New Generation Nissan Leaf 2018 and it’s e-pedal

Nissan claims the car can do 400 kms with the new 40 kWh battery pack, however the reality under more normal road conditions is more like 240 kms on one charge.

It also features the Nissan Leaf e-pedal, where with a flick of the switch, the accelerator pedal becomes both acceleration and braking, with no need to move your foot to the brake pedal.  Shown here in a youtube video from Nissan:

Also some pictures from the Japanese Nissan site:

I’d love to give this new generation Nissan Leaf a try.

Suzuki Swift

I am not a huge fan of Suzuki but I am a fan of the Suzuki Swift.  I really like the 2nd and 3rd generation Swift.  The smooth compact body is very appealing.  Besides the Swift I really can’t recall what other Suzuki’s are available on the market at this moment…I’m sure I will think of another model later.

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The Swift gets great mileage at little over 60 mpg.  It has a nice engine but some would complain that the interior needs a bit more improvement.  But when you consider what you can get for the price it all balances out.  If you are looking for a nice and affordable car to make some modifications to the Swift is a great choice.  At the Japanese auto auctions a 2008 to 2009 Swifts sells between 50k yen to 100k yen.

Image result for suzuki swift modified

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf was introduced in 2011.  Some of the great features of the of the Leaf is the almost non-existent engine noise.  Also with the regenerative breaking system it’s a lot safer compared to petrol/ gasoline vehicles.  How about cost to operate the vehicle?  There is no need to do oil changes anymore and it costs a lot less to charge than to fill it up at gas pumps.  Compared to the Nissan Altima 2.5L 4 cylinder it costs roughly 1/3.  If you don’t believe me check it out at here:    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/

The new Leaf has a range of 150 miles.  It takes about 12 hours to fully charge the Leaf at home.  The EZ Charging location will charge 80% of the car in about 30 minutes.  As of January 2018, 300,000 Leafs have been sold world wide.

Image result for 2018 nissan leaf       Image result for 2018 nissan leaf charging

I have always been intrigued with F-1 racing since the 1990’s.   Recently I have been watching Formula E.  There is something very refreshing about watching cars zoom by without the loud engine sound.  It’s a completely different experience.  It’s almost as if you are watching large R/C  cars running around a large course.

Image result for Formula E Nissan

 

The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC is mainly made out of carbon fiber and aluminum. One thing that I was not aware of was the fact that most electric cars run on one gear.  That’s right.  They don’t have a transmission like gasoline engine vehicles.

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We are seeing an increase in used electric cars being exported from Japan right now.  One of my clients wrote back sharing his excitement of how much he saved driving his newly imported Nissan Leaf.  Hybrids are becoming more and more popular.  As Elon Musk said, “Electric cars will rule the roads in the future.”  I have to agree with him.  Are you interested in getting a used car from the Japanese auto auction?  We can help.  Sign up for a free account today!

Mitsubishi GTO’s Comeback?

Do you remember playing Gran Turismo on the Playstaion 1?  Which car was the fastest?   I was told the modified Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo.

Image result for Gran turismo GTO 1992 Image result for Mitsubishi GTO 1992

Today the Mitsubishi GTO or GT 3000 is almost considered a classic.  The last production of the GTO was in 1998.  A car that dominated in a video game has been out of the game for 20 years now.  But is it out of the game forever?  Foreverrrrr, foreverrrrr,  foreverrrrr.  (If you never saw the movie “Sand Lot” you won’t get this joke)  Any way, there are talks that Mitsubishi is coming out with a new GTO in or after 2019!  Here are some photos of what it might look like.

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With talks of Toyota coming out with their new Supra in 2019, Honda/Acura NSX’s new model coming out soon and Nissan coming out with new GT-R lines every year, I welcome the new GTO with open arms.

I LUV VANS

I met a lot of people who were opposed to getting a van even after having kids. When I lived in the U.S. I used to hear comments like, “I don’t want to be labeled as a soccer mom” or “Vans aren’t cool looking.”  It’s rather funny because once they drive and see the benefits of owning a van people eventually get one.  The van below is the Toyota Estima.  More minivans have been coming out with modern looks and better aerodynamics. Allow me to share with you my personal experience and opinion and share why I think vans are great.

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  1. Sliding doors are awesome!  Life is stressful as it is.  The last thing you want to do is worry that you or your child will hit the car next to your’s when you open the door.  With a sliding door you won’t have to worry about that.  It makes it easier to get your infant, children, grandpa/grandma or anyone in and out of the vehicle in tight parking spaces.  It also makes it easy to put and take out stuff like groceries, furniture and other items.  Plain and simple.  It’s ergonomical.  Once on a cold windy day the wind caught the door when my wife opened the front door of our Toyota van.  The door check broke off and left the big dent in on the front end of the door panel.  I’m a DIY kind of guy but fixing the door check was a pain.  Sliding doors can prevent these types of incidents as well.

Image result for door check            Image result for car sliding doors

2. Comfort, comfort and more comfort.  If you have a family and love to go on long trips then owning a van is a no-brainer to me.  If the kids get board put on a movie and wait for them to fall asleep.  We have clients visit us at the Provide Cars office from various countries.  We get groups and some of them can be larger in stature than the average Joe.  The spacious interior makes it a comfortable ride when we take them to the Japanese auto auctions or sight seeing.  Trust me, you don’t want to feel crammed after a long flight.

Image result for Toyota Alphard  Image result for Toyota Alphard interior

Related image   Image result for Toyota Alphard interior

3. I love the space!  Most of us have moved from one place to another.  Having a van makes it easy to transport items you would rather move yourself.  I like to transport expensive electronics or precious items myself.  Some vans allow you to fold the chairs into the floor or lift up to the side.  Also, for those who love to go camping a van allows you to take more stuff!  Although I wouldn’t recommend it I have seen people haul their mopeds too.

Image result for nissan elgrand  Image result for Nissan Elgrand interior

Nissan Elgrand is a top seller for us.

 

Image result for Honda Stepwagon     Image result for Honda Stepwagon

Honda Stepwagon is a great van as well with a nice interior.

If you read my previous blog ” Used Car Ranking (Japan)” you may have noticed 5 out of the top 10 popular used cars were vans.  The demand is there and they are not just for soccer moms anymore.  Want to get one?  Check out the Japanese auto auctions through Providecars.co.jp.

 

 

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.

Image result for transporting cars by train

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.

「Mercedes benz」の画像検索結果  ã€ŒBMW」の画像検索結果

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.

「mercedes benz s450 2018」の画像検索結果

(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:       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWhd7yCdP2I&t=134s

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

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!