Why Ford And Other American Cars Don’t Sell In Japan


Why Ford And Other American Cars Don’t Sell In Japan

When it comes to cars, Americans
seem to love the Japanese. But the Japanese don’t seem
to love Americans back. Japanese brands sell remarkably well
in the United States. Several of the best-selling automakers in
America are from Japan, and their products seem to dominate entire
segments in sales and critical acclaim. Japanese automakers sell so
many cars in the U.S. that they actually employ vast numbers
of American workers in factories around the country. Japanese automakers actually build a third of
all the vehicles made in the U.S. But the Japanese don’t seem
to be interested in America’s SUVs, pickup trucks, muscle cars or just
about any vehicle made by Detroit. Ford left Japan entirely in 2017. General Motors keeps a presence there, but
it is tiny — the largest U.S. automaker sold only 700 cars
in Japan in 2018. And people are divided as to why
and what, if anything, should be done about it. President Donald Trump has criticized the
imbalance, but so have U.S. automotive trade associations, who
blame Japanese protectionism. While there are no
Japanese tariffs on U.S. imports, a number of critics say there
are all kinds of technical barriers that make it harder for U.S. companies to sell in Japan. Here in the United States, when we
set regulations for fuel economy or safety or communications standards or whatever,
all of the automakers that sell and produce in the United
States are party to that conversation. In Japan, it’s a much more
closed process for regulatory compliance. It’s “these are the rules and
you will meet the rules.” Japanese producers have input into that
and suppliers, but it’s pretty closed to any external companies that
would be doing business there. But some industry experts say
that really isn’t the problem. Instead, the reasons U.S. cars are so rare in Japan, which
is the world’s third-largest car market, have more to do with Japanese
consumer tastes, the abiding if outdated stereotypes the Japanese have about the
quality of American cars, and the very different way customers shop
for vehicles in Japan. It is first important to note
that Japanese brands all but completely dominate local roads. More than 95 percent of all cars
sold in the country are Japanese. Imports make up the balance and
most of those are higher-end European luxury vehicles and sports cars. This is partly because the
Japanese have pretty specific needs. For one thing, space
is incredibly tight. Wildly popular in Japan are these
so-called Kei cars, which are tiny vehicles preferred by drivers who have
to thread their way through narrow streets and crowded cities. Kei Cars alone make up
40 percent of the Japanese market and U.S. automakers don’t make them. Americans, on the other hand, tend
to excel in making big vehicles, particularly pickup trucks and
large sport utilities. In recent years, American automakers have
scaled back or even entirely killed off their own lines of
compact vehicles, which are often still bigger than their
Japanese counterparts. In fact, many of the Japanese vehicles
sold in America — from sedans such as the Toyota Camry all the way up
to the pickups — are not even particularly popular in Japan. All three Detroit automakers have less
than 1 percent market share. One of the bestsellers, Jeep, sells about
10,000 vehicles in Japan a year. The Japanese car buying experience would
also likely shock many Americans, who often view a trip to the
dealership as one of life’s necessary evils. Much of Japanese business culture is
built around service and hospitality, and auto dealerships
are no exception. Japanese dealerships offer customers nearly
white glove service, and the way buyers choose cars is entirely
different from the traditional buying experience in the U.S. Whereas American shoppers will often choose
a car from what is available on a dealer lot, Japanese buyers can
often custom-build a car out of a catalog and then have it made for
them in a matter of weeks. A strong local supply chain and
local factories allow Japanese automakers to do this. Furthermore, quality of service
is often quite high. Dealerships frequently have amenities such
as cafes and complimentary car washes. They will also follow up
with customers sometimes even years after a purchase. Foreign automakers overall have had difficulty
adapting to this way of selling. Moreover, the Japanese have
longstanding perceptions of American cars as inefficient and unreliable. This somewhat outdated view originates in
the decades from the 1960s through the 1980s, when Japanese
brands were ascending and American automakers were plagued with criticism and
scandal over vehicles such as the Chevrolet Vega, the AMC Gremlin,
the Ford Pinto and the Chevrolet Corvair. And though American manufacturers have
made far more fuel-efficient engines in recent years, the U.S. has historically made some gas guzzlers
when compared with cars made elsewhere. Yeah, I think there is
a hangover for American vehicles. You know, what does an American
car say about you in Japan. That baggage is carried with that. Meanwhile, the Japanese rose to power in
the auto industry in large part on their reputation for building solid, efficient
cars that don’t break down. Of course, many observers note that American
autos have done a lot to close the reliability gap over the years,
and cars overall are able to log far more miles on the road than
they did even a decade ago. And U.S. automakers are adamant that they would be
better able to compete in Japan if the country removes barriers
that make doing business difficult. The trouble for Detroit is that Japan
is just one of the international markets where U.S. automakers have struggled. All three Detroit automakers have had
challenges in South America and Europe. While China which is the world’s
largest car market could become a tougher place to do business
with slowing economic growth, increased competition, and trade disputes. If something doesn’t change, U.S. automakers could become just that: American
companies that sell trucks and SUVs to Americans.

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100 thoughts on “Why Ford And Other American Cars Don’t Sell In Japan”

  1. CNBC says:

    Why do you think American cars don't sell in Japan? Protectionism? Reliability? Vehicle size? Lack of dealer support?

    Is it worthwhile for U.S. companies to invest in the Japanese market?

  2. Saturn Gaming Bêta says:

    The 2011 Ford Crown Victoria is the best American car I know even tho it's a V8 so it cost a lot when you fill it up with gas

  3. Michael White says:

    I drove Cadillac, Ford, and Chevy most of my life. Let me tell you, Ford makes a hell of a truck, Chevy has the style cornered, and Cadillac, well, that’s just a showboat with overheating problems.

    Asian cars are ridiculously economical, simple, easy to fix, and they last forever.

    Went and bought an old 94 Camry with 260,000 miles and well for a broke guy, this thing runs like new.

  4. tHeWasTeDYouTh says:

    20 years ago Ford sold 80,000 cars a year in Japan. Mostly SUVs and trucks but now that the Japanese make those and better Japanese buy them instead. If you see the type of non-Japanese cars that Japanese buy they are luxury European cars. European companies like Volkswagen, French companies, Fiat and many other do not sell a lot of cars in Japan. There are people in Japan that love American Muscle cars but they are very few. They are very loyal fans though and you can find them in certain Japanese cities. You will be walking in a Japanese street and then come by a ton of American Muscle cars parked all over the place, blew my mind the first time I saw it.

  5. Ted Malley says:

    Quality/reliability/ technology/cutting edge design and comfort…things most American autos sadly lack..

  6. nivram757575 says:

    I can tell you why. Cuz they are crap. Why buy something that is going to break in 3-5 years?

  7. marvelv212 says:

    American cars are trash

  8. Omar Martinez says:

    It’s quality over quantity

  9. Chilly78765 says:

    1:36 lmao is she using the backup camera of a car? lmao

  10. Benjamin Danielsen says:

    I'm pretty sure if I ever drove my Ford F-150 around in Japan it'd be like sailing a barge in a canal full of kayaks. An absolutely horrible idea but the kind of bad idea I'd want to try anyway.

  11. Sizzle Wrap says:

    Because American cars are unreliable, and poorly made. Not hard to figure out.

  12. Hassan Shahid says:

    Crying that people aren't buying their cars without doing anything for that market or trying to make there keit cars. Face it American cars are just a pain.

  13. Aeta Tribe says:

    Because the train is the most popular mode of land transportation. We should do the same in America.

  14. Cody Evans says:

    Is it because in ww2 we droped 2 bombs on 2 citys in Japan and scared the crap out of every other country, is that why people dont like our cars

  15. Blackjack Shellac says:

    They are brand loyalists.

  16. vandal nonesuch says:

    A quality reputation takes a long time to develop, is so easy to lose, and takes a much longer time period (IF AT ALL) to recover. That, in a nutshell, is the problem with American cars, not only in Japan, but everywhere! I own a 1983 BMW 320i with 200,000 miles on it: other that the AC and radiator, it's still original systems everywhere! What American car can do as well? Answer: none!

    There was an engineer named E. Edward Demming who preached quality assurance here, and was ignored because it would cost a bit extra.After WW2 he went to Japan, where they adopted the concept, and he's worshiped there. As the video, we will end up making American cars for Americans, while the rest of the world runs off and leaves us in a cloud of dust (and particulates)!

  17. walter aguirre says:

    I live in America I buy American cars support on economic

  18. flightisallright says:

    The lack of regulations and the low fuel prices in the US are coming back to bite Americans. Otherwise there would be more innovation.

  19. James Hax says:

    It's an easy answer.

    American cars are trash

  20. Faigornx says:


  21. Baby Groot says:

    700 cars ? Why would they stick around for a mere 700 cars a year? Seems like a huge money loss

  22. Baby Groot says:

    This reason in this video isn't the true reason ! It's really because they hate us, that's why they won't buy our cars !

  23. Jonathan Moosey says:

    Of course the myth of the fuel efficient Japanese vehicle is destroyed by such products as the Toyota Land Cruiser and its way overpriced Lexus sibling, the Toyota 4Runner and Nissan Armada. And there were controversial Japanese cars such as the Prius which is a death trap due to their unintended accelerations.

  24. James Wilson says:

    Because they look alike

  25. Rohan Anerao says:

    Actual reason is far different from what has been portrayed in video.
    Same thing is happening to American car manufacturers in India also.
    Real Reason:
    American car manufacturers' marketing team and design team are to be blamed for this as they are terribly failing to do their jobs and research properly.
    1: American car design teams are somehow not able to understand the likings of Asian markets and what design Asian people like.
    While their Asian and German competitors launch new cars with fluidic and modern designs. Hence they are able to capture the market well outside US.
    Meanwhile American manufacturers launch their newly designed cars after 6-7 months following their Asian competitors' launch. And Asians become the trend setter in local market and American designer becomes the trend follower.

    2: American car marketing teams are under impression that their brand will do the rest of marketing and no real ground work is required. While their competitors are light years ahead in terms of marketing at root levels and in terms of fancy offers and pricing.

    3: Americans don't supply same cars designs as in USA to other nations, rather they modify them to unappealing designs and with lower specs and then sell in other markets. For eg: take any US Ford car model and compare the same to the model available in other countries. Difference will be Apples and oranges.

    All the above points keep American Car manufacturers far behind their competitors in Asian and European markets. And it's foolish for American Manufacturers to wonder where they went wrong and blame the people instead.

  26. Tim Howard says:

    What makes you think that US car is reliable nowadays…
    To be practical, being reliable is much more important than being having high-horse power and crazy size.

  27. A B says:

    Ford makes the best vehicles in the world. During the recession they needed no bail out. Prove me wrong.

  28. me ow says:

    It's sad that Japanese brands make more cars in the USA than the "American" brands

  29. Juanco_"C.E.O." says:

    Damn squids

  30. Ooh My says:

    Can you amagin American living in Japan buying American cars a la Asian buying asian cars in America ? America is a wussy country. So political correct about everything people feed off of this

  31. indian Indian says:

    Japanese products 👌❤️

  32. nnn nnn says:

    Because American car are not good for the price
    Japan or Chinese car are more better

  33. Trucker 23 says:

    Japanese cars are more reliable and much better on fuel ⛽️ then American

  34. Azahr Malik says:

    Who hell want an American vehicle

  35. Nando says:

    ‘cause they are crap…

  36. Hero007ization says:

    You can't sell a gas guzzler high in maintenance vehicles in Japan. You can try but your sales will just be too low. People actually think before spending there.

  37. Smuckers T says:

    I bought a Jeep wrangler 4 years ago, and when I received it the carpet was already pulling up. I love that car but only because I knew what I was getting my self into, I don't think the Japanese would accept such poor quality from a brand new car. Also showing that jeep CJ restarted my desire to get a CJ, thanks a lot CNBC.

  38. 6whatnext says:

    Which country does buy
    US cars ?

  39. Bruce Shaw says:

    The answer is in your question , even the yanks don't buy their own cars that's why the Japanese cars sell so well , yank cars are big thirsty unreliable crap , enough said .

  40. John Texas says:

    American vehicles are crappy made, bloated and unreliable. Why would foreigners want them? Think of Fiat and Renault in the US…

  41. Mart Deals says:

    I like US cars, as long as I see them in a museum. The classic cars are nice to look at.

    On the street I don’t like US cars in general, because the total cost of ownership is high, and the image is bad due to the often wasteful approach regarding space and natural resources.

  42. joseph martinez says:

    japanese people relied in 1.3, 1.6 and 1.8 engine with manual transmisson, meanwhile american are using either 3.5, 4.0, or six cylinder, eight cylinder engine with automatic and cvt transmission.

  43. Loveunderlaw Heil Lucifer says:


  44. King Kong!!! Ain’t got shit on me says:

    Not saying american cars are better than japanese cars but even if american cars were better than japanese cars, these species will never buy a foreign cars or any of their products, if they do, it will be such a small amount. Thats just another japan-ish way. Dont argue with me, just do your own research and you will be stunned at these species.

  45. Paul Cheang says:

    The key word is "Unreliable". American cars' quality starting from the 80's until very recently years was so poor, it was a joke. The joke was if you buy an American car, you have to buy two, one for spare. It leaves a sour taste in both foreign and domestic consumers to this day. American companies measure success on a quarterly basis and give no thought to long term goal whatsoever. They regularly fired longer time employees to achieve short term profitability. But one thing they do best is to way overpay their CEO. Americans better wake up before American cars are only found in the museums.

  46. Isaiah Philip Olaguer says:

    Stop pushing or forcing American agenda to other countries. If your cars were good, the sales would tell.

  47. Sueto Tamabiko says:

    Trump can only have prejudice "Oh this and that country cheat on us". Oh boy, how shallow is that way of thinking. It's SO OBVIOUS that Asian markets have different taste, need, culture from US market. Anyone can just come to Asia and SEE WITH YOUR OWN EYES what cars they drive. And if ANY company (not just American) cannot fulfill that need, well don't be surprised if your product isn't sold in Asian countries. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♀️ face palm
    [The fact that I EVEN need to mention this completely baffles me. I'm like "Can't you THINK? Haven't you got brain?"]

  48. Jakkrapat Khiawdee says:

    Mini cars are selling well in Japan because Japanese roads are very narrow.
    American car sizes are bigger.
    Local brands popularity is also a factor why the US cars cannot compete in Japan.

  49. Michael Kharitonenko says:

    Thank god it’s not greater than 1/3

  50. Racer D says:

    You lie in your own story, you say that the US sold only 700 cars in Japan but then you say that Jeep sold 10,000 cars.

  51. BigFatMan SoWhat says:

    I will park on top of the little japanese cars

  52. Geddo says:

    I'm figuring most Japanese prefer Japanese cars for the same reason those particular Americans prefer Japanese cars.

  53. Dark Lightning Müller's says:

    Cuz they're big

  54. Cédric Benoit says:

    That's so true..when i first move To America from France, i was surprised by how big all the cars were, thé roads..i think America taste in car is just unique..the same goes for canada

  55. 10k subs with no video says:

    Toyota? Nissan?

  56. Luther Bryson says:

    Quality, America cars can't have quality due to the poorwork quality of blacks that you can't fire . We need to eliminate naacp, alucio, made each man and woman responsible for them self.

  57. Alexander Putnam says:

    If you think about it, the majority of the world does not want massive pickup trucks or muscle cars.

  58. Brodie Roper says:


  59. comment says:

    Yeah, really, american corporations in general are not about quality or what people truly need, they're about manipulation based marketing, share holders and overworked and stressed employees, managed by slogans that have nothing to do with productivity or true value to anyone.

  60. Herbert Sattelmeier says:

    iam german and i have seen american cars here. the quality of us cars is not realy good. every normal bmw 3 has a better quality of production then every doge viper or other american luxury cars.

  61. Golden 47 says:

    American cars are still Not Reliable

    Japan has every right to hate on American cars cause they haven't changed much

  62. SPACE MARINE says:

    Big car small country

  63. Thndr_ says:

    The big boi trucks are too american for them

  64. ShadowMistress4835 says:

    Japanese road and United States road is different direction.
    Japanese road: ⬆️⬇️
    U.S. road: ⬇️⬆️
    So, the American automotive is left-steering, Japanese is right-steering.
    Left-steering car is bit difficult to drive in Japan.

  65. John Walker says:

    It's because there smart and they like to have there money stay in the country. Also they can't drive ever see one drive a truck?

  66. arian atara says:

    Why because most japanese car products like toyota are very reliable but american car products arent very reliable or good no wonder in asia i see many japanese cars while ford is very rare and gmc and dodge arent even sold

  67. den ang says:

    Americans carry lots of metal junk and Burn lot of fuel when they travel point A to point B.

  68. A Ma says:

    The Japanese make the best cars in the world. The Germans are #2. German cars are very good, but too expensive to repair and not as reliable as Japanese cars. Japanese cars are affordable, very well built and engineered and very reliable and long lasting. South Korean cars are also doing very well. American used to be good in the 50s, 60s when there was no competition from Asia and it wasn't a global economy. Now there is competition. Many American workers are fat and lazy compared to Japanese, Koreans and Germans. If they have to work harder and better they will protest and go on strike. And the Americans have too much pride with not much to back it up. The Japanese, Germans and Koreans have lots of pride too, but they have good reason.

  69. Lance2773 says:

    I asked a few Chinese college students why Buick is so big in China. They said, "Because, very good quality!" Ford has undeniable very high quality in an exciting car, the Mustang. I believe, if they tried, they could change the perception of quality with these two in Japan.

  70. Frank Feng says:

    The exact same reason why Japanese cars are popular in US.

  71. tarui says:

    They have standards.

  72. Super Mario says:

    1082 Eurovision Songs

  73. Omar Almanza says:

    I LOVE MY 2017 SUBARU WRX PREMIUM 😁😁 but my ford explorer keeps breaking on me,
    Plus imports still make very good manuals😍

  74. John Santiago says:

    I can remember when the opposite was true. We called it Japanese Junk. Not that American made was a bunch better, it wasn't. However, the Muscle Car Era did have some great looking cars. Much loved to this day. Japanese cars until maybe 10-15 years ago, didn't have much curb appeal.

  75. Justin Hopper says:

    I sell used cars and Japanese cars on the whole last much longer. American cars are built to break so the dealer will make money in service or get you to buy another car quicker.

  76. Matthew Clarkson says:

    This video literally explains why they don’t sell. It’s purely because all American cars are unnecessarily big, and use big engines with torque converter automatics that get terrible MPG. The exact opposite of what any Japanese person wants which is a small car that gets great MPG. Just because in America bigger is better doesn’t mean japan thinks the same

  77. kroooassant says:

    Looks like Japan people are not the only one not to like American cars.

  78. kroooassant says:

    One day maybe Americans will understand that they never spend their money to help themselves but the businesses selling them something else than what they really need. It's a stupid world.

  79. موجز السيارات says:

  80. DripGxd_Cam says:


  81. It’s BrownBoy says:

    Not only in japan, all over the world 🌎 your cars are fails

  82. Antonio Pillon says:

    American cars are kinda ass, don't need an entire video to know that

  83. proamerican freedomfighteranticop says:

    Japan has culture america doesnt and ford makes its stuff in mexico and boomers americans love cheap Mexican workers

  84. I. Koobmoov Vang says:

    NOBODY will be Japanese cars in Reliability, Efficiency, Sale value, Ease of maintenance, and Safety combined. If there's another car out there that has these 5 aspects, please lmk.

  85. David Vega says:

    Nothing should be done it’s pretty frickin simple Japanese cars and German cars are way better and faster than ours cars and there stock 😂why do you think so many people try to import Nissan or Supra

  86. Cristian Villanueva says:

    Its not a hard question, Japan dont want Ford F250s….

  87. David Bernabei says:


  88. Rrolf says:

    I think that the main difference is the American obsession with size. The customer can forgive a lot of other issues, as long as the product is big enough. (Not only cars, but houses, pizzas, coffee cups…)

    But this selling point does not work as well outside of the U.S.

  89. Radford Tataryn says:

    Chrysler made the K car in the 1980's. They should sue the Japanese for patent infringement! They are using their logo brand name.
    Just kidding!😀

  90. Konstantin Grams says:

    "boohoo we don't sell cars in japan! How can we fix that?"
    By building actually good cars, is it that hard to understand?

  91. onesnowfall says:

    The only good cars that Chevy make are the silverados and corvettes. Ford only makes the ford gt thats good.

  92. Joe 99 says:

    That new corvette will be popular everywhere 😉😉😉😉😉😉👍
    Japanese fan boys please dont hurt me

  93. Billy Windsock says:

    "There are all types of technical barriers." Does that include US cars being totally rubbish? Japan wants cars that work well and are not ugly rot boxes? That may have a small part to play.

  94. jhtkd0811 says:

    Simple, make more reliable and fuel efficient cars

  95. Kosal Chin says:

    Because Japanese' cars are cheap , economic, strong…. and can find easily parts to change

  96. jpmrblood says:

    Al Gore in The Inconvenient Truth already told the facts, America is too lenient towards its auto industry that it would struggled to compete with the other part of the world that more towards green policy.

  97. alfonso poveda says:

    Like in some many issues americans are living in the past , they need to be open minded to the world and learn about different cultures ,seems impossible when you actually can see a Hollywood movie full of old and inadequate stereotypes , by example their neighbours Mexico in movies and series are showed while spanish music is played and half dressed with old spanish clothes and always wearing a big souvenir hat and shaking maracas ,like if in Mexico people were wearing those hats all the
    time having maracas in their pocket , and this iis their neighbours , showing a lack of respect and an ignorance for understanding other cultures that goes all over the world . And this gap it's gonna be bigger ,cause the ignorance is bigger as well , we learn to live respecting each other and no need for guns in our houses ,while americans still pretend to live in the wild west . You have a big problem, the only country here abusing of his position and power to always impose tariffs and sanctions it's USA ,but it's coming to an end ,basically, cause unlike americans ,people around the world are evolving with their times and they are smarter everyday and know how to use their money

  98. 19brownboy81 says:

    GM is still garbage. Japan knew that decades ago. A shame Americans don’t realize that.

  99. joeylj7210 says:

    If the United states auto manufacturers would build quality car like Japan then Japan would buy them. It's a very simple concept built quality and fuel efficient vehicles then more people wwould buy the vehicles. Keep selling junk and the sales goes down like a rock.

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