanese is agriculture. The U.S. should negotiate with the Japanese to open up such markets.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It must be something to do with all those 7 litre American V8s producing 35 horsepower.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I was forced to drive America cars through this rental shop in Hawaii when vacationing there. What a nightmare they were. Weak battaries that gave out, and flimsy, and not fun to drive at all.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Interestingly enough I seem to see more U.S. made vehicles in Korea than in Japan. Perhaps it is related to the location of the steering wheel. I do not think it is an issue with tariffs.

Steering wheel location doesn't affect at all. It's due to GM having big manufacturing facilities in Korea and their willingness to invest a lot there in terms of job creation, advertising and large dealership network. They even developed a car suited to Korea and Asian environment such as the small hatchback city car Chevy Aveo and Spark, which are in turn exported to many countries such as SE Asia and India, a primarily right hand drive market. And they're not US made, they're Korean made American cars.

This mirrors the strategy used by Japanese carmakers in the USA; build a big manufacturing facility there and make cars suited to local taste. That's why there are big Toyota Sienna or Tundra which are not even sold in Japan because they're too large, but they are popular with American buyers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trump first said, "Say hello to Shinzo" Oh dear this is so cringe worthy, how can a world leader be so inept at diplomacy and tact.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Trump acts like such a stupid American, but maybe on purpose. It is his way of saying that he does not have to respect a polite culture like Japan.

Japan has about 0% tariffs on automobile imports. American cars have a history of poor quality, and big SUVs and Pickup trucks that Americans prefer are too large for many Japanese streets and parking lots

There have been many partnerships between Japanese manufacturers and the US Autobilie industry major companies. It is probably the American's fault that it does not produce models that work well in Japan

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Also, US Manufacturers only produce cars with steering wheel on left side, because we drive on the right side of the road. Japanese cars have it on the right side. European car companies manufacture cars with it on right side for "left hand drive" like in Japan, because of the UK and Australian markets.

If US manufacturers produced cars configured for Japanese drivers, they might sell some more?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Because Trump rarely takes the time to learn the details about something, he takes a position that is adversarial for little or no reason. I have other examples about Trump's ignorance.

It reflects very badly on Americans.

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Ya guys know the #1 small car in Europe (where many roads are also small and narrow)? The Ford Focus

That's the kind of car they should take to Japan

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The only US brand that has proved to be of any worth in the EU has been Ford, that company understands how to make cars for non-Americans.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nobody wants American cars -- they are shoddy and get recalled incessantly.

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There is a reason for that President Trump. Most people do not like American cars because they are not fuel efficient, their parts are expensive and overall, aside from having a strong horsepower which is more harm than beneficial... Would you want such a car? Basically, you gotta pay more gasoline and when it needs repairs, you gotta pay more for the parts. And also, the car is not as durable as a Japanese car. Sorry for being biased but this is quite accurate of the reality regarding American cars.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I can remember seeing a big yellow Hummer (not the smaller SUV, but one of the big ones) in the town I lived in (a suburb or Osaka). It was hysterical. Took up 3/4 of every street it was on, and I'm talking both sides of the road. It just made me howl. Kind of like getting a 60 inch tv for a shoe box Japanese apartment. Just too much. Good luck with that Drumph.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am American and would never buy an American car while living in Japan simply because Japanese cars are more efficient and parts are easier to get while in Japan.

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More of the usual Trump ignorance (willful, I guess) and belligerence. It's not a matter of Japan "letting in more US cars", as the barriers to US manufacturers selling their cars here are not ones set by the government. Rather, US manufacturers don't have any significant presence here, either in a marketing sense or a sales and support sense. It is doubtful that they would be willing to invest in a marketing campaign to raise awareness of their products, change their cars' generally poor image (uneconomical, unreliable, ugly and oversized), and foster interest or demand. Furthermore, they almost certainly wouldn't be prepared to invest large sums in an extensive local dealership network (vital here) to sell and support/service their vehicles. Therefore, American cars will remain an exotica with a niche market, bought almost exclusively by a small number of enthusiasts or hobbyists, and unknown to or unwanted by average motorists buying cars for practical reasons.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with BigYen. US made cars do not have a positive image. I hardly ever see them at home in Australia, either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@lostrune2 and Para Situs: Too bad Ford just pulled out of the Japanese market.

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Are US car exports to Japan configured to support right-side drivers? If not, that would be the major reason US cars don't sell well in Japan. I drove a left-side drive US car while stationed in Japan back in the 1980s. Most of the time, driving that car was very stressful.

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Why not ask an expert?

I sell cars for a living in Japan and have for the better half of 20 years now. Ferrari is the current brand I am assigned too. Many of you brought up some great points. Kenji brought up a really good point about marketing and nailed it. Yes, Japanese car buyers looking to be different like the European brands allot. Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Bentley, Maserati, is what my dealership deals in. They sell well here in Fukuoka. Bigger and newer roads here as well. The German brands do well in Fukuoka. The Italian brands by FCA are doing very well too. Fiat 500C the Japanese woman love it! With all that known. Why did GM Japan fold up? Why does Jeep do well? Why is the Ford Mustang (eco boost) the most imported American car in Japan? There are many variables. It would take me half a day to list all the facts. But Kenji again nailed it. It's about marketing and support. There is one company here in Fukuoka doing very well with Cadillac and Chey Camaro's. Personally I drive a Dodge Challenger with a Liberty Walk Kit. (beast) Yes, it can be a challenge driving down smaller roads so avoid it.

I also have a Kei that my wife drives, and I love it. I have an uncanny way of seeing my business as a consumer. The fact is the average Japanese family would prefer a large vehicle and a Kei car. It really is all about income and what class bracket you fall in to. If you wealthy and the Japanese elite and looking to flaunt your status. Are really going to drive Prius? No. You are going to be wrapped up with keeping up with Jones. That’s what wealthy Japanese do. That’s the sad fact. If you are a factory worker, you are going to drive a normal Japanese car. But to say there is no market for American cars in Japan would be gross miscalculation. The Ford Focus is a fine car. It’s better than Camry. The hummer is discontinued who commented about that. GM stopped making them. The H2 was the best model GM ever made. I see allot of H2 on the roads here in Fukuoka and have one in service as I type. The-150 Raptor is here as well. But there is no place to release the beast in Japan. One who drives a Raptor is just making a statement and his going to 4x4 events.

The fact is the future is up for grabs. I see EV vehicles being the future in Japan and in the world. It’s just a matter of time. Companies like Tesla, Bollinger Motors, Faraday are the future. Mark my words. One day owning an aspirated gas-powered vehicle will be privilege one day and be frowned on. One day in the future. When? Who knows. But for now. Let the American dealerships come. Everyone else is here. All about the individual. The consumer? The vehicle they drive is an extension of that person’s personality and class bracket. If the sales man effectively blueprinted the consumer. The consumer is buying the vehicle that meets wants and needs. What does it matter what you drive? As long if you enjoy it and it brings happiness to you. And you’re not going broke driving it.  But make no mistake the Japanese like American products and American vehicles. Good insights on this thread. As far as Trump and trade are concerned. Trump has no idea what the Japanese want if you ask me. Is he wrong to suggest Japan to take more American vehicles? No. What he should be doing is motivating the American car makers to get more pro-active in the Japanese markets. McLaren and Aston Martin would be a good model to follow. They are killing it!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nobody wants American cars -- they are shoddy and get recalled incessantly.

And Japanese cars now too - all the cars now are getting recalled left and right

And what with all the fake inspections over the years revealed now on Japanese cars as well - don't believe the hype anymore that J-cars are any different than other manufacturers; their data are not as good as we thought they were

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Trump can suck my Toyota. This guy is an idiot.

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There are a lot of very successful American companies in Japan. They did their homework and the hard work. From what I'm hearing, they are mainly afraid that President Trump is somehow going to ruin it for them. They are communicating with their Japanese clients about how to keep Trump from ruining everything. Other US companies should just do their homework and hard work to get into the Japanese market.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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