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U.S. senator criticizes Japan on auto trade barriers

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So what should the USA do?? Boycott all Japanese imports??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

US criticism was justified during bubble economy...what is there to criticize Japan now?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Hell yeah! It would be great if I could get a Ford F-650 here without all the headaches!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Maybe they should start making better quality vehicles, instead of criticizing Japan. Many americans don't trust american cars, I don't know how they expect Japanese people to trust their cars. It took them more than 10 years to realize they need to make vehicles with steering wheel on the right hand side of the vehicle to sell them in Japan, executives at Big3 are not exactly smart people.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

American taxpayers have continually asked, "Why is it that Toyota, et al, can bring a measured amount $ in vehicles to the USA without taking the same amount in USA produced goods to Japan?" Fair trade means fair exchange in COMMERCE. Once again the USA taxpayer subsidizes the Japanese economy. China should also be required to purchase a "fair" amount of goods produced in the USA. This is really a serious concern, and it will be address in the next election. Unfortunately, the USA Congress members are interested in self preservation and profit.

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

It's hard to get American imports here. German makers are welcome but Japan and top zombies (In their heads, they're still fighting) continue to wage economic war against the U.S. Such individuals are active in the Diet, dug in like ticks on a mutt. It's time that we boycott all Japanese vehicles from the U.S.

We have good reason to now of course. The brakes don't work Steering problems Poor safety standards

It's time to get things straight between the U.S and Japan as far as trade goes.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Japanese consumers are not interested in buying American products, especially cars.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

If there were no nontariff barriers, American-produced automobile would never sell well in Japan because they already have negative image: coarse and fuel-consuming. Before complaining, they should have created better cars than those of Japanese makers. I have many friends who want to have cars produced by foreign companies, especially by German makers, regardless of price. But no one wants American cars.

5 ( +10 / -6 )

I wonder what kind of trade barriers this man is talking about? As for Tariffs they are basically non-existent for cars here in Japan and there are more barriers in the US created in the 80's. If ti's about the limitation in size then he should try driving a Hummer in the back streets of Tokyo.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

No one wants american cars, they are rubbish, the japanese prefer quality and Toyota knows how to build that. depsite some minor engine pulley issue for the power steering, even if the pulley broke and the power steering didnt work the vehicle could still be safely steered to the side of the road FACT, no big deal.

But who wants to drive a large gas guzzling clunker with the steering wheel on the wrong side ? Only someone with no clue or a poser !

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Old cars from the 50's would be cool. However I am not really concerned about cars. My concern is meat. Where is the Beef?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Would love to see how much traffic a Ford F-650 would cause while trying to negotiate through all the tiny roads here in Japan. That reason alone is enough reason to enact a tariff deterrent.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

German cars are popular in Japan, so it's not that Japanese market is closed. It's a typical american failed business strategy of "this is what we sell in the US so this is what you should buy" mentality that fails everywhere

5 ( +10 / -5 )

@NetNinha, Consumer Report (American magazine) rated Japanese vehicles are the most reliable in all the categories this year. I know the American government did everything they can to put down Toyota, but I guess they are that desperate to push government motors and Ford

2 ( +6 / -4 )

What tarriffs is he referring to? US makers are represented in Japan e.g. Ford, Chrysler, GM. Bottom line is that they can only sell as many as the market will buy, and that's not very many. Japanese car market is around 95% domestic but certain segments of the market e,g. luxury/prestige are dominated by the German makers, for obvious reasons. Their cars are not only perceived to be better than US cars but are proven to be so. Some US cars are better now than they used to be, for sure but they still have a long way to go in designing and producing cars which appeal to this market. The Senator may also have forgotten the huge investment that Japanese makers made in producing their cars in the US.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No one would buy the US cars in Japan, just like no one bought the xbox here... I say Japan has nothing to worry about... unless apple decide to make a car

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

For those who say that Japanese wont buy American cars: if that is the case, then the trade and tariff barriers aren't necessary. Eliminate them immediately.

OTOH, if you don't really believe that, then it's safe to keep them in place.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

DS has a point. "No demand" can also mean "No supply". If there is nothing but Japanese cars available, how can anybody say that Japanese won't buy anything else? Let people decide, they're old enough!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hide Suzuki: German cars are popular in Japan, so it's not that Japanese market is closed. It's a typical american failed business strategy of "this is what we sell in the US so this is what you should buy" mentality that fails everywhere

Totally agree with you. The average Japanese has no interest is an average, huge, poorly made, non eco friendly gas drinking machine. And why would they? Japan has plenty of good, fair priced, reliable and eco friendly domestic cars.

If they want something from overseas and well made, then it is going to be an Audi, BMW or Merc. Sorry USA, your cars are just not a good fit for the domestic market. Accept it, and focus on your main export (burger and fries businesses).

0 ( +5 / -5 )

And one of the most popular foreign cars is the British mini, old and new because of the ease of driving on the smaller back streets.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have only seen 1 Camero in japan, the cars nice in America but in japan it is too wide for some of the roads, but i think the mini is perfect size

1 ( +4 / -3 )

gogogo

unless apple decide to make a car

and if they did it would be a Lemon.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

American cars are readily and easily available here the fact is they are not bought in large numbers by eager Japanese should be enough to tell you something. It's like trying to sell vegies burgers to a meat fiend, why would they want to buy cabbage when their steak is tender and juicey.

As already pointed out foreign made cars are popular here but Japanese don't buy rubbish that's why if they buy foreign it is usually German engineering not clunker made.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

not all cars made in america are huge and gas guzzling, the US also makes eco friendly cars. General Motors is one of the leading users in renewable energy.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors#Environmental_initiatives).

Also in Shizuoka city ive seen at least 5 H2's not to mention that every weekend the guys come out on gofukucho with their cadillacs and muscle cars. People do want the US cars in japan. Its just the demand is not big. Also, if the market was more available they would do just like other foreign companies. This is not talking just about buying current vehicles. If the market opens up they will design cars suited for drivers in japan because it would be more lucrative. Just as Toyota also builds large cars in america and other countries. There are a lot of big toyota cars in America that are not in japan. Also Toyota didnt acquire Lexus for japan, it was for america. Lexus makes big cars. So do BMW and Mercedes.

I dont know much about the Tariff situation but if it is that JP is making it more difficult for the US to exort cars into Japan then it should be changed but if that isnt so, then dont change it.

All I'm saying that dont be so freaking stereotypical in your view of the situation. I mean the Haunda accord is bigger the Chevy Cavalier.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If you look around you'll notice most things that people possess are Japanese. Let's face it Japanese buy Japanese. It must be that group think reasoning.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japanese are largely brainwashed into buying Japanese, its hammered into them day in day out, thats the biggest non-tariff barrier in Japan.

Cars are imported dutyfree into Japan, its after the ports that the problems crop up.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Al Stewart: I am sure the US makes some nice compact fuel efficient cars. But you have Hollywood and US TV dramas to blame. Most portray an image of large, wide and boxy looking poor handling cars, with an engine big enough to run 6~8 Japanese cars.

The US auto industry should focus on where the demand is (the US). You cannot force demand. Find a hungry crowd, then make the food they want. Try it the other way round and it will usually fail.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

There are American cars on the roads here, like Chevy Cruise, Plymouth prowler, Corvettes, Camaros etc. Unfortunately, Japanese people like Japanese cars. I was always a fan of American cars and have built 2 hotrods and owned American V8 cars. One day I had to work on a Toyota Corolla for a friend and once I had road tested it, Japanese cars were for me. Japanese cars are so user friendly, reliable, quiet, and repair parts are cheap. By all means, if you want a hot rod type of vehicle that goes quick in the quarter mile, American cars are good.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese are largely brainwashed into buying Japanese

What a strange thing to say. What's wrong with Japanese people buying their own stuff? Japan's dependence on foreign trade is low (25% of GDP) as compared with most other countries. This tells us that Japanese make most of the stuff that they need and sell most of it to themselves. This is made possible because of Japan's large middle class. Japan's major market is Japan itself. This kind of economy should be the envy of the world. Every other country should aim to achieve the same kind of economic strength and indepencence as much as possible...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

First off seems like most all of you dont understand the "import" system. To bring a car into Japan as an import it must be homogonized. There are only a couple of places in Japan to get this done and it is somewhat costly. In addition to this "tax" (in place to help deter imports through admin and money) there is the other taxes placed based on the value of the car. All tolled up it adds a nice chunk to the cost of the car. These are there to protect the domestic adn INFLATED market. And I wonder why...?? Look at the price for the "new" FJ Cruiser in Japan, $35,000 approx for the "domestic" version and can be had in the US for about $25,000? Hmmmm.....? Over priced in Japan or DUMPING in the US? Neither answer will bode well!

Oh, and did I mention that the arbitrary tax applies to one or 10 of the same make/model (that sright a fixed price for 10 even if you only bring one) again making it favorable to the "dealers" and screwing the little guy that wants to get a car of his choosing because all the retards have decided that the car he want s is not worth for entry into the sacred state of car manufacturing. Add to that the shohizei on charged on the EXPECTED (read inflated) price.

As to the quality reliability etc..., let those that are willing to spend their cash do so as they wish. If I want a Camero then let me get one at a fair price. YUGO sold alot of cars and so have all the KEI cars (though I must admit they have gotten better over the years). I dont like people to decide how I SHOULD spend my money. I am sure that all of you have what I consider retarded stuff (of one sort or the other) but you have the right to have it. Current car is a LandCruiser (LOVE IT) and it is no smaller than the camero I want.

Having owned US, German and Japanese cars in Japan and personally importing several to boot, feel I can talk somewhat inteligibly on the subject.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

@Tokyo you are right that hollywood definitely does that. But I mean Toyota does the same thing, they mainly make small cars but they are popular in the states. If all Americans just want big cars why is that mini cooper and various other small car companies are doing so well? Also Toyota and others have changed for the US market. The US companies would change their strategies to suit the market that they want to enter if they felt that the money was there (its business). Just as i have illustrated with that link showing that GM is a leader in eco friendly innovation.

All I'm saying is that if JP is making it excessively difficult for US car companies to do business, its is unfair. It is quite difficult to buy some foreign goods in Japan unless you live near or in a Base.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

okimike67 wrote:

To bring a car into Japan as an import it must be homogenized...

So, Japan should just import foreign cars "as is" and not "homogenize" them to meet local safety standards, etc.? Why don't US car manufacturers build them to Japanese market requirements and standards before exporting them in the first place?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hide Suzuki wrote;

Maybe they should start making better quality vehicles, instead of criticizing Japan. Many americans don't trust american cars, I don't know how they expect Japanese people to trust their cars. It took them more than 10 years to realize they need to make vehicles with steering wheel on the right hand side of the vehicle to sell them in Japan, executives at Big3 are not exactly smart people.

First, let me correct you on the Right Hand Drive issue...that is NOT a Detroit issue as much as a Japanese consumer issue...the Japanese consumer of US vehicles want the Left Hand Drive as it is SUPPOSE to be a "Status" symbol, which is totally Post-War mentality...it is a known fact that it can be extremely dangerous to drive with a Left Hand Drive in Japan or vice versa in the USA with a Right Hand drive...

There are some countries, Australia comes to mind...where it is required, or at least it WAS a requirement to change over the incorrect sided drive within an allotted amount of time after import into the country...

In the case of Japan, the Government obviously doesn't care which side the drive is on...

On your point of Americans do not trust American Cars...that is SO FAR from the truth...Americans do trust American cars but in many cases, on the lower priced models, they do not have the "toys" included as "standard" equipment like in the case of Japanese and Korean models...with those features and in many cases, the MSRP Sticker Price, being lower for Japanese and Korean vehicles because they are "dumped" on the US market and the Japanese back home pay the difference that the Japanese auto makers lose in the USA...

Now, let's look at the other side of the coin...lets say if the USA were able to "dump", US Models in Japan...and lets just pick a few models for this discussion...Corvette, Charger, Hummer, Cadillac, Lincoln, F-Series Pick-Up Trucks...if the US manufacturers could sell those vehicles in Japan at the same mark-down "dump" price that the Japanese and Korean manufacturers do with their cars, do you honestly think that the US vehicles sales in Japan would not increase quite a lot for the above mentioned models???...I don't think so...

So the next time you start slamming countries and people....at least post both sides of the issue...

As for me...in Japan, I always buy Toyota cars and Yamaha Bikes...and in the USA, I always buy Ford cars and Yamaha bikes...HD bikes SUCK!!!...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Back in the 60's or 70's when Japan wanted to export cars to America and Britain, the manufacturers were told to build car factories in those countries. Which they did. Today 80% of the cars sold are made in those countries.

If America wants to sell cars in Japan, they can come and open a new factory?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

zichiNov wrote;

Back in the 60's or 70's when Japan wanted to export cars to America and Britain, the manufacturers were told to build car factories in those countries. Which they did. Today 80% of the cars sold are made in those countries.

If America wants to sell cars in Japan, they can come and open a new factory?

You are 100% correct!!!...BUT...in order for the US Manufacturers to open a plant(s) in Japan would be a total nightmare...I would venture to say that, the Diet would discuss that issue forever and never come up with the approval and if they DID, in lets say a couple of decades, there would be so many restrictions and policies in place, that it would not make sense to open a factory and profits would be the same as it is now...

I am sure that Detroit has looked into this over the years...they are not ALL idiots in Michigan...

And on some misguided posts by some that American cars are all gas guzzlers is not the case any more...you need to do your homework a little better...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

That's the problem with this United States of A. Instead of staying neutral, they still wanted to command the world. There are many dealers of US made cars in Japan. The problem is, Japanese don't like to drive US cars compared to americans who love driving Japanese cars. Japan made cars are far better than US made that's why they lost the car sales competition in the world. US auto makers are to blame anyway. They stagnate in automotive technologies. No to TPP. Japan will survive anyway. Many Japanese products are sought all over the world. Zichi and ihrwjns are right.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@bajhista you are really just being plain biased. Japan is doing very well in the world with Toyota basically being the Top but i mean the US must be doing something right to be in the number two spot. These are stats i grabbed from wiki. since many dont follow the links

Toyota Motor Corporation ( Japan) Daihatsu Subsidiary Global, except North America and Australia Hino Subsidiary Asia Pacific, North America and South America Lexus Division Global Scion Division North America Toyota Division Global General Motors Company ( United States) Buick Division North America, China, Israel, Taiwan Cadillac Division North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa Chevrolet Division Global, except Australia, New Zealand GMC Division North America, Middle East Holden Subsidiary Australia, New Zealand Opel Subsidiary Global, except North America, United Kingdom Vauxhall Subsidiary United Kingdom
0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sen Carl Levin accused Japan on Wednesday of operating a one-way trade policy in which it exports millions of automobiles annually but retains nontariff barriers that stifle foreign competition at home

Spot on. I have said numerous times over several years here on JT that Japan has not realized that Japan's best days were over, and companies and countries were going to demand that Japan play fair, because Japan needs exports to these countries much more than these countries need Japan. Japan continues to operate in an arrogant manner afforded it by its amazing growth after the war to become the world's second largest economy. But now countries like the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, etc. are calling Japan's bluff. Japan has to wake up and smell the coffee to 21st-century reality, or willingly decide to do nothing and fade from prominence.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I live in the USA and i drive a Honda Civic.. it is the best, most reliable, trouble free car i have ever owned.. the American cars i have owned were junk!... America likes to put their big. powerful cars in movies and people like to drive them around and look cool and tough.... but the truth is most of them are big and powerful... like the Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro and the Ford Mustang.. but they don't last!!!.. by 30-50K miles, i promise you will need need repairs on the A/C, motor leaks etc etc.... by 80K... get ready to have tranmission problems and more.... i have owned enough American cars as an American.... and i will say... i prefer Japanese cars!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't think Japan is much of a "car" society. I don't meet many people who really take pride in what they own or have much interest in talking about them. You don't see much of an aftermarket for parts or mods that you do in the US, and little to nothing in the way of classic cars. Cars just seem like something economical that you buy to go from A to B and forget about while it's parked. And they don't want anything used even though you can get some insane deals on wheels here.

The Germans are doing well since their cars are more of a luxury item and not a typical vehicle that most Japanese buy. The bigger, more expensive sedans seem to dominate here, not the smaller cars that the expats talk about. Mercedes has a small car that I often see but if you pass a BMW it's almost always a 5 or 7-series car. I'd be curious to see what their market share is here compared to the US. My guess is that an open and competitive market raises their market share substantially. You also never see Korean cars....zero. I guess that's because they're all (insert catchphrase here).

I love Mustangs but I'd never buy one here because I've only ever seen one Ford dealership and I can't imagine what it's like trying to get parts for it or having it serviced. Probably brain damage and as someone who knows cars I'd probably feel like an idiot paying through the nose for something I know shouldn't cost that much. I'd feel that same way about anything other than Japanese, BWM, or Mercedes.

I haven't met many Japanese who have much of an opinion of American cars since they really just don't exist here. Usually it comes from expats who have memorized the standard catchphrases and their ability to attach 3-4 zingers in a row really makes them feel like they know their ass from a hole in the ground. The auto industry has changed a lot since the 80s which is when most of the catchphrases were cemented into their heads and after 2-3 minutes you find they run out of things to say and see that they really didn't have much of an interest in cars to begin with; it was mostly just brief mental masturbation. It kind of sucks because it would be nice to talk shop with people who really are interested in cars.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hahaha Does he think people are bloody gonna buy American cars?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japanese auto manufacturers have been practising tricks of 'reverse' exports from their own subsidiaries overseas especially from the US. Now you can take advantage of the dirt cheap USD to raise the number of reverse exports as a means to keep Mr. Detroit's month shut ?

Over the years, the genuine US brands have been pouring great effort in improving quality & styling.. But the image remains weak -- will need many more years to rebuild the reputation badly needed. Just tour around Asia, the only places where these genuine American cars are visible : China... Eh.. Other Asian countries ( precisely, outside the US embassies / near the US military bases ?). Hence, better off focusing on exports of something the Americans are good at, example, F16, F35 etc..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sen Carl Levin accused Japan on Wednesday of operating a one-way trade policy in which it exports millions of automobiles annually but retains nontariff barriers that stifle foreign competition at home

Excuses once again. Volkswagon seem to be very well despite these so-called "non tariff barriers" . Is it any wonder that many countries have trade surpluses with U.S? Always threatening with additional protectionist measures just because things don't go your way. Waaaaa!!!

Threat to enact protectionist measures to developing nations which resulted in Plaza Accord. Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competetiveness Act. Structural Impediments initiative which is basically ordering Japan to not spend government money to promote exports. Always changing the rules when the score isn't in your favor.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Hide SuzukiNOV. 10, 2011 - 02:19PM JST German cars are "POPULAR" in Japan, so it's not that Japanese market is closed. It's a typical american failed business strategy of "this is what we sell in the US so this is what you should buy" mentality that fails everywhere"

@Hide Suzuki The notion of "popularity" described above can make a GREAT difference.

Just stand in central Tokyo's streets with heaviest traffics and take a brief count on the number of non Japanese brands including German ones passing by. Then do the same in the US on Japanese brands ( you could argue that these Toyotas, Scions are American made )..the notion of so- called "popular" cars. When Japanese Inc. Strikes at certain markets automobiles, motorcycles etc, the damage is disastrous for the competition. For cameras, there is only one number one nation, sorry, no more number 2, 3 & so on as all other brands disappeared. Pretty fair play though ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ever heard of the "chicken tax?" It is a 25% import tax levied on light trucks and vans by the US government since 1963. Now that is a barrier!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have asked the same question many times, in many places, to many different people. I never got an answer. What exactly are those non-tariff barriers? Isn't it strange that all the world talks about supposed non-tariff barriers but isn't even capable of naming them? Can somebody finally give some flesh to the bone?

To those quoting the price of US-made cars in Japan, please remember two things: price is determined by supply and demand and is not necessarily related to cost. Many companies selling goods in Japan rather like to keep sales prices higher in order to create a luxury image. And when you import cars, you have some fixed costs which you have to spread over the sales price of all the cars you sell. When you only sell a few cars, the fixed costs add up significantly to the total cost of the car.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What exactly are those non-tariff barriers?

gonemad -- are you serious? Let's just refer to the most recent one. Back in 2008, when Japan reacted to the world-wide recession with the Eco Points program and direct government rebates for eco-friendly cars, foreign cars, of course, did not originally qualify. Did you miss that? Or how about the taxes that are deliberately set to penalize foreign cars due to their sizes and/or engine configurations? And for you folks that think the Japan market is "open" and this is just sour grapes on the part of a U.S. senator, think again. Less than 10% of the vehicles sold in Japan are foreign, so this is a SK, Eurpean, U.S., etc. issue. Just ask yourself, how come Hyundai has become the fastest growing major car brand in the states, and its Sonata outsells the Camry and Accord there, but they can't even make a tow-hold here? Like I said, Japan's bluff is being called and it won't be pretty if they want to join TPP. Countries have learned Japan's game and are done playing it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Meh. The middle of the article says it all:

Levin represents Michigan, the heart of the U.S. automobile industry.

Just another politician trying to win "brownie points" from his constituents. U.S. cars drive on the "wrong" side of the road as far as the Japanese are concerned, so nothing would get shipped to Japan without a major re-work of the driving arrangements. In most cases the redesign wouldn't be worth the effort. The "distinguished Senator from the great state of Michigan" probably already knows this, but spouting off like this to the press makes him look good to the voters back home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

U.S. cars drive on the "wrong" side of the road as far as the Japanese are concerned, so nothing would get shipped to Japan without a major re-work of the driving arrangements.

Fadamor -- you're not serious are you? First off, if you live in Japan you know that many of the foreign cars sold in Japan, especially the high-end ones like BMW, Mercedes and Porsche, are NOT re-configured for driving on the left for Japan. In fact many buyers want the steering wheel to be on the left the way it is for America and most of the rest of the world, as they consider it a status symbol. Second, car companies design cars with both left and right drive as a matter of course, since a number of countries, like the U.K., have driving on the left. Finally, you need to stop making this a U.S. auto issue and see that this is just one example of many, many complaints that numerous countries have about Japan's non-tariff barriers, and that these countries are going to draw a line in the sand and make sure Japan knows that if it wants to have the benefits of TPP, it is going to have to play by the rules -- for once. And more talk isn't going to cut it, because the world knows the value of Japanese assurances.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The US should build cars that don't fall apart; the integrity is awful. I don't even like buying American-made Japanese cars; we have a RAV4 made in Japan and a Civic Hybrid made in Japan. Are we doing so badly that we're back to bashing Japan, which employs thousands and thousands of people in the US?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What about the Ford Focus or Fiesta? I could see cars like these making an impact in Japan.. smaller size, good fuel efficiency, fairly reliable. The Japanese mindset isn't in the big 4 door sedans that North Americans love so the auto makers would need to cater to that aspect. Doubt that the Taurus would sell very many vehicles in Japan

Cars like the Mustang, Corvette, etc.. are for a niche market in Japan anyways.

I'm surprised that Hyundai hasn't been able to get into Japan. The Sonata is a highly rated automobile and pratically outsells Toyota in the states

Anyways, the US automakers should concentrate on China since their economy isn't stagnating like Japan's has.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ted BarreraNov. 10, 2011 - 02:18PM JST Would love to see how much traffic a Ford F-650 would cause while trying to negotiate through all the tiny roads here in Japan. That reason alone is enough reason to enact a tariff deterrent.

Yup. There sure ain't no large domestic models on the road. Oops! Forgot about the Land Cruiser, FJ Cruiser or the Honda Step Wagon to name just three.

I agree with you as I think anything larger than a F-150 should be classified as a commercial vehicle and require a special "business use only" license here. Americans are, by-and-large, complete idiots about what they drive. However, there are lots of vehicles manufactured and sold in Japan that are too large for half the roads. Once upon a time, the engine displacement tax used to be so high that very few Japanese could afford such behemoths. I can only assume it's been relaxed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back in 2008, when Japan reacted to the world-wide recession with the Eco Points program and direct government rebates for eco-friendly cars, foreign cars, of course, did not originally qualify. Did you miss that? Or how about the taxes that are deliberately set to penalize foreign cars due to their sizes and/or engine configurations?

This is exactly what is meant by "excuses". The simple solution to all this is to make eco-friendly cars to qualify for Eco points. The simple solution if to configure the size and specifications to meet the Japanese standards. The Japanese automakers do this every time when there is a change within their own government but apparently U.S. cannot because they are simply not capable of understanding a simple concept that you make products to conform to the buyer as well as the country's environment (i.e. regulations). Instead, they impose their OWN value and standars and try to shove it up at other people's throats.

Again, is it any wonder that U.S. has sooo much trade deficits with other countries.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Are we doing so badly that we're back to bashing Japan, which employs thousands and thousands of people in the US?

Yes, Japanese car companies employ thousands of Americans to make their cars here in America - just not in Michigan which is the reason this Senator from Michigan is squawking so loudly. The issue isn't Japanese cars, the issue is American cars and why Michigan isn't inundating foreign shores with them. As others have posted here, the American brands suffer an image problem over and above any tariff concerns. The senator would do just as well to ask Detroit, "Y U No Make Good Cars?!"

Personally, I own a GM car, a 2011 Buick Regal and am quite happy with it. Of course, it's not really American because it was designed and built in Russelsheim, Germany. Thus, even though I'm supporting the American auto industry, I'm not COMPLETELY supporting them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Geez, Why can't USA give Japan a break? Japan is still paying the consequences of earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster, and it's just a bunch of islands poor of raw materials, with an overrated currency...USA is a huge rich country full of raw materials, an imperialist power, and dollar is weak now...they could be more tollerant with small countries.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It's only 8 months since Japan had the worse three mega disasters in its history, and the reconstruction and dealing with the worse nuclear disaster in 25 years should be top of the agenda, just friends of the nation should be doing their best to support, just like Japan did for America in 2008 when it helped out their worse financial disaster since 1928.

I didn't hear American politicians complain when Japan helped out America with $900 billion of debts?

Some politicians have short memories?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

USA is a huge rich country full of raw materials, an imperialist power

??? This was certainly true back in the late 1800's. Not so true now. We're so "rich" that our debt continues to increase at an alarming rate and the weenies up the road in Washington would rather pass useless resolutions than actually do something constructive about the problems we're facing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would never purchase American car.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

jesuslovesjapan

This kind of economy should be the envy of the world. Every other country should aim to achieve the same kind of economic strength and indepencence as much as possible...

Really, so basically what your saying is that if there is little global trade thats good, well guess what then Japan wud be like NKorea not what it is today because guess what, no exports means Japan cant buy any oil etc

Japan has massively benefited from trade but due to internal brainwashing allow only the minimum to enter, basically they have been pulling a fast one since the 60s, well the times they are a changing & unless Japan does too its going to be in for a world of hurt, lets see who envys Japan the way its headed now!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All the trade agreements in the world will not change the closed minds of the Japanese or South Korean people.It is truly sad.America should close their markets and force their citizens to only buy America.Seems to working economically over here in Asia.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

For all intents and purposes, the Japanese auto market to foreign manufacturers is closed to everyone. J-goverment makes sure that no one gets a foothold. Korea don’t sell many cars to Japan either, Korea sold 500 cars to Japan last year. For U.S. cars, there are still barriers to entry that is more effective than tariffs and quotas. They include inspections, complicated distribution systems and taxation. No amount of U.S. argument could persuade Japan to relax the standards. Japan evidently considered it their mission to block vehicles with the smallest, most inconsequential defects. Because of this, U.S. automakers may not regard the Japanese market as worth much of an effort.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

nigelboyNov. 11, 2011 - 02:51AM JST. The simple solution to all this is to make eco-friendly cars to qualify for Eco points. The simple solution if to configure the size and specifications to meet the Japanese standards. The Japanese automakers do this every time when there is a change within their own government but apparently U.S. cannot because they are simply not capable of understanding a simple concept that you make products to conform to the buyer as well as the country's environment (i.e. regulations). Instead, they impose their OWN value and standars and try to shove it up at other people's throats.

Then explain to me why Korean automaker, Hyundai only sold 500 cars to Japan last year. Especially their compact car and mid size cars, they configure or exceed to Japanese standards. However, at the same time, Japanese exported 21,00 cars to Korea. Hyundai actually make very good cars that are equal or better than many Japanese cars with lower prices.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Cars which are made in Europe but for export to America, are built according to American standards and not European ones so why does America think it should be allowed to export cars to Japan not made to Japanese standards?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hide Suzuki, You are right,Japan has successfully copied all of America's great inventions to perfection.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

zichiNov. 11, 2011 - 09:53AM JST. so why does America think it should be allowed to export cars to Japan not made to Japanese standards?

U.S. really don't need Japanese cars. What happened in early 90's when Japan exported over 1-2 million vehicles annually for two decades, and U.S. exported to Japan a drop in the bucket. Japan called this "FREE TRADE". Problem with Japan is that they never understood the meaning of self restraint. U.S. should restricts or add 100 percent tariffs on Japanese export cars. U.S. manufacturers, such as Ford makes very good cars already and they really don't need Japanese cars. U.S. should implement same policy regarding vehicle imports as Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfp330

since 80% of Japanese cars sales in America are cars made in Japan by American workers, so what are you saying, America no longer needs those jobs? The unemployment rate must be better than I had thought?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

oop's In my last comment I should have said 80% of Japanese cars sold in America are made in America by American workers!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Zichi, Don't you think that those American workers should be making American cars?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

honey,

I corrected the error in my comment?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nigelboy: Again, is it any wonder that U.S. has sooo much trade deficits with other countries.

Because we have a lot more money than anyone else, and we also have a market that is easy to enter for other countries. Add the two together and it's no wonder there are always deficits. The money going out to purchase exports is usually offset by foreign investment in the US. So while Toyota is building plants left and right in the US, foreign car companies do not build anything in Japan, meaning no jobs for Japanese auto workers which is why their numbers are declining and will continue to do so. With economics it's always good and bad. You also had a strong dollar up until recently, but now that the dollar is weak exports from the US have shot up. Or I suppose I could borrow the logic from some on here and just claim that the quality of US products has shot up. Seems fair.

People can bash Detroit all they want, but you can't get around the fact that market share numbers are out of whack for Japan. People might see BMW or Mercedes in Japan but like I said before their market share here is probably minuscule compared to their market share in the US and other countries. If you say market share is a function of quality then you must think German cars are crap since they don't sell nearly as well in Japan, especially their smaller cars. What's the argument? Oh yeah, Germany simply can't build a small car that meets Japanese standards.

And why no cars from Korea?

Each country is different. Look at China. GM and Volkswagon do better than Japanese companies. I guess Japanese cars must suck when you live in China. Or so the argument goes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here we go again. US congress is a problem, not a solution. Ignorant and Arrogant.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

To US Congress members:

Japanese are willing to drive foreign made cars, but not US cars yet..As a matter of fact, German Auto industry is doing very well in Japan. Before blaming Japan, please take time and evaluate why German cars are doing great in Japan.

Before shifting a blame to Japan, the US congress members have to shift focus on US auto industry. US Auto industry has to show their willingness to modify products to meet Japanese consumer needs. Who want to buy Chevy Surburban or Ford 350 on narrow Japanese roads/streets? Speed limit, customer service after care, warranty, size of engines, gas efficiency, manufacturing cost/margin. They are all important elements to be considered.

Once you modify all what I have mentioned above, and Japanese are not buying, then you have a case against Japan.

Best Regards.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

GW wrote:

Really, so basically what your saying is that if there is little global trade thats good,

What I'm saying is that a country should not depend too much on global trade. Japan has the "image" of being a trade-dependent nation, but exports have always been only some 10 to 15% of Japan's GDP. Japan is an internal market-driven economy. Yes, it exports a lot, but again 67 trillion total exports (2010 figure) is only some 14% of the >500 trillion GDP. Compare that with Korea's 50% or so, China's >30%, Germany's >30%, etc. Japan also earns enough foreign currency from its world-topping net foreign assets of 250 trillion yet and can still buy oil etc. even if it happens that Japan can't export anymore.

TPP, "Free trade" advocates basically don't believe that Japan's internal market can grow anymore. That's the unproven assumption that underlies their logic. Besides, the Great East Japan Earthquake is crying for government investment to rebuild roads, bridges, sea walls, distribution networks, communications networks, schools, etc. etc. If done right, recovery projects from the Great East Japan Earthquake will naturally lead to GDP growth. I'm not saying free trade is absolutely bad. I'm saying Japanese policy makers need to implement what works for a particular economic situation at a point in time.

Again, free-trade is an anti-inflationary measure. Joining TPP when Japan's economy is in a deflationary spiral will only make things worse. Japan can do "free trade" when the economy shifts to inflation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

gonemad -- are you serious? Let's just refer to the most recent one. Back in 2008, when Japan reacted to the world-wide recession with the Eco Points program and direct government rebates for eco-friendly cars, foreign cars, of course, did not originally qualify. Did you miss that?

herefornow, I'm serious. The Japanese Eco Points program was specifically designed to promote fuel efficient cars. It was open to any foreign makers. When you want to define what fuel-efficiency means, you have to apply certain measurement criteria. Every country does so and it is not suprising that the criteria differ depending on the typical usage conditions in each country. But US car makers thought it too much of a burden to go through the measurement procedures (here we are again with fixed costs and low sales volumes) and instead opted to press Japan on the political level. Finally Japan granted an exemption for low-volume imports that those cars don't have to conform to Japanese measurement procedures and can instead use the relaxed(!) US procedures. So actually those US cars get an unfair advantage in the Japanese market. Nobody cared much, because it applies only to low-volume imports. Now when the Eco Point program started, Japan restricted it to cars which passed the Japanese fuel efficiency measurement procedures. It's perfectly reasonable to apply the same rules for everybody and since we are in Japan, that they are the Japanese ones. Again, the US car makers used political pressure to keep their unfair advantage. This is not a story of Japanese market protection, but of the incredible arrogance of the US to bend the rules when it is in their favor. Cars are not the only example.

Or how about the taxes that are deliberately set to penalize foreign cars due to their sizes and/or engine configurations?

Please show me exactly where the taxes penalize foreign cars.

Less than 10% of the vehicles sold in Japan are foreign, so this is a SK, Eurpean, U.S., etc. issue. Just ask yourself, how come Hyundai has become the fastest growing major car brand in the states, and its Sonata outsells the Camry and Accord there, but they can't even make a tow-hold here?

This is much more a reflection of company strategies vs market demand than anything else. Or do you want to discuss why Japanese and Korean makers can achieve good sales in Europe while US-made, US-designed cars only achieve negligible market share? So please stay with what is verifyable: which rules, which taxes or whatever discriminate against foreign car makers in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you say market share is a function of quality then you must think German cars are crap since they don't sell nearly as well in Japan, especially their smaller cars. What's the argument? Oh yeah, Germany simply can't build a small car that meets Japanese standards.

Superlib,

I'd say market share is a function of quality in Japan but that principle do not necessarily apply to other countries especially in places like China where the autos are quite unreliable and yet cheap. This is still the bulk of the buyers because of their low level of income. Factories are set up domestically especially to cater those consumer. However, in Japan, the Toyotas that are made in Japan and sold domestically are far superior than a similar model made in U.S. And thanks for mentioning why foreign made cars whether it be from U.S. never make it in Japan for they have not set up their own factory, dealership, and service centers in Japan. You simply can't expect that mass population to buy your products even if the quality happens to be equal. German automakers at least figured out that the Japanese market is not that big to begin with and the growth potential is limited. So there is no sense in spending billions into setting up factories, dealerships, and service centers for the risks isn't worth it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is not a story of Japanese market protection, but of the incredible arrogance of the US to bend the rules when it is in their favor. Cars are not the only example.

Beef is another example.

Japan enacted a "Beef Traceability Law" where every cow is recorded for DOB, which offspring it came from, where it was hearded, etc. U.S. didn't want to test every cow. So Japan countered with the age limit. Now U.S. is pressuring Japan to increase the age limit while maintaining their test procedures.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And the reason for the beef was because of "Mad Cow Disease" just as in Britain, all cows have their own "passport".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ihrwjns I see your points but must disagree. Japanese people who want american vehicles with steering wheel on the left hand side are minority who want to look cool by driving unique cars if they want to get into main stream in Japan, then they need to make affordable, reliable vehicles, just like anywhere else. American cars have this bad image from a long time, and it takes a long time to change people's mind set, but hey, Japanese makers dind't build their reputation over night, it took them decades. I have met many americans who say they don't trust american cars, also met americans who say they buy american vehicles to suport american economy, even with the problems, so I stand by my comment that many americans don't trust american vehicles, not all but many. In terms of price, I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Korean cars, yes, but Japanese cars in the US are hardly cheap vehicles, definitely not Toyota or Honda. It's always GM and Ford who are offering ridiculous offers, $4000 cash back, 0% interest rate for 5 years etc and many vehicles you listed are not even sellable in Japan, Hummer, Cadillac, Lincoln, F-Series, i don't know about legality but I sure wouldn't even think about driving any of these in tiny Japanese roads and parking lots :)

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

GM already sells about 150,000 cars a year in China or 50 times what it sells in Japan. There is a prospect for growth in China. U.S. automakers know that Japan market is not worth much of an effort and they will bypass unprofitable market. The Japan market has an aging population, and car ownership is sometimes a difficult to ask in a crowded Japan. Not to mention the fact that Japan has the most competitive automakers in the world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Gurukun

What would you need a tank for? The F650 is larger than some Japanese apartments, sure is larger than the apartment I head in Uehonmachi.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Gurukun What would you need a tank for? The F650 is larger than some Japanese apartments, sure is larger than the apartment I head in Uehonmachi

If I was able to get my hands on one.....I'd probably have to make it my apartment too. (T_T)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

America has more barriers to foreign built cars than America. While it is possible to bring your Camero or Corvette to Japan it was impossible for me to take my Japanese Spec Supra to America. IMPOSSIBLE, how many right wheel drive cars do you see in America? I would of had to crash test one, the American laws are insane. This also includes European cars, the lie it is impossible to get an American spec car is untrue. Gurukun, Why would any one want a large whale boat like a Ford 650? One thing it would be a 100 plate, second where would you park it? Next where would you service it?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yuri, just a dream of mine, nothing more. For a man, it's all about the testosterone rush of driving something big down the street. It's stupid, I know...but it's a man's thing. LOL! (^^)y

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Gurukun, if it makes you happy, it is ok :) I have no issues with the big things as long as they do not hit my car. Please do not blame Japan for its rules, our streets and parking spots are small. In America everything is so big. However this Senator needs to look at Americas restrictive rule first.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let's compare cars to women. Feel free to do a version with men. I don't have the time.

Japanese: A reliable little housewife. Dependable and careful with your money.

American: You met her in a bar, she dresses like a slut and has tattoos. You pay on dates.

German: Wears well cut business suits and whips you mercilessly in the bedroom. You pay, dirt pig, you PAY.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@GG2141

That's pretty good. I like it. Not accurate enough for me though. Lets compare cars to women.

Japanese: A cheating deceptive woman that will lie to YO FACE.. Wants to control all your money Sits at home all day. Never really driven.

American: When you see her, it's love at first sight. She's got power and grace. Once your inside, she's never lazy. She's aggressive and fun.

German: A highly overrated woman. Be careful, she's got an ugly past too that she doesn't advertise.

There!!! That's more accurate

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

nigelboyNov. 11, 2011 - 11:33PM JST. U.S. never make it in Japan for they have not set up their own factory, dealership, and service centers in Japan.

If you didn't know, Ford did by taking control of Mazda in 1996 with 33 percent ownership of stocks. This included Mazda factory, dealership, and service centers in Japan. Ford had option to build their own brands in Hiroshima if they choose. However, they did not. Ford has rescued the Mazda from the brink, helping it to restore its brand image through strong, stylish products. Ford will continue strategic relationship through ongoing joint ventures with Mazda, as well as the sharing of platforms and powertrains.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SamuriBlue, right! I've actually seen it. Hilarious. The tires were actually outside of the white lines! I have no idea how far they got.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sen Carl Levin accused Japan on Wednesday of operating a one-way trade policy in which it exports millions of automobiles annually but retains nontariff barriers that stifle foreign competition at home.

So ....... what's the fuzz.

Japan automobiles are better than USA automobiles that's why, Japan exported a lot in US. Americans like Japanese automobiles than USA brands.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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