Surprisingly enough, the New York Times wrote an amazing article (which you can read for yourself here) that outlines why cars in Japan are better taken care of than here in the states. This article also helps me explain why used cars in Japan are better quality (for the most part) than in the US.
I'm going to apply it to our business.
"The reason is only partly that Japanese fastidiousness extends to the maintenance of cars. Rather, experts say, there really are relatively few old cars in Japan, because of an automobile inspection system that is so onerous and expensive that many people prefer to trade in a perfectly good three- or five-year-old car rather than spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the inspection."
In Japan, vehicle inspections are rough. It's a whole different world compared to the US. While we're trying to wrap duct tape around our exhaust to pass emissions, someone in Japan is having their whole exhaust system replaced. Most of the time, they'll just get a new car so they won't have to deal with the cost of passing inspection.
It's that bad.
"Inspections are required when a car turns 3 years old, then every 2 years until the car turns 11, then every year. The inspections, which cover more than 100 items from brake function to headlight orientation, are done by a Government test center or by an authorized service station."
When you're staring down a terrible inspection when your car turns 3 years old, it doesn't look that bad. Sure, you had to have you brakes, exhaust, suspension, lights, and exterior replaced/repaired, but you still paid less than a new car. Two years later, though, that inspection looks much worse.
While Japanese cars may be owned past their first inspection, they're not commonly owned past their second. Cars are left with low mileage, and great condition no matter their age. It's not uncommon to find a 1990 model vehicle from Japan have less than 30,000 miles.
"A typical bill for this pre-inspection inspection is $600. The actual inspection at a test center costs only about $12."
Imagine that. If you're already considering buying a new car after 3 years (and can afford it), and inspection time comes up. You know what you'd do.
Buying a used car from Japan is different that buying a used car in the United States. You shouldn't look at a car that's 25 years old and compare it to one here; it's much, much different. Instead, stick to the facts.
All cars in Japan are better taken care of than they are here. Not only that, but nobody wants to buy an old car in Japan! It will end up costing someone in Japan more to buy a car that's worth less if it's old. So, that's where we come in.
Used cars from Japan are better taken care of, have less miles, and aren't as desired in Japan.
Sounds like a great opportunity to me.