Japan’s Hottest New Export Market: Japan – Businessweek
At the Shibaura Chuo auto showroom in Tokyo, the Nissan March subcompact has all the signs of Japanese quality—it’s fuel-efficient, sturdy, and handles well. Except the March is made in Thailand, not Japan. “People see the sale of cars made abroad as a sign of the times, as globalization,” says salesman Shiro Kakinuma. “When the new March came out here there were some articles questioning the quality of a car made in a developing country. Not anymore.”
When Nissan Motor [NSANY] began to import foreign-made vehicles in 2010, that paved the way for Japan’s biggest companies, including cosmetics seller Shiseido and electronics maker Toshiba, to follow suit. “Nissan’s decision was epochal,” says Masato Sase, an auto industry analyst at Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting. “Before then, there was a tacit assumption that cars sold in Japan would be made in Japan.”
According to government data, shipments home from overseas plants have more than doubled in a decade to a record ¥8.4 trillion ($107.4 billion) in 2011, including a 31 percent jump in the past two years. A stronger yen, an aging workforce, and improved worker skills overseas have eroded a century-old tenet that Japan only buys what’s made in Japan. It’s not just consumer brands: Industrial goods such as electrical machinery and chemicals top the list of Japan-bound Japanese products made abroad.
Posted on September 20, 2012, in Article and tagged Asia, Bloomberg Businessweek, Deloitte, Japan, Masato Sase, Nissan Micra, Nissan Motor, Shiseido, Thailand, Tokyo, Toshiba. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.