YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Japanese Drivers Have Yen for Purchasing Volkswagens

Mercedes-Benz is second in import sales in the nation whose passenger vehicles are tops in the U.S.

April 10, 2002|John O'Dell

We know that American car buyers, especially those in Southern California, like Toyotas and Hondas--a lot. The Accord and Camry routinely top all other mid-size passenger vehicles in annual sales.

But what about the Japanese? Ever wonder which import brands they prefer?

A recent issue of the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Assn.'s monthly newsletter says that Volkswagen is by far the most popular brand, accounting for 61,121 of the 269,088 imports sold in Japan last year.

Mercedes-Benz is second with 53,207 vehicles, followed by BMW with 36,253.

In fourth place was Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo brand at 16,437. Opel, a European unit of General Motors Corp., finished fifth with 12,626 Japanese sales.

France's Peugot was sixth with 12,295 sales; VW-owned Audi was seventh with 8,127; Chrysler was eighth with 7,646; Ford, with 6,186, was ninth; and in 10th place, with 4,977 sales, was Italy's Alfa Romeo.

Imports--from non-Japanese car makers as well as from the overseas factories of Toyota, Honda and Isuzu--accounted for 6.3% of the nearly 4.3 million cars sold in Japan last year, the association reported.

In contrast, imports from Asia and Europe account for about 20% of passenger car and light-truck sales in the U.S. And import brand vehicles assembled in the U.S. account for an additional 18%.

Los Angeles Times Articles