Export of used Japanese cars to Russia explodes

Due to international sanctions, Russia is tinkering with its cars as best it can. To meet demand, many Russian buyers are turning to Japan and its strong second-hand market.

In Japan, in the Toyama prefecture, not far from the sea, many used cars are stored, ready to leave by boat. Most are exported to Vladivostok, confirms Ali, a Pakistani merchant based in the region: “Russia is the first destination, we sell twice as much as before,” he says in Tout un monde.

After the invasion of Ukraine, all Japanese manufacturers closed their factories and dealerships in Russia. Used cars are the only way for Russians to get a Japanese car.

These models are very popular because they are well maintained and reliable. “We sell used cars to the whole world because those of other countries are dead in 5 or 10 years, while Japanese cars can run 10 more years in perfect condition”, explains the Pakistani dealer.

Constantly increasing exports

Ali has set up his prefab office near his parking lot, where around 350 vehicles are leaving. Boat shuttles are incessant and the export volume is constantly increasing, according to the seller: “Next year there will be additional boats, two or three new ones have just entered service, the Russians are busy to receive cars.

Sales of Japanese used cars to Russia doubled in value to nearly 140 million francs and increased by 57% in volume over one year with nearly 18,000 used vehicles exported in one month.

According to the Japanese organization Jetro, sales to Russia of Japanese used cars have doubled in value, to nearly 140 million francs, and increased by 57% in volume over one year with nearly 18,000 vehicles sold. opportunity.

Passenger cars, trucks, motorhomes, tractors and forklifts benefit from this increase.

A vehicle worth up to 42,000 francs can be exported

Provided that cars are not sold for more than 6 million yen, or 42,000 Swiss francs each, this trade is not prohibited. Japan applies less severe sanctions than the United States and European countries. The room for maneuver is quite wide since a hybrid 4×4 or even a luxury model a few years old can be exported.

According to Ali, for Russians it is more interesting to invest in the purchase of a car than to put money in a bank account in a country at war: “In 6 months or a year, it will be possible for them resell the vehicle at a higher price.

For now, the Japanese state is not watching things closely, but the market is so flourishing that everything could soon change.

Radio subjects: Karyn Nishimura and Sylvain Tronchet

Adaptation web: Miroslav Mares

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