Report: 70 Percent of Japanese Vehicles Are Built and Sold in America

Written by: Trevor Dorchies

“It appears the Far East may not be responsible for everything the United States imports anymore. In fact what was once one of Japan’s major exports is being assembled right in our own backyard. A report by the Detroit Bureaureveals that almost seven out of 10 Japanese vehicles sold in the United States are assembled here as well. 

Photo by Toyota Material Handling EU

This trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon either. Japan’s Yen is valued at an all-time high, which means that importing cars from Japan is more expensive than ever. Thus, the Japanese automakers are slowly moving their assembly plants to the markets where the vehicles are sold. Currently Honda has a plant in Alabama while Nissan has set-up shop in Tennessee. Toyota pieces its popular full-size Tundra together in San Antonio, Texas. Toyota has also announced it will be exporting several of its product lines, including the Sienna minivan, to Korea.

It’s been nearly 30 years since the first Japanese auto maker broke ground on a facility on U.S. soil. The first was a Honda factory in Marysville, Ohio, and since then Japanese “transplants,” as they’re called, are responsible for creating more than 400,000 jobs. A report obtained for the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association reveals that Japanese exports from U.S. facilities have been rising at a torrid pace. In 2010 alone, 145,000 vehicles exported as opposed to 95,000 the year prior but many expect that number to be lower after the natural disaster that plagued Japan and surrounding areas. North America is still sitting pretty however as smaller cars like the Honda Fit have become more favorable here as fuel prices continue to fluxuate.

A few factors play a major role in the shift of Japanese auto makers making the switch to come stateside. The obvious one is the strength the Yen continues to gain as the economy looks to stabilize. Another factor is that Japanese auto makers have become more aware of the political concerns swirling around the American trade deficit. Japanese auto makers wish to side-step the “voluntary” quotas that crippled sales in the U.S. a couple of decades ago. The third major factor playing a role in all of this is that American manufacturers have by and large closed the quality gap between themselves and the Japanese. Consumer are less wary of where their vehicle is assembled because build quality has become equalized all across the board.

It became the norm that the U.S. would house where Japanese auto maker would assemble lower-end vehicles but that is no longer the case. High-end vehicles like Infiniti’s new crossover, the JX, will be assembled stateside, along with the previously made-in-Japan Toyota Prius. Nissan will also be opening its Smyrna, Tennessee facility doors to produce several thousand Leaf electric hatchback vehicles.  According to the report by the JAMA there were 29 facilities that assembled Japanese vehicles in the U.S. in 2010. All of which commanded a combined investment of $34 billion and employ around 50,000 people. Don’t expect it to stop there either. Toyota is already bringing over a new line to be assembled in Tupelo, Mississippi. As a whole Japanese auto makers provide around 407,000 jobs for Americans but it should also be noted that a majority of those are at dealerships across the country.

Do you think having Japanese auto maker’s move more of their operations to the U.S. is a good idea? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

Source: The Detroit Bureau  ”

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Reason #5 for Buying a New Car in 2012

5. Improved Products

It’s no exaggeration to suggest today’s cars are better than ever, with an array of new and redesigned models bringing buyers back into dealers’ showrooms in virtually all car and truck classes. New vehicles for 2012 include chic budget-minded models like the Chevrolet Sonic and Fiat 500, distinctively designed cars like the Hyundai Veloster and Volkswagen Beetle and upscale entries including the Buick Verano and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. Those looking to minimize their carbon footprints are able to choose among a growing number of part- and full-time electric vehicles like the new Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid and the Ford Focus Electric and Mitsubishi i.

 

Small cars are becoming increasingly substantial and sophisticated for those looking to downsize their rides but not their expectations. The best of them deliver lively performance and offer upscale amenities like heated leather seats and high-end audio systems that can integrate with smartphones to stream music and data from the Internet.

Fuel economy ratings at or above 40 mpg on the highway is becoming common among small cars, with midsize models leveraging turbocharged four-cylinder engines to deliver V6-like acceleration with fairly frugal fuel economy. Even full-size pickup trucks are showing significant gains in fuel economy these days with no sacrifice in utility, with the Ford F150 leading the way with its Ecoboost turbocharged V6 engine.”

 

Article from Forbes.com, Author Jim Gorzelany

Reason #4 for Buying a New Car in 2012

4. Competitive Pricing

While new-car sales are on the rise, analysts say sticker prices should stay competitive over the ensuing months. Some predict it could become a buyers’ market at some dealerships.

Japanese brands, which saw sales plummet during the second half of 2011 because of parts shortages caused by last spring’s earthquake and tsunami, will likely look to aggressively bring back buyers this year. “Automakers based in Japan will likely increase incentives to boost lost market share after the production disruptions from the earthquake and tsunami in March,” says Jonathan Banks, senior analyst with the National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car Guide. The experts at Kelley Blue Book believe domestic automakers will likely counter with equally healthy rebates and incentives on all but their top-selling models to keep from losing ground gained at the expense of Honda, Nissan and Toyota.”


Information from Forbes.com, Author Jim Gorzelany

Reason #3 to Buy a New Car in 2012

3. Generous Leasing Deals

Bargain-hunting consumers have been able to take advantage of some truly unbeatable leasing deals in recent months, thanks to an ideal combination of market forces. “High resale values and low interest rates are contributing to some of the most attractive lease deals we’ve seen in years,” says Jesse Toprak, Vice-President of Industry Trends for the online valuation/car-buying service TrueCar.com.  That’s because lease payments are largely based on a vehicle’s transaction price, minus its projected resale value at the end of the lease term (also called the residual value) over a given term, financed at the going interest rate. According to data provided by Automotive Lease Guide, the average new vehicle’s residual value after three years has risen from 42.7 percent of its original transaction price in 2009 to 49.3 percent in 2011.

Analysts say leasing deals should remain attractive throughout 2012 and well into 2013 as interest rates continue to be low and used-car inventories remain slim. By 2014, a sufficient number of off-lease models and trade-ins should be coming back to dealers in sufficient numbers to repopulate used-car inventories. A greater supply of used cars in the marketplace should bring down resale and residual values, which will, in turn, boost the cost of leasing a new model.”

Information from Forbes.com, Author Jim Gorzelany

Reason #2 to Buy a New Car in 2012

“2. High Trade-In Values

Used-car prices should remain at all time highs during 2012, which in turn means equally steep trade-in values that can be used as more substantial down payments on new models. Due largely because of a shortage of used cars, the average value of a one- to three-year-old vehicle increased from $15,000 in 2008 to more than $23,000 in 2011, according to Kelley Blue Book, which amounts to an average boost of nearly 16 percent per year. KBB predicts used-car values may further increase from four to six percent during 2012.

While exact figures weren’t available, Alec Gutierrez, Manager of Vehicle Valuation for KBB.com suggests the nation’s used-car inventory has contracted by as much as 25 percent since 2009. This results from depressed new-car sales and a rollback in leasing that followed the economic collapse in late 2008, along with automakers dialing down their sales to rental-car fleets, all of which diminished the number of used models returning to dealers’ lots. In addition, 677,000 used cars – albeit older and less-desirable models – were taken out of the market by the so-called “cash for clunkers” program in 2009.


Information from Forbes.com, Author Jim Gorzelany

5 Days of Reasons to Buy a New Car in 2012

2011 Scion tC

2011 Scion tC

The next few days will feature reasons 2012 is a great new year to buy a great new car.  Starting with reason #1 today.. Low Interest Rates!

“New-vehicle sales could rise by as much as six to seven percent during 2012 according to Automotive News, due largely to the one-two punch of a stabilizing economy and pent-up consumer demand. Here’s why you should join the crowd and head down to your local new-car dealership in the coming months to kick the tires.

1. Low Interest Rates

Those looking to finance a new-car purchase should continue to enjoy record-low rates over the coming year. That’s because the Federal Open Market Committee recently reiterated it would keep the federal funds rate between 0 and 0.25 percent and would likely to remain at those rates until at least mid-2013. That translates into affordable credit across the board.

According to Bank Rate Monitor, as of January 2, the average rate for a 60-month new-car loan in Chicago was 4.9 percent, with the lowest posted rate at just 3.25 percent. What’s more, many automakers continue to offer cut-rate loans as low as zero percent for up to 72 months on select models, though these don’t usually include the most in-demand cars and they’re typically restricted to borrowers having pristine credit ratings.

 

Information from Forbes.com, Author Jim Gorzelany

Tips to Keep Your Car Safe

So with four of the major 11 holidays approaching, how can you prevent theft against your car?
 
1. Have an anti-theft device or alarm system on the car. When a vehicle is purchased make sure it has an anti-theft device or alarm system on it.
 
2. Always lock the car doors. Lock the doors even if you are entering your residence to grab that one item you forgot to take on your way out of the door. Theft can happen in matters of seconds.
 
3. Keep your windows up. Having the doors locked will not help you if the windows are left down. With the windows up and the doors locked you will prevent personal belongings and even the car itself from being stolen.
 
4. Do not leave personal items in the car in plain site. Never leave property inside of an unattended vehicle. Items that thieves will break into your automobile for are purses, shopping bags, backpacks, etc.
 
5. Do not leave the car keys in the ignition! Sometimes when we are in a hurry we might forget and leave the keys in the ignition. If you do this you are making it way too easy for the thief to steal your vehicle.
 
6. Have your windows tinted. The thief will have to try and peer into the car to figure out how to break in and what is inside.
 
7. Get an aftermarket anti-theft device. The most popular is the device that locks around your steering wheel, this is commonly known as The Club.
 
8. Do not leave a vehicle on and unattended. Never leave your car running unattended, not even for a second. If you are running into a store for two minutes, turn your car off and take your keys with you.
 
9. Do not leave a spare key where a thief can find it. It is very common for one to have a spare key under the car, this is not recommended. Too many people have used this trick to prevent locking themselves out of their car. So by removing it, you might get locked out of your car but you’re preventing loosing your whole vehicle.
 
10. Park in a public place with plenty of light. The more eyes on your car, the more difficult for a thief to do anything to it. A car is more likely to get stolen if it is parked in a dark area where a their can slink up to the car.
 
Information from www.CarInsurance.com
 
Toyota of Newnan wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!