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Japaneseusedcars.co.nz - Automotive News.

Japanese cars rated 'most reliable'

If you want the most reliable car money can buy, go Japanese.

Consumer New Zealand has released the results of its reliability survey, which has been asking motorists to report on their last 12 months of car ownership each year since 1999.

The three manufacturers causing the least headaches year in and year out were Honda, Mazda and Toyota.

The survey also showed the more modern the car, the more reliable it is likely to be.

If your car was made between 1998 and 2000 there was a 49 percent chance it would be trouble-free.

A 2001-2003 model boosted this figure to 61 percent and 2004-2007 models achieved 74 percent reliability.

Alongside the nigh-unbreakable Toyota Corolla, the most popular cars in New Zealand were the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore.

Interestingly the latter two gave owners more problems than the average vehicle, perhaps proving Kiwis are willing to make a few sacrifices to keep a bit of Aussie muscle in the garage.

However, the results don't mean owners of such vehicles should clutch their AA cards tightly each time they stray far from home as most faults hit non-essential bits such as seats, trim and electrical equipment.

For those buying second hand the survey offered some comfort with no discernable difference in reliability between used imports and cars which had been imported as new.

Japaneseusedcars.com launch new disability mobilty vehicles web site

Japaneseusedcars.com now have a wide selection of Disability Vehicles available for export from Japan, these disability vehicles are puprose built by major manufacturers for the disabled and the aged by Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda etc. They are available in a variety of sizes and configurations such as front swivel/lift loading seats, side entry lift loading seats, wheelchair lifts and wheelchair rear access ramps. Some are self driven with a wheelchair storage facility next to the drivers cabin while others provide easy access for disabled passengers. Ideal for the handicapped and the aged or people who need assistance with mobility. To view the full range of disability vehicles available from Japan go to our Disability Vehicle Section

Worldwide sales of Toyota’s Prius gas-electric hybrid have topped one million vehicles

Tokyo 15th May 2008

Worldwide sales of Toyota’s Prius gas-electric hybrid have topped one million vehicles for the first time, Japan’s top automaker said Thursday.

Toyota sold 1.028 million Prius cars as of the end of April, it said. The Prius first went on sale in Japan in 1997 as the world’s first commercially mass-produced gas-electric hybrid.

It has been a big hit with drivers around the world and is now sold in 40 countries and regions, according to Toyota. Its popularity is rising amid surging gas prices and growing concerns about the environment.

Toyota sells other hybrid models, but the Prius has been by far the most popular model. Toyota has said it plans to sell a million hybrids annually sometime in the few years after 2010.

Toyota said introduction of the Prius has resulted in 4.5 million metric tons less of global warming gases compared with having standard gas engine cars on the road instead of the hybrid.

Of the more than one million Prius sales worldwide, nearly 592,000 were sold in North America and 315,000 were sold in Japan, Toyota said.

A hybrid delivers a cleaner, more efficient ride by switching between a gas engine and an electric motor at different speeds, and by recycling the energy the car produces as it moves.

The latest Prius is estimated to deliver 77 kilometers a gallon (3.8 liters) in city driving and 72 kilometers a gallon on highways.

Japaneseusedcars.com attend Tokyo Auto Salon 2008 Japaneseusedcars.com were present at the opening of the Tokyo Auto Salon 2008 and shot close to 1,000 photos of this fabulous event. Galleries can be found Here & Here

Date: Wednesday 12th December 2007

We are pleased to announce the exciting news that the EDC will now be known as the JapaneseUsedCars.com European Drift Championship in 2008. The announcement of title sponsorship is the beginning of long list of exciting developments for the EDC in 2008 and we are pleased to report this development prior to 2008.

Speaking of the news, EDC's Operations Director Glen Horncastle said:
' The introduction of a title sponsor to EDC is a positive and exciting move for both the Championship and the drivers and we are pleased to announce that such a vibrant and proactive company is committed to represent the Championship in the most grand fashion. Based in Tokyo, Japan, JapaneseUsedCars.com's services are well known not only in the UK but also throughout the world and we are proud to announce our collaboration with them for 2008. Their services are directly linked with the aftermarket scene for which EDC plays its part in producing a motorsport for and therefore a perfect match has been made which will prove to be beneficial on all sides. '

Rees Thomas of JapaneseUsedCars.com added:
' Japaneseusedcars.com are once again right behind the Drift scene world wide and this year have chosen to be the title sponsors of the 2008 European Drift Championship. Having been involved in the European Drift Championship in 2007 Japaneseusedcars.com see the fast growing sport of Drifting becoming one of the most popular forms of motorsport around the globe and are excited to be involved with such a professional organisation as the EDC. Japaneseusedcars.com wish all the teams and drivers the very best for what looks set to be the best season so far for Drifting in the UK and Europe. '
For further information please visit our website: www.europeandriftchampionship.eu or www.japaneseusedcars.com

UK Time Attack teams take on Tsukuba Circuit

Japaneseusedcars.com were involved in the sponsorship of 4 of the UK's top Time Attack teams to compete in the 17th Revspeed Super Lap at Tsukuba Circuit in Japan on 6th December 2007. The 4 teams shipped their cars to Japan and the teams and drivers themselves arrived to find Japan's top tuners already dialed in and on the mark as they sped around the famous circuit. Top time of the day went to the Mspeed BNR34 Skyline at 54.481 with the Panspeed FD3S RX7 completing a lap in 55.603.

The Uk drivers were able to overcome the diificulties of jet lag and unfimiilar surroundings and turned some fast laps. Zen Performance GC8 Impreza was the quickest of the UK guys with an 11th place and time of 58.534, RC Developments CT9A Lancer in 14th place at a time fo 59.189, Sumo Power Z33 350Z 39th place at 1.03.529 and the Fensport ZZT Celica at 1.04.967. The Zen performance car and the Fensport car would have lapped faster except for mechanical failures and to complete a lap in under 1 minute around the famed Tsukuba Circuit is no mean feat. Well done guys and Japaneseusedcars.com look forward to seeing you back in 2008

Revspeed Super Lap at Tsukuba Photo Gallery can be viewed here>>

Kiwi drivers take on the 2007 D1 All Stars World Championship

Japaneseusedcars.com are pleased to announce their sponsorship & involvement with Team Kiwi again this year as the Kiwi drivers Adam Richards A31 Cefiro RB26, Mike (Mad Mike) Whiddett RX7 20B and Jairus Wharerau RX7 take on some of the best drifters in the world at the "House of Drift" Irwindale Speedway California.

This is a two day event held on the weekend of the 24th - 25th of November and comprises of the D1GP USA Season Finale Exhibition Match in which top drivers from the D1GP USA series and Japan compete for a sizeable purse.

On the (Sunday) the most anticipated drifting event of the year, the D1 Grand Prix 2007 All-Star World Championship will be held in which the highest ranked drivers from several nations are selected to compete in this invitational event to crown a world drifting champion. Confirmed entrants presently include teams from Japan, United States, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Thailand and Canada.

This D1 Grand Prix weekend will feature the top drift drivers in the world in addition to the celebrity judging staff of Keiichi "Drift King" Tsuchiya, Manabu "Mana-P" Suzuki and D1 Japan Series competitor, Hisashi Kamimoto, who represent decades of professional driving experience. A full team roster will be posted shortly.

Also note that this event will host the North American debut of Nobushige Kumakubo's JUN Automotive built Team Orange Mitsubishi EVO which recently debuted to the Japanese domestic market at Round 5 of the D1 Grand Prix Japan series at Ebisu Circuit.

Team Kiwi loaded the 3 cars into a container on Saturday 27th Oct for the Journey across the Pacific Ocean to California. Adam Richards will be leaving his Cefiro in California after the All Stars event to compete in either the D1 or Formula D series for 2008.

Nissan releases new Skyline Coupe

Tokyo - Nissan Motor Co on Tuesday launched a fully remodeled Skyline coupe, featuring a newly developed 3.7-liter, 333-horse power V6 engine and a new technology for greater pedestrian protection. The vehicle is certified as a superlow emission vehicle, or SU-LEV, and is available in seven different colors, including red and silver.

The model is equipped with sensors developed with Nissan's new "pop-up engine hood" technology. When the sensors embedded in the front bumper detect an impact with a pedestrian, the control unit of the system activates a pyrotechnic actuator that raises the rear edge of the hood, creating a larger, protective buffer space to help cushion the impact to the pedestrian's head.

MMC launches Lancer Evolution X
Monday, October 1, 2007

Tokyo - Mitsubishi Motors Corp on Monday launched the Lancer Evolution X high-performance 4WD sedan, newest of the company's legendary vehicles. Featuring a new platform, engine and exterior and interior designs, the totally redesigned 2.0-liter model will carry a tax-inclusive price tag ranging from 2,997,750 yen to 3,750,600 yen. Models fitted with the Twin Clutch SST transmission are due to be launched toward the end of November.

Lancer Evolution X is loaded with the very latest in automotive engineering technology, including the S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) vehicle dynamics control system and the newly developed, power-efficient Twin Clutch SST (Sport Shift Transmission). Lancer Evolution X is a new-generation high-performance 4WD sedan that allows a new category of driver access to Mitsubishi's dynamic driving experience by underpinning speed with control, security and safety.

Japaneseusedcars.com sponsor D1NZ Championship

Japaneseusedcars.com are pleased to announce they are the official Sponsor of the 2007 D1NZ New Zealand National Drift Championship Final to be held at Pukekohe Raceway on 11th November.

Japaneseusedcars.com first became involved with Drifting when they sponsored Phil Morrison of Driftworks fame in the UK, who subsequently went onto to take the D1UK 2006 title, Team Kiwi at Irwindale Speedway, the Irish Prodrift Champion Darren McNamara who competes in Formual D and the D1GP USA and their sponsorship of the European Drift Championship 2007 Season. Japaneseusedcars.com currently or have been previously involved with events in 8 Countries around the world including England, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Canada, China, Japan and New Zealand.

A spokesperson for Japaneseusedcars.com said "Having been involved with Drifting over the last year or so in other parts of the world it is a great opportunity to show our support for the New Zealand drift scene". He went on to say "Some of the drivers in D1NZ already know us from our involvement with Team Kiwi at the D1 All Stars event at Irwindale in 2006 and the Asian Pacific Championship event in China".

Japaneseusedcars.com does not condone or sanction any form of illegal Street Racing.

Kiwi drivers attend Chinese event

Japaneseusedcars.com are to pleased to announce they will be sponsoring Sean Falconer & Victor Chapman from New Zealand to compete in "The Toyo Tyres Asian and Pacific Drift Championship" to be held in Shanghai China prior to the Chinese F1 on the 7th October.

The event has been organised by Toyo Tires in conjunction with the Chinese Government. This event will see some top Drift drivers from around the Asian Pacific region battle it out to see who is the regions number 1 driver as a prelude to the Chinese Grand Prix. Below are the confirmed entrants to date for this event.

Japanese Drivers Masato Kawabata, Sakuma Tatsuya, Suenaga Masao, Kuroi Atsuhsi New Zealand Drivers Nick Li, Sean Falconer Sponsored by Japaneseusedcars.com, Johnny Udy, Victor Chapman Sponsored by Japaneseusedcars.com Chinese Drivers Sam and one other Driver Singapore Drivers Yeo Kae Marn (Kevin), Lin Kin Yan (Wan) Malaysian Drivers Narril Afifi Bin (Along), Lim Zee King

See this page about the event in Chinese only with driver profiles and photos >>Here

Strong dollar makes Japanese used cars cheaper than ever.

The rise in the NZ $ has had a marked effect on the price of used cars imported from Japan recently with savings of $40,000 on some high end models.

A spokes person at leading car exporter Japaneseusedcars.com says "We have seen a marked increase lately of Kiwis cashing in on the favorable exchange rate to import cars from Japan. I think people have been waiting for the current climate to make their purchases as the NZ dollar is at record highs against the yen meaning cars have never been cheaper".

He went on to say "One of our clients just saved over NZ $40,000 on the current NZ equivalent when he purchased a near new late model European model through us, even the mid range priced vehicles are a lot cheaper too driving up sales".

This coupled with proposed new import regulations due early next year are motivating buyers to make the decision to buy now. The proposed new regulations will mean imported cars will need to be less than 6 years old to meet new emission standards.

There has never been a better time for Kiwi car buyers to import the car of their choice.

Used-vehicle sales plunge to 17-year low

Tokyo - Japan's used motor vehicle sales in fiscal 2006 fell 7.5% from the previous year to a 17-year low of 4,880,757 units, excluding mini vehicles, an industry body said Wednesday.

The first fall in two years came as fuel-efficient minivehicles grew more popular on gasoline price hikes and as used compact cars in good shape remained in short supply, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.

Car numbers down from 2006 figures

New car registrations leaped 17 per cent in March to 6,794 but were down 4.5 per cent from March 2006, Land Transport NZ said today.

Used car registrations -- generally imported used cars -- leapt 14 per cent to 10,408 last month, but were 14.8 per cent down on March a year ago, the government agency said in a statement.

New commercial vehicle registrations during the month were 2,414, up from the 1,669 recorded a month earlier, and down 6.9 per cent on March 2006.

The top selling make in March was Ford with 807 new cars followed by Holden with 798 new cars.

Top Irish driver signs with Japaneseusedcars.com

Top driver Darren McNamara has signed with Japaneseusedcars.com for the 2007 season and will compete in the Formula D series in the USA with the Falken Tyres works team and will also attend some D1 events. Along with this he will have a very busy European program lined up this year with planned exhibitions in the UK, Turkey, Portugal and many more including a couple of guest appearances at the infamous Prodrift Ireland Series.

After the D1 World All Stars event in Irwindale last year Darren left his Blue AE86 Corolla in the U.S. so was without a suitable car to use in Europe, Japaneseusedcars.com came to the party and supplied Darren a car to use for the European events meaning Darren will be running two cars this year. Both of Darren's cars will be carrying Japaneseusedcars.com livery for the 2007 season.

Darren says "I am delighted to have agreed a partnership with Japaneseusedcars.com and am really looking forward to going back to my roots with the 4AGE powered Corolla. I cant wait to put the finishing touch's on her" He also went on to say "The car will b re-built upon arrival with ITB's, ECU, cams, under shims, NOS, suspension, a 1 off body kit, fibre glass everything, Trueno front, Work rims, Ueo suspension arms, Exedy clutch and lots more"

A spoke person for Japaneseusedcars.com said "Being involved with the sponsorship of the D1 UK 2006 Champion Phil Morrison and some other drivers at the D1 All Stars event in 2006 it is a natural development for us to sponsor such an exciting and fast rising star in the sport of Drifting. Darren impressed us and many others in the U.S. last December so we are pleased to be associated with such a high profile driver as Darren"

This latest signing by leading used car exporter Japaneseusedcars.com gives them two of the top drivers in the UK under their sponsorship and continues on with their commitment to helping the fast growing sport of Drifting grow around the world.

Prius gets top spot on list of high fuel-economy vehicles
Friday, March 30

Tokyo - Toyota Motor Corp's Prius car earned the top slot on the 2006 ranking list of high fuel-economy Japanese motor vehicles by doing 35.5 kilometers per liter of gasoline, the transport ministry said Thursday.

Honda Motor Co's Civic Hybrid sedan was in second place on the top-10 list with 31.0 km per liter, followed by Toyota's Vitz compact car with 24.5 km and Honda's Fit compact with 24.0 km, according to the annual survey of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Japaneseusedcars.com sponsors European drift Championship

Japaneseusedcars.com today announced their continued support for the sport of drifting by sponsoring The European Drift Championship (EDC) for the 2007 season. The EDC includes Europe's top drift drivers and will continue on from the high profile achieved and standards set with the 2006 D1GB series.

The sponsorship also includes the Time Attack series which is a circuit based calendar of events whereby competitors drive hard against the clock to set the quickest lap time around a circuit. Not only do they have the task of doing this but they will be one of 55 cars and drivers, specifically invited with pedigree to fight it out alongside the industries finest.

The Time Attack Series will run alongside the EDC - European Drift Championship for it's events to provide a full-on action packed day of excitement with UK's best tuned cars and Europe's finest drift drivers. For more info. please visit www.europeandriftchampionship.eu and http://www.timeattack.co.uk

New car registrations rise in January

New Zealand new car registrations totalled 6792 in January compared with 5468 in the previous month, a rise of 24 per cent and up 7.6 per cent from a year earlier, Land Transport New Zealand said today.

Used car registrations - generally imported used cars - totalled 9799 last month, 13 per cent below a year ago, the government agency said in a statement.

New commercial vehicle registrations during the month were 1676 up from 1543 recorded a month earlier, and up 14.3 per cent on January 2006.

The top selling make for the month was Toyota with 1164 new cars, followed by Holden with 1054 new cars.

Japaneseusedcars.com and 2007 Tokyo Auto Salon

Japaneseusedcars.com were invited to attend the 2007 Tokyo Auto Salon held in January, the worlds largest custom car show, and take their media crew along to cover the event. There were over 600 custom and modified cars on display and over 250,000 visitors passed through the gates to view this incredible event. Japaneseusedcars.com were able to get over 2 hours of great video footage that will be broadcast on New Zealand TV in the coming weeks. Some photos and some video coverage can be viewed HERE

Japaneseusedcars.com attends D1 All Star World Championship event at Irwindale

Japaneseusedcars.com sponsored 5 top drivers for the D1 All Star World Championship held at Irwindale Speedway in California on Dec 16th - 17th.

4 top drivers from NZ along with Phil Morrison form the UK competed against 40 or so other drivers from around the world. Ken Nomura of Japan was crowned the D1 All Star Champion powering his Blitz sponsored R34 Skyline. More..

New rules could put age limit on used car imports

Cars more than eight years old could be barred by 2008.

The Government is considering introducing vehicle emission restrictions which could effectively put an age limit on imported used cars.

Associate Transport Minister Judith Tizard says draft rules will be put out for public consultation next year and might be ready for implementation in 2008.

The Government is considering using Japanese emission standards as about 95 per cent of imported used cars come from Japan.

Ms Tizard said yesterday there would be a set of steadily increasing standards, and cars would be tested at the border to make sure they met those standards.

No decisions have been made, but background documents issued with Ms Tizard's statement said Japan's 2000 emission standard could be introduced in New Zealand in 2008, and Japan's 2005 standard in 2010.

That would mean that in 2008, cars older than eight years would be unlikely to meet the standard although that would depend on the make and model.

"Based on current trends, if introduced in 2008 the petrol vehicle standards would prevent around half the vehicles currently being imported from being allowed to enter the fleet," the documents said.

But they added: "There are expected to be few direct social consequences...this is due to the very large fleet of second hand vehicles that people may purchase from instead of purchasing a used import."

The documents said the Government had not ruled out introducing an age-related restriction at some time.

The Motor Traders Association (MTA) said it welcomed the Government's announcement, and it was important that restrictions would be based on internationally-recognised standards rather than on arbitrary age bans.

"There are great strides being made internationally in this area, and the New Zealand public can be assured that significant progress is being made to lessen the impact of motor vehicle emissions on the environment," MTA spokesman Andy Cuming said.

November new car sales fall 6.5%
Saturday, December 2, 2006

Tokyo - Sales of new motor vehicles in Japan, excluding minivehicles with engines of up to 660 cc, fell 6.5% in November from a year earlier to 285,792 units for the 17th straight month of year-on-year fall, an industry body said Friday.

Cumulative sales in the January-November period dropped 5.3% from a year before to 3,461,682 units, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association. Given the fact that sales in December have been hovering around 300,000 units over the past few years, "it is highly likely that sales for all of 2006 will sink below the 3.8 million line for the first time since 1977," an association official said.

Japaneseusedcars.com sponsors top 4 New Zealand D1 drivers.

Japaneseusedcars.com today announced they will sponsor 4 of the top D1 drivers from New Zealand. The top 4 drivers will compete at Irwindale speedway in the USA for the D1 World All Star final to be held on the 17th December 2006.

The final battle for the 2006 D1 Grand Prix series will take place at the Irwindale Speedway otherwise known as the "House of Drift" The course layout is nothing new, the contenders will start off going counter clockwise drifting the left side embankment, sliding their way past the judging stands to the infield from left to right. There's no doubt the drifters will come equipped with their best game and many 100 point runs should be expected at this track. Following the directed lines should be the standard, and it's definitely going to be exciting to see what kind of entry velocity the contenders charge in with this year.

Following the D1 Grand Prix round 8 point series, a World All-star event is scheduled to take place. Representing the Japanese side are the top 10 seeded drivers plus a few more, New Zealand's top drivers Adam Richards, Victor Chapman, Darren Mcdonald & Sean Falconer will be competing. Representing the United States will be such big names as Rhys Millen, Samuel Hubinette, Vaughn Gittin Jr, Tanner Foust, Ryan Hampton, plus a few others. Phil Morrison from Driftworks, Darren Mcnamara and Damien Mulvey will represent the UK. The list keeps going as the top contenders from various other countries will partake in this exciting event. Who will take the crown as the world's best drifter?

With Phil Morrison the current UK D1 champion and the 4 New Zealand drivers attending this event japaneseusedcars.com will have a total of 5 sponsored cars competing in the World All Star event.

New car registrations rise 5 per cent

New Zealand new car registrations rose 5 per cent to 7791 in October to be up 3.9 per cent from a year earlier, Land Transport New Zealand said today.

Used car registrations - generally imported used cars - totalled 9003 last month, up 0.6 per cent on the previous month but down 22.8 per cent on the previous year, the government agency said in a statement.

New commercial vehicle registrations during the month were 1538, down from the 1840 recorded a month earlier, and down 17.9 per cent on October 2005.

The top selling make for the month was Toyota with 1702 cars, followed by Ford with 1200 new cars, then Holden with 998.

Good oil: Skyline's sprint record

Saturday October 28, 2006

Go-fast Aucklander Reece McGregor has set a world quarter-mile (400m) sprint record for all-wheel-drive cars. McGregor launched his r32 Nissan Skyline off the line at Queensland's Willowbank Raceway and was clocked at 7.57 seconds and 190mph (307km/h). Earlier he had recorded 7.59 seconds over the distance. McGregor's best time in New Zealand is 7.81 seconds and 177mph (287km/h). The 1992 Skyline is powered by a turbocharged 2.6-litre straight-six engine producing around 1400 horsepower (1040kw).

Vehicle smoke test set to begin

Thursday October 26, 2006

The controversial new smoke test for vehicles during warrant of fitness inspections starts tomorrow.

The test involves a visual check of smoke emitted while a vehicle idles for five seconds, then while accelerating from idle to 2500rpm, associate transport minister Judith Tizard said.

If the vehicle emits clearly visible smoke for five seconds or more it will fail the warrant and need to be tuned or repaired before it can pass.

The test is part of a campaign to "choke the smoke" and reduce vehicle pollution. Age limits on imported Japanese vehicles are also being considered.

Ms Tizard has said vehicle pollution costs the country $442 million a year and contributes to the death of 400 people, including 250 Aucklanders.

It is estimated that about 10 per cent of vehicles produce 40 per cent of the harmful vehicle emissions. A poorly maintained vehicle can release 10 times more emissions than a well-maintained one.

The new vehicle emission rule has been made under the Land Transport Act 1998. The test will take less than a minute and any increase in costs of warrants should be small.

The test, designed to improve air quality, has been criticised in some quarters for being subjective.

Toyota launches Auris compact

Tokyo - Toyota Motor Corp on Monday launched the Auris, a compact passenger vehicle. The Auris features attractive European styling on the outside, and a center instrument cluster integrated with a bridged center console. Combined with headlights extending to the sides, the vehicle's front end has a unified form that integrates the bumper with the hood to create a front view with a sporty and open feel, Toyota said.

The Auris is priced from 1.6 million yen to 2.3 million yen and will come with a 1500cc or 1800cc it will replace the Corolla Runx and the Corolla Allex models.

Toyota, Honda dominate 2007 fuel-efficiency rankings in U.S

New York — Six car models of Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co were among the U.S. government's top 10 fuel economy rankings for 2007, with Toyota's hybrid Prius leading the way.

Among Toyota cars, the Camry Hybrid came in third, the Yaris fifth and the Corolla seventh. Known in Japan as the Vitz, the Yaris was introduced in the U.S. market this year. Honda's Civic Hybrid placed second and Fit ranked sixth.

Import age limit plan: Car prices 'to soar'

Prices of imported used cars are likely to rise sharply because of Government plans to get old vehicles off the roads.

Yesterday, the Government said it was directing the Ministry of Transport to consider options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

They included setting minimum fuel economy standards and a limit on the age of imported cars.

That is likely to result in a 20 to 30 per cent increase in the price of used imports from Japan.

Toyota launches redesigned Corolla Axio, Fielder

Tokyo - Toyota Motor Corp announced on Tuesday the Japan sales launch of the completely redesigned Corolla sedan — now known as the Corolla Axio and completely redesigned Corolla Fielder small station wagon. through "Toyota Corolla" dealers nationwide. The new Corolla Axio and the redesigned Corolla Fielder feature improved driving-support functions, such as the rearview monitor and the convenience-enhancing one-touch double-folding rear seats.

In addition, a new standard for compact sedans and for station wagons is created through a newly developed 1.8-liter engine and Super CVT-i (Super Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent) transmission that provide outstanding cruising and environmental performance, as well as through the adoption of innovative and advanced equipment not previously seen on compact vehicles, such as a Pre-crash Safety System using millimeter-wave radar and an Intelligent Parking Assist system

Phil Morrison wins D1 GB Championship

Silverstone - japaneseusedcars.com proudly announce Phil Morrison from Driftworks won the 2006 D1 GB championship on Sunday 3rd Sept at Silverstone. Phil went into the final round of the championship leading the points but had to fight off strong challenges from Europes top drivers.

In the final run Phil came up against his Driftworks team mate Ben Broke Smith so it was a 1-2 finnish in the last round of the D1 GB for Team Driftworks. Full report

Auckland car dealer breaches Fair Trade Act

An Auckland car dealer has admitted breaching the Fair Trading Act after he offered customers a free flight if they bought a car.

The Court found the promotion, run by Tower Motor Group in Auckland was misleading as anyone who wanted to use the flight had to pay for inflated accommodation on the Gold Coast.

The Commerce Commission is also prosecuting the promoter of the flights, which have been offered by more than 50-businesses, mostly car yards.

Tower Motor Group was fined $15,000 for breaching the Fair Trading Act and agreed to pay $1,000 to each of the three customers who bought cars during the promotion

Turners suffers in tough car market

Up to 20 per cent of used-car dealers, traders and importers could go under by the end of the year, Turners Auctions chief executive Graham Roberts says.

A tough used-car market is hurting the listed auction house, which reported a sharp fall in first-half earnings and predicted an industry cleanout as cost pressures and low prices squeezed profits.

Mr Roberts said the market was as tough as it had been since 1997.

Across the industry, used-car imports were down 20 per cent by volume because of the lower dollar, uncertainty around fuel prices and a more competitive buying environment in Japan, Mr Roberts said.

"It's a very challenging environment and we believe it will continue for a little bit longer," Mr Roberts said. "Only the stronger importers with the lowest-cost supply chains will survive in this environment."

Japaneseusedcars.com signs top driver for D1 GP

11th August 2006

Tokyo - Autospecs Ltd., www.japaneseusedcars.com announced they have signed Phil Morrison of Driftworks Ltd., for sponsorship in the D1 Great Britain Championship. Phil is a top driver in the D1 Great Britain competition and currently leads the points race. Phil will also be competing in the D1 GP World Championship to be held in December at Irwindale Speedway in the USA. The sponsorship will run for the remainder of the 2006 season and right through the 2007 season when Japaneseusedcars.com will renew their commitment to supporting the fast growing sport of D1 GP.

Mr Thomas of Autosecs Ltd., says " Japaneseusedcars.com is proud to be associated with such a fast growing and exciting motorsport known as Drifting, and we look forward to watching the sport grow and develop." D1 GP is the professional level of Drifting and is a world wide entity with sanctioned National events being held in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, England, Malaysia, Singapore and the USA, exhibition rounds have also been held in Ireland and China. http://www.driftworks.com http://www.d1gp.co.jp/

Japaneseusedecars.com also announced they have signed a sponsorship deal with "ImportFest" Canada’s Biggest and Baddest Car Show which is by far one of the most anticipated shows for 2006. This will be the sixth consecutive year that the show will be hosted in Toronto at the newly renovated Rogers Centre. Show date 18th Nov. http://www.importfest.com/06/

Mazda launches remodeled Axela
Tuesday, June 6, 2006.

Hiroshima — Mazda Motor Corp announced Tuesday that sales of the new look Mazda Axela, a sporty compact vehicle which has received rave reviews in markets around the world, will commence on June 22 at Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Mazda Autozam dealers throughout Japan.

A high performance model, the Mazdaspeed Axela (known as Mazdaspeed 3 in North America and Mazda 3 MPS in other key regions, including Europe, Australia and New Zealand) comes newly equipped with a 2.3-liter Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) turbo engine.

The Axela Sport (five-door) and Axela (four-door) body styles were launched in the Japanese market in October 2003 as Mazda's next generation sports compact car. With a total global production volume of more than 920,000 units, as of the end of April 2006, this vehicle has emerged as a key product for Mazda.

Mazda said it had improved the Axela's fuel economy and road quietness. The addition of the 20F grade four-wheel-drive (4WD) model also helps elevate the competitive edge of the entire Axela series, the company said. See www.japanesenewcars.com for prices and details.

Build Your Own Custom Mazda - Online - in Japan

Tokyo - Mazda Motor has upgraded theieir internet-based built-to-order website, Web Tune Factory, which enables customers to create their own customized cars, to include nearly 8,500 different optional equipment combinations.

In 2001 Mazda was the first Japanese automaker to launch such a service. Customers can access the contents of the Web Tune Factory website (in Japanese only) from anywhere in the world, or contact a dealer in Japan via the Internet.

The site currently features a lineup of 22 Mazda models available in Japan.

Used vehicle sales drop in April

Tokyo — Used vehicle sales slipped 5.2% to 407,117 units in April from the year before, marking the first drop in four months due apparently to a decrease in the number of attractive used cars traded in for new cars, an industry body said Monday.

An official at the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said, "The fall appears to have stemmed from the fall in the number of used cars put on the market as trade-ins for new automobiles amid a slowdown in new car sales." By type of used cars sold in the reporting month, sales of passenger cars declined 6.1% to 341,860 units, the first fall in three months.

Used vehicle sales rise 1.9%

Tokyo - Sales of used vehicles in Japan increased 1.9% to 5,275,969 in fiscal 2005, turning up for the first time in five years, an industry group said Wednesday.

Sales of used passenger cars, excluding subcompacts with engine capacity of under 2000 cc, rose 2.4% to a record 2,021,022 vehicles in the year to March 31, and there was solid replacement demand for minivans and sport-utility vehicles, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.

NZers need to be encouraged into more efficient cars

New Zealand shouldn't have to wait until petrol prices hit $4 a litre before being encouraged to buy fuel efficient cars.

That's the view of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, which would like to see the government offer cash grants of up to $3000 for new fuel efficient-low emission cars and up to $1000 for imported cars.

The grant was needed because a hybrid company car only competed economically against a standard 1.8 litre car when petrol hits $4 a litre, or it travelled 80,000km a year, council chief executive Peter Neilson said.

"New Zealanders need help to bridge the price gap and make our air cleaner."

The grants would also help lower the Government's billion dollar Kyoto protocol emissions bill by launching a major practical assault on the second largest greenhouse gas source in the country, Mr Neilson said.

The current rush to buy smaller cars was to be welcomed but would not cut greenhouse gas emissions by much unless the existing stock of high-emission cars was phased off the road.

"As petrol prices hit new highs, we're in danger of shunting a lot of people into dirty little cars, rather than quickly renewing the fleet with new and used imported cars which are fuel efficient and have low emissions," he said.

Mazda launches facelift RX-8 sports car

Tokyo - Mazda Motor Corp said Thursday it began selling its red RX-8 sports car featuring a new rotary engine called Renesis at its dealerships across Japan. The four-door vehicle comes with black leather interior trim, a black leather-wrapped parking brake lever, a black leather-wrapped steering wheel, and semi-gloss finish chrome lamp bezels, all of which reinforce the strong, sporty image of the RX-8. The Type S model comes with a six-speed manual transmission and Type E a four-speed automatic transmission.

Japanese vehicles get top mileage ratings in U.S.

Tokyo - Japanese motor vehicles topped fuel efficiency ratings in eight of the 12 size classes for 2006 models, while U.S. vehicles ranked the lowest in seven classes, the Consumer Federation of America said in a report Monday.

The report concludes that consumer can save nearly $2,000 in annual fuel costs by choosing the most fuel efficient vehicle in their preferred size class. The top-rated Japanese vehicles included Toyota Motor Corp's Prius in the compact vehicle class, Toyota's Camry and Honda Motor Co's Accord in the midsize class, Honda's Odyssey for minivans and Toyota's Highlander Hybrid for midsize sport utility vehicles

New car registrations up 9.4pc in Jan

New car registrations rose 9.4 per cent in January to 6,314 compared with the previous month, Land Transport New Zealand said today.
New car registrations were 12.8 per cent above the same month a year earlier. Used car registrations generally imported used cars totalled 11,290 last month, 4.3 per cent ahead of January a year ago, but 8.7 per cent below December, the government agency said.

New commercial vehicle registrations during the month were 1,466, down from the 1,537 recorded a month earlier, and down 12.6 per cent on January 2005. The top selling make in January was Toyota with 1,035 new cars, followed by Holden with 890 new cars.

Autospecs Ltd. begins sales of new cars direct from Japan

Tokyo - Autospecs Ltd. one of the leading exporters of used cars from Japan launched sales and export of New Cars direct from Japan early in 2006. The company has a basic web site for new cars that will be developed into a sales portal for new cars running in tandem with it's used car web site.

Director of sales and marketing Tony Dobbie said "Clients all over the world can order new cars through us direct from the factory in Japan, stating at the time of order the options including colour, trim and features of any model currently sold new in Japan".

The only exception to this will be for the Lexus brand which the company hopes to be able to introduce in the near future. Mr Dobbie also added "Autospecs Ltd. can offer clients brand new cars at considerable discount in most cases" .

Autospecs Ltd., used cars from Japan www.japaneseusedcars.com and for new cars direct from Japan www.japanesenewcars.com

Toyota Corolla remains best-selling car

Tokyo - The Corolla made by Toyota Motor Corp became the best-selling car in Japan for the third consecutive year in 2005, although its sales slumped 13.6% to 149,810 vehicles, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Wednesday.

Toyota's Vitz came in second in the sales rankings followed by the Fit of Honda Motor Co. The Vitz saw sales of 131,935 units and the Fit 125,894. Six models of Toyota cars made the top 10 list and two models each of Honda and Nissan Motor Co vehicles also ranked among the 10.

Used vehicle sales rise 2.5%

Tokyo - Used motor vehicle sales in November rose 2.5% year-on-year to 420,727 units for the fourth straight month of increase, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Monday.

Passenger car sales rose 0.6% to 352,069 vehicles, an increase for four straight months, as dealers tried to boost their inventories, according to the industry group

Toyota takes wraps off RAV4

Toyota Motor Corp took the wraps off a redesigned version of its RAV4 sport utility vehicle on Monday by giving it a new 2.4-liter engine and a continually variable transmission combined with seven-speed sequential shift mechanism.

Toyota said that the RAV4 provides "refined styling that suits the urban environment, while also providing maneuverability" when it is driven on off-road terrains. The SUV measuring 4.3 meters long and 1.8 meters wide comes in front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models

Nissan's GT-R Proto draws crowds

Nissan Motor Co continued to draw big crowds to its exhibits Thursday at the Tokyo Motor Show. Taking the spotlight was the company's future flagship sports car, the GT-R Proto, (Prototype) to be launched worldwide in 2007. The concept car will be a successor model to the popular Skyline GT-R sports car, production of which ceased in August 2002.

Used importers call for law changes

Used car importers want the law changed claiming current safety laws are being used by car manufacturers to shut them out of the market.

As a result the motor vehicle dealers association says consumers are paying thousands of dollars more for used cars.

This comes after one dealer had to go to court, to get a second hand ferrari on the road.

After nine months in the courts and $70,000 spent fighting Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ), car dealer Jerry Clayton's now got his second hand ferrari on the road

"It's just a shame it took so long and cost the taxpayers a lot of money, having lost the case the LTNZ has had to pay," says the ferrari importer.

LTNZ was forced to pay $40,000 in costs

Clayton challenged a law that says used car dealers have to go to the agents that sell new cars to get safety certificates. Without those safety certificates used cars aren't allowed on our roads.

But it's not only top end cars that are affected by this ruling that could mean cheaper cars for all of us.

"This issue is much wider than ferraris...whatever price range you're in, whatever model you're in these people importing these vehicles want to bring them in a sell them to New Zealand consumers," says David Vinsen, Independent Motor Vehicles Dealers' Association Chief Executive.

The judge in this case says at the moment the rules can allow the local agents to pursue their own commercial interests.

Clayton agrees.

"The only people being protected are the new car manufacturers because they have a commercial advantage," he says.

But despite the court ruling LTNZ says the system is working.

"The current process allowed 150.000 used imports to be bought in last year, we're talking about a small number of vehicles at the margins," says Andy Knackstedt from the LTNZ.

That said the LTNZ has announced a working party will look at the current system to make sure it's fair.

Tokyo Motor Show kicks off with focus on environment

Chiba - The 39th Tokyo Motor Show started Wednesday with media previews at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture as 240 carmakers from around the world are increasingly focusing on how cars can run without damaging the environment. The show is to run for two weeks from Saturday through Nov 6 with nearly 600 cars and motorcycles on display.

As the participating companies pursue state-of-the-art technologies to become less dependent on gasoline, such as hybrid, fuel cell and electricity powered systems, the motor show is expected to weigh much on the industry's future, JAMA said.

Mazda upgrades RX-8 sports car

Tokyo - Mazda Motor Corp said Tuesday it will launch two upgraded versions of its brand icon RX-8 sports car in the Japanese market.

The "RX-8 Sports Prestige Limited 2" in six-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmission models has such features as newly designed seats with mixed suede-like artificial leather upholstery and leather covers, for a luxurious look. It also has a specially tuned suspension, large-diameter disc brakes and a special front suspension cross member to raise driving performance, the automaker said.

Court winds back the clock to get speedo man

A former importer of used Japanese vehicles has been convicted for rewinding odometers in the mid-1990s eight years after legal proceedings were first filed.
Judge Roderick Joyce, QC, yesterday found Andrew John Gummer guilty on 24 fraud charges and not guilty on one.

Gummer was the target of self-styled whistle-blower and justice campaigner Dermot Nottingham the former car salesman who went public with allegations of widespread odometer tampering in 1997.

Mr Nottingham took an unsuccessful private prosecution against Gummer after accusing the Serious Fraud Office of failing to act.

But Gummer was acquitted: in 2000 Auckland District Court judge Phil Gittos found that though Gummer imported vehicles with odometers wound back, Mr Nottingham failed to prove he had conspired with anyone to do so.

After that, when the SFO pursued its prosecution, the courts had to decide whether Gummer was a victim of "double jeopardy" he said he had been cleared and should not stand trial again.

Last week the SFO finally got its case to trial, saying Gummer's company, Hillcrest Marketing Ltd, imported used vehicles that were sold through a North Shore car yard. It argued that odometers were either wound back on his instructions or with his knowledge.

Judge Joyce gave his verdict yesterday afternoon. Gummer will be sentenced in November.

Mr Nottingham welcomed the result. He said he had first filed court papers in 1997 and spent "hundreds of thousands" of dollars building a case against Gummer. "Fantastic. Justice at last."

Hybrid cars burst onto scene at Frankfurt show

FRANKFURT - Record fuel costs pushed hybrid cars to centre stage at the world's biggest car show this week but automakers argued over whether the rising popularity of petrol-electric vehicles was just the result of marketing hype.

Long sniffed at as a fad by European carmakers enamoured of modern diesel motors that can be just as fuel efficient, hybrids are on the ascendancy as even erstwhile sceptics fall into line and rush to offer products with an environmental halo. More...

Car sales increase despite petrol price

More new cars are still being sold despite rising petrol prices.

New Zealand new car registrations rose 14.35 in August compared with the previous month to 7,197, according to land Transport NZ.

Used car registrations - generally imported used cars - totalled 13,736 last month, up 2.5% on July, the government agency says.

Compared with August 2004, new car registrations were up 20.3% and used car registrations were 8.4% higher.

There were 2,342 new commercial vehicle registrations during the month, just 0.5% higher on a month earlier, but 29% on a year ago.

Toyota Corolla production tops 30 mil., world's 1st

Nagoya - Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that cumulative production of its Corolla cars since the model's debut in 1966 came to 30,146,103 vehicles as of May 31, making it the first single automobile model in the world whose output has surpassed 30 million.

Corolla production topped 10 million in 1982 and 20 million in 1995, the automaker said. The Corolla held the best-selling vehicle slot in Japan for 33 straight years from 1969.

Used cars scrutinised by LTSA

Land Transport New Zealand (LTSA) hopes the latest survey of safety ratings for used cars will encourage people to consider safety when buying a new vehicle.

The Used Car Safety Ratings analyses the crash performance of used cars in over 1.1 million crashes on New Zealand and Australian roads.

It looks how how well the various makes and models of cars protect the driver in a crash, and how much harm the car is likely to cause other road users in a crash.

Overall, larger, late model cars with modern safety features tended to protect the driver the best.

But LTSA spokesperson Andy Knackstedt says some older cars and smaller cars also perform well. He says car buyers should also take into account the damage a car can do to others on the road, and note that some four-wheel-drives have the worst track record in this respect.

The Automobile Association says there's still a valid place for four wheel drive vehicles on the road, despite data that shows they inflict the most damage on other road users in a collision. The research shows that all large four-wheel-drive vehicles cause significantly more harm than average to other road users when involved in a crash.

The AA's technical advice manager, Jack Biddle, says there are many good reasons for owning a four wheel drive. And he says it's just the larger four wheel drives that cause a lot of damage in a crash, while some of the smaller models are better.

Import recalls to be covered

In good news for many New Zealand motorists, the motor vehicle industry has agreed to cover the cost of safety recalls on imported vehicles up to seven years old.

However, some say that the new code of conduct does not go far enough.

Under the new code manufacturers and importers will pay for the costs of safety recalls in second hand imported cars up to seven years old.

"There may be an isolated case where the vehicle manufacturer won't reimburse for all costs in which case the owner will have to pay for some of it but that will be in the minor, if at all," says Perry Kerr of the Motor Industry Association.

The move follows criticism of the industry in 2004, but some motorists say the time limit is too short.

The Motor Industry Association says the time limit may be extended.

"The practical reality is that it is unlikely to be invoked," says Kerr.

The Automobile Association supports the code, but says it is concerned some unsafe vehicles will escape detection.

"At the end of the day there will always be some who, for whatever reason, don't go ahead and get the recall done," says George Fairbairn of the AA.

Land Transport New Zealand says it cannot enforce total compliance to the code..

Orders soar for Toyota's hybrid SUV

Nagoya - Toyota Motor Corp said Monday orders for its two new models of gasoline-electric hybrid sport utility vehicles were three times its initial monthly projection of 1,000 units.

Orders for the Harrier and Kluger Hybrids came to 3,200 units in the one-month period from their debut on March 22 in Japan, Toyota said, adding that it had projected monthly orders of 500 for each.

Sales of energy-efficient Japanese cars soar in U.S.

Washington - Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. sold record numbers of new cars in the United States in March, according to company officials.

In sharp contrast, the sales of new cars sold by General Motors and other American automakers in March posted decreases from a year earlier.

It shows that energy-efficient Japanese cars have become increasingly popular with U.S. consumers due to the sharp rise in oil prices.

Last month, Toyota sold 203,223 cars, the largest ever number recorded in a single month and up 12.3 percent from a year earlier.

In particular, it sold 10,236 units of Prius, hybrid cars using an electric motor and a gasoline engine, 2.6 times the figure of March last year.

The number of vehicles Nissan sold in the United States in March posted a 12.6 percent increase from the year earlier to 105,804, while the sale of Honda Motor Co. saw a 6.9 percent increase to 128,548 units last month.

On the contrary, troubled Mitsubishi Motor Corp. that is undergoing rehabilitation after revelations that it covered up defects of vehicles it produced to evade recalling them suffered a 27.6 percent decrease to 14,776 units.

Toyota, Nissan, Honda Boost Auto Production

Three of Japan's five major automakers boosted domestic production in February compared to the same month a year ago, the manufacturers said Monday.

Toyota Motor Corp., the nation's top automaker, boosted its Japanese production in February by 342,657 vehicles, up 10.4 percent from a year earlier, marking the second consecutive month of increases. Exports grew 10.2 percent to 169,282 vehicles, while overseas production was up 13.4 percent at 260,972 vehicles.

Nissan Motor Co. said its production in Japan rose 7.0 percent to 148,764 vehicles, the second straight month of rises, while exports rose 7.7 percent to 64,272 vehicles. Overseas production for Nissan, which is affiliated with Renault SA of France, rose 14.4 percent to 167,640 vehicles.

Honda Motor Co.'s domestic production climbed 9.4 percent to 114,576 vehicles in February, the fourth straight month of gains, driven by strong export demand.

Honda's exports rose 21.3 percent to 48,254 vehicles, led by strong North American demand for the Acura RL and Accord gasoline-electric hybrid model. Honda's overseas production rose 11.2 percent to 165,960 vehicles for the 13th straight monthly increase.

Japanese production for Mazda Motor Corp., one-third owned by Ford Motor Co. of the United States, fell 1.3 percent in February to 66,614 vehicles.

That marked the third consecutive decline, stemming from a plant fire in mid-December that forced Mazda to halt part of its domestic production lines.

Mazda said its overseas output in February increased 4.9 percent to 21,436 vehicles, rising for the first time in two months. Exports fell 18.1 percent to 38,151 vehicles.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said its production in Japan fell 19.3 percent to 54,135 vehicles for the 10th straight decline as domestic sales and exports dropped. Exports fell 1.1 percent to 28,788 vehicles and overseas production fell 7.5 percent to 54,938 vehicles.

Japanese cars rule in Consumer Reports auto issue

DETROIT - Japanese automobiles are the true kings of the road judging by the latest annual "Best Cars" issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which hits newsstands next week.

All but one of the vehicles in the magazine's list of "top picks" in 10 different categories for 2005 are Japanese. The exception is Ford's small-sized Focus sedan.

Japanese vehicles score a clean sweep on the list of vehicles Consumer Reports says it can recommend because they earned "very good" or "excellent" scores in all five major ratings areas it tested. More...

SUV owners should know limitations of vehicles

SUVs are once again in the crosshairs - accused of being "unsafe" because they continue to be involved in a higher number of rollover-type accidents than ordinary passenger cars.

This issue can be looked at several ways - but the determinative factor in rollover-type accidents is very often not the SUVs themselves. Rather, it's the way SUVs are sometimes driven. Specifically, they way they are often driven inappropriately by people who don't appreciate and respect the built-in limitations of these special-purpose vehicles. More..

The safest cars to drive

When it comes to buying a car, speed and style aren't the first consideration for many of today's consumers. Safety is.

The good news is that today's cars are far safer than those manufactured even five years ago. Advances in crash and accident avoidance technology mean that consumers who buy a new car equipped with the latest safety features stand far less chance of being killed or seriously injured in a car crash than those who drive older cars More...

Number of drivers aged 65 and older hit record high in 2004

Tokyo - The number of driver's license holders aged 65 and older rose to a record 1.27 million at the end of last year, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The number of people holding driver's licenses totaled about 78.24 million. Those aged 65 and older accounted for 11.8%, outnumbering those aged 24 or younger for the second straight year. The agency said there were five driver's license holders aged 100 or older. The oldest was a 105-year-old man in Miyazaki Prefecture.

Toyota: 1m hybrids a year

Toyota will be making a million hybrids a year by 2010, says its president, Fujio Cho.

In 2005-2006, Toyota will make 300,000 hybrids, made up of 180,000 units of Prius, and the rest being Highlanders, Lexus RXs, and home-market minivans. Cho added: "Eventually, each model range will have a hybrid version.

It (hybrid technology) costs more than an average car, but with improved design and manufacturing and increased volumes, we have reduced costs significantly.

I can't say when a hybrid will reach parity with a conventional vehicle, but its our objective, I promise."


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