Once, in over 25 years now. Turning right, no right-turn sign. Me and half dozen other cars: new sign, police making a point. Never for being foreign, or riding a bike. This is in Tokyo.
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Sure... as long as you don't ever, ever, ever have to have any maintenance done at a place other than that MOPAR garage you were complaining that was 45 minutes away.>
Have had maintenance done twice in Nagano (using domestic dealers) - not been an issue fortunately.
Of course they are not going to invest in a market that sells something like 250,000 vehicles per year, for all makes and models.>
Then what are they complaining about, and why are we having this discussion :)? Metric system and right hand drive may be issues for the US makers. I have even heard they complain about the cost of land for dealerships as an issue. OK, they are all issues that the makers need to sort out. But they surely cannot be construed as barriers to trade.
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A lot of points made in this discussion seem nonsense:
Metric. Really? If America wants to sell cars anywhere other than America, they must be metric. This is a non-issue.
Parts – nonsense these days. Parts are stocked at the dealership that sells US cars. It costs no more for shaken, or the parts, than it does for an equivalent domestic car
Domestic/imports in same dealership. So what – it does not stop Volvo, BMW, MB, etc. European cars outsell US cars 10 to 1 in Japan. Imports are about 10% of new car sales, less than 1% for US cars.
I own a US car in Tokyo. The single biggest problem – lack of dealerships. Who wants to drive an hour or more through traffic to get a warranty oil change. Ford dealers in the Tokyo area last year = 3. That’s all. European car dealerships outnumber US ones more than 10 to 1 in Tokyo area – and there are plenty out in the boondocks too.
When I bought my current car, I considered a Ford – took a half day to go to their lot and see what they had. (driving past scores of domestic dealerships and more than a dozen European ones on the way). Five models – and the one I liked – left steering only. OK with that? – need to take it in black or white – the only colors on the lot, and that is all they will sell you. You can get dealer option but no maker options – just what they have.
I went with a Chrysler, because I liked the car and it suited my needs better than an equivalent domestic model, and was around the same cost. Right hand drive (all models at dealer) – all colors and options available – just need to wait more than a month for delivery (and it is exactly the same with domestic cars if you want a custom set up). I just have to live with the inconvenience of the dealer being 45 min away.
No advertising, no investment in dealerships, no flexibility, no imagination – no effort. This is why they don’t sell cars here. And there is zero import tax on cars in Japan.
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As a driver in Tokyo, 2 occasions:
Stop at crosswalk, and pedestrian proceeds to cross. Car approaches fast from behind, and pulls out to pass not considering, or caring, why I am stopped. Pedestrian was oblivious until I blasted warning. It was close.
Stop at crosswalk in heavy traffic, with large truck stopped in the traffic around 10 m ahead of me. Pedestrians cross, but pay no consideration to other lane opposing traffic - especially considering visibility restricted by truck, perhaps assuming since I stopped everyone will stop. Fast car from other direction while pedestrians chatting and walking. Again blast from my horn to alert them all to the danger. Another close call.
I have become very nervous stopping to let pedestrians cross. I would hope that the other drivers were on the same page, and the pedestrians also payed attention, not to be lulled into some sense of security by my action.
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