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Japanese New Vehicle Sales Continue to Slump

Delayed tax increase hurting Japanese sales.

by on Jun.07, 2016

Auto sales in Japan are expected to continue to struggle as a tax increase has been delayed.

While the market for automobiles in China has received an enormous amount of attention, the market for new vehicles in another Asian giant, Japan, also faces stress.

The decision by the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to delay a two percentage point increase in the country’s sales tax by two and a half years from April 2017 to 2019 is expected to have an adverse impact on Japan’s carmakers, according to new estimates by BMI Research, a division of Fitch Investor Services.

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Abe delayed the sales tax increase over concerns it could damage domestic demand and derail economic growth, according to BMI. The rise in the sales tax from 8% to 10% was initially meant to take place in October 2015, but was then moved to April 2017 and has now been pushed back even further to October 2019. (more…)

Japan Opens its Clunkers Program to U.S. Autos

A largely symbolic move reverses ban of offshore makers.

by on Jan.19, 2010

The Cadillac CTS is one of a few Detroit cars likely to gain sales under a new Japanese Clunkers program.

Bowing to heavy pressure, Japanese government regulators have lifted rules that would have barred American automakers from participating in that country’s own version of the Cash for Clunkers program.

The rules were seen as adding insult to injury considering that Japan has largely been closed to foreign makers, who have never been able to capture more than a tiny sliver of the Japanese market.

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Asian importers reacted angrily, a year ago, when the U.S. Congress first considered adding rules to the American clunkers program that might have restricted sales of imports.  Ultimately, Japanese brands accounted for 319,000 of the 677,000 vehicles sold through the program, formally known as the Cash Allowance Rebate System, or CARS.

(more…)