How are Cars Shipped overseas?

Thousands of cars are shipped across the sea every year from Japan.  Some ships can carry as many as 8000 cars. Considering the volume of cars that are sold at the Japanese auto auctions one has to wonder what kind of ships will be built in the future?  A 10,000 car ship?

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As you can see in the photo below one method that is used to get the cars on and off the ship is the RoRo (Roll on/ Roll off).

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Another method is using shipping containers.  Cars are held in place by cable wires.

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The photo below shows the Vert a Pac rail cars.  It was a way to transport Chevy Vegas by placing them vertically.  It was a way to cut transport costs.  Preventative measures were taken to keep the fluids from pouring out from putting in an extra fuel line and placing the windshield wiper fluid at a 45 degree angle.

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Transporting methods have changed since the 1970’s.

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When one considers the entire process of getting a car from the Japanese auto auctions it’s absolutely incredible how every car is handled with care until it gets to it’s owner around the world.



European Cars in Japan

Japanese people love Mercedes Benz and BMWs.  Why?  They say it’s because European cars give them a sense of “prestige and class.”  My office is located in an area in Kansai where the upper class live.  I see a lot Mercedez-Benz, BMW and Audis  in driveways when I commute to and from work.

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My good friend, who owns a large manufacturing company just purchased a 2018 Mercedes-Benz S450.  I asked him why he chose a German luxury car over a Japanese luxury car?  His answer was, “German cars have great acceleration.  Japanese luxury cars don’t accelerate like the European cars.”   I had to find out if this was true.  My co-worker used to work at Toyota for almost 20 years and is the go to person when it comes to cars at the office.  I asked him if it was true and his answer was, “It’s true.  A lot of Japanese luxury cars have a time lag at initial acceleration for safety purposes. But if you want a car that will last Japanese cars are better.”  Remember we are not talking about sports cars here.  Most of you know that Japanese sports cars have one of the best accelerations.  We’re talking about luxury cars.

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(2018 Mercedes-Benz S450)

Most Japanese do not hold on to their cars for decades due to the car inspection system called “Shaken” (車検).  Shaken can be very expensive especially if you need to replace any parts to pass inspection.  Because of this many Japanese continue to buy newer cars.  From the time you buy a brand new car you have three years until you need to do Shaken.  If you decide to keep driving the same car you will need to do Shaken ever two years.  If you kept your car for 10 years in some cases you will be spending over 10,000 USD.  Instead of paying for inspections and possible repairs a lot of people would rather buy a new or newer car.  This creates opportunities for many used cars in Japan to be exported overseas.  This is a benefit to our overseas customers.  You can save a lot of money from the Japanese auto auctions.  Let me give you an example.

This 2015 Mercedes-Benz S400 AMG SPP Exclusive that has less than 6,300 miles on it sold for 51,000 USD.  According to my research dealers are asking around 90,000 USD for the same type of car with similar miles.   Who wouldn’t want to save 39,000 USD?  But what about the quality you might ask?  Remember Shaken?  Every car must go through a strict inspection process .  Plus, every car is inspected at the auction by professional inspectors so .  The auction sheet that comes with every car will give you details about the car.  Provide Cars members will get free translations per request.  Why buy from dealers when you can buy directly from the Japanese auto auctions?

front photo of car WDD2220572A123917 - 2015 Mercedes-Benz Benz S Class S 400h AMG SPP Exclusive - pearl-white  interior photo of car WDD2220572A123917 - 2015 Mercedes-Benz Benz S Class S 400h AMG SPP Exclusive - pearl-white

If this is your first time hearing about buying cars directly from the Japanese auto auction and have more questions contact us at Provide Cars +81 798 75 1451 or email us at [email protected]


Golden Week Schedule

Dear Customers of Provide Cars Ltd, 

Golden Week holiday will be from the April 28th to May 6th in Japan. 

We deal with 90+ auctions and many suppliers, shipping lines, customs agents, yards etc, which all have a variety of different schedules during this period.  We have come up with the following schedule to best serve the interests of our customers:

Provide Cars Office

The office will be closed from Saturday, April 28th until Sunday, May 6th. It will be open and operational again from Monday, May 7th.

The bidding team will be bidding on cars at the auctions as normal until Saturday, April 28th.

Auction is open on April 30th, May 1st & 2nd.
Back to normal schedule from Monday May 7th.

Please remember that all these dates are Japan time.

Thank you for your patience during this time. if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Kenmeri Nissan Skyline GTR C110 follow on

Kenmeri GTR skyline has a sad twist.  (If you are not familiar with Kenmeri skyline please view the previous post first).

To view the Kenmeri Skyline commercials you can see them on youtube here:

At the end of the production of the commercials for TV, the actors had the choice to continue.  Due to Mary’s circumstances (her father working for Japan Airlines was laid off as with all other foreign pilots, so the family had to head back to America) she did not continue her contract with Nissan.  Added to this, her partner in the commercials, “Ken” or with the real name “Jimmy Zinnai” died in a motorcycle accident!  That ended the famous and popular Japanese commercial for Skyline GTR and Skyline.

Below is a picture of Mary attending an American Japanese nostalgic (classic) car convention

Kenmeri Nissan Skyline GTR C110

KPGC110 the chassis rendering of the Nissan Skyline GTR, had a short sales history. Just as it arrived on the scene the oil shock hit and the Japanese public sentiment moved against gasoline guzzling sporty vehicles. Only 197 were sold and it would be the last GTR to be made before Godzilla (Australian nickname for the first of the GTR R32 series) arrived in 1989.

As only 197 were made and sold it has become one of the most expensive nostalgic Nissan’s on the market. A tidy one sold Sotheby’s classic car auctions for US$160,000. A good investment, and something that should be stored nicely and not in the rain.

The car was nicknamed the Kenmeri based on the Nissan TV add using the actors Ken and Mary. The name can be flipped, “Merican” with the obvious hint a what sort of car Nissan wanted the Skyline to be thought as. Ken and Mary were two young American actors who met for the first time on the production. Neither of them were old enough to drive. The advertising series created a mystique of them being in love. On what shoot in Okinawa one of the cars was hit by another car so all shots had to be carefully done so as not to reveal the damage! The advertising series was a big hit in Japan and lasting over the sales period of the 2 years.

Toyota GT 2000

Had the pleasure of going to lunch at the Glion car museum, and seeing this car, the Toyota GT 2000

Described as Japan’s first super car, the Toyota GT 2000 produced from 1967 to 1970, with only 351 being made, of which 62 were left hand drive.

It was Toyota’s answer to the E type Jaguar, although most were sold in Japan and hardly heard of in Europe. It was originally designed for Nissan by Yamaha, but Nissan turned it down as they had their own model soon to come on the market, the Fairlady Z, or known under the export label Fairlady 240Z, released in 1991 in Japan. As Nissan had rejected the prototype designed by Yamaha, Toyota took it on in an attempt to change their conservative car image. The Toyota designer Satoru Nozaki was assigned the job. He leaned heavily on the E type Jaguar design. If you see a photo of the rear of the GT 2000, you could easily mistake it for an E type Jaguar.

Road and Track magazine review on the car commented “one of the most exciting and enjoyable cars we have ever driven” and went on to compare it to the porsche 911.

Sold new in America for $6800. That would have been a good investment. One sold in America’s Sotheby’s car auctions for a whopping $1.2 million in 2013. Might pay to check your grand-fathers garage for the that forgotten Toyota GT2000 that he had!

No road rage around me

Eugene caught this car at a local shopping center in Osaka!  As you can see by the number plate it is registered to run on the road.  He chatted with the owner and asked whether he had been pulled over by the police.  He answered that he had never been pulled over!
This is Japan, that gun will not be real, certainly looks effective though.  You can occasionally get these jeeps in the used car auctions but not with a gun!

Starting to like the Toyota Prius

I’m sure you have heard the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”   But I personally couldn’t see the beauty in the first generation Toyota Prius.  It was an ugly duck!  But as you all know the ugly duckling grows up and turns into….

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a beautiful swan!  The New Toyota Prius not only looks good but has improved power and control.  Back in the day if you saw the “turtle warning light” come on you knew you were in trouble.  But nowadays with improved battery pack you rarely have any issues.

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I don’t know about you guys but I would drive any of these modified Prius.

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Currently, the Toyota Prius holds second place in the Japanese used auto industry.  It’s popularity seems to have no end at the moment.  It’s not your grandma’s car anymore.  Plenty of young ones are driving this beautiful and economical ride. The Japanese auto auction is saturated with the Prius.  With many cities integrating hybrid vehicles as taxis the need for used Prius continues to grow.  In Japan Prius owners get a tax break for driving a hybrid.  More businesses are using them as company cars too.

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As technology continues to advance more hybrids will be used for racing.  So you want a Toyota Prius?  Why not check out the Japanese auto auction for the right one for the right price?

Used Car Ranking (Japan)

The used car rankings are out!  As of April 5th, 2018 here are the rankings for the top ten popular used cars in Japan this year.  You might not be familiar with some of these cars as they are only sold here in the Land of the Rising Sun.  But do not fret.  Many of these cars can be purchased at the Japanese auto auctions through Provide Cars.  Okay!  Let’s check out the rankings now!

1.The car that won the crown is non other than the Toyota Crown.

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2.The car that won the number two spot is the Toyota Prius.

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3. The bronze medal goes to the Toyota Alphard.

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4. Toyota Vellfire takes fourth place.

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5. Toyota Voxy takes fifth place.

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6. Daihatsu Tanto takes sixth place.

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7. Suzuki Jimny takes number lucky seven.

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8. Nissan Skyline comes in to eighth place.

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9. Toyota Hi-Ace comes in ninth place.

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10. Daihatsu Move takes the final spot at tenth place!

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Toyota dominated by taking six out of ten spots.  With the tremendously high popularity of the Toyota Prius I was not expecting the Toyota Crown to take top prize.  Nissan took only one spot while Daihatsu took two.  Then we have the only off road vehicle, Suzuki Jimny take seventh place.  So, what do you think?  Leave a comment if you think that a certain vehicle should have been in the top ten.  If you have any questions about importing one of these cars contact an agent at Provide Cars at +81 798 75 1451 or email us at [email protected]