America!

I flew across the pond to the United States this summer for a couple of weeks.  It was a busy trip as I met with new clients and shared about the Japanese auto auctions.  Most businesses that buy cars from Japan are located on the coasts.  But I was surprised with how many people were into Japanese Domestic Market cars in the Midwest part of the U.S.  It didn’t take much to get people to sign up.  I always thought the Midwest was an untapped market in the United States.  But after this trip I have a feeling it won’t be too long till people will start seeing JDM cars driving in the Heartland of America.

Time flew by as I drove through six different states, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.  It was about a 1500 mile drive.  It’s amazing to see how the landscape changes as you drive state to state.  It was refreshing to drive on wide open roads where you can see the horizon.  Big trucks, big flags, and wide open spaces everywhere.  One might consider it to be boring to drive a total of 24 hours but it was just the right therapy I needed after a long busy year in Japan.

After a long drive I got hungry.  I went to a restaurant called Steak and Lube.  It was entertaining to see all the cars and motorcycles while I had some buffalo wings.  Hey, maybe we will see a Skyline GT-R hanging from the ceiling one day?

Before flying back to Japan my one wish was to have a nice juicy steak at Texas Road House restaurant.

Despite the long drives and hectic schedule it was nice to see my beloved friends and family.  But sometimes good things must come to an end.  It was time to fly back to Japan and get back to work.  We have customers that are depending on us to deliver cars all over the world and the Japanese auto auctions are not going to wait!

Goodbye Estima for now….

The Estima has been one of the go to mini-vans in Japan and other countries.  It’s been a reliable vehicle to haul family, friends and cargo for years.  When the Estima came out in 1990 it wasn’t exactly a huge hit.  When it was introduced in the US there were complaints that a V6 engine could not be installed for those who wanted more power.  In Europe people said that it was too expensive to utilize it as a mini-bus.  After 10 years in the year 2000 Toyota decided to use the Camry platform with a front engine, front wheel drive design.  This gave Toyota the ability to put a V6 engine in it.  The Estima finally earned it’s respect and became a huge hit.  By the way, it was given the nick name “Genius Egg.”

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Despite it’s success Toyota has decided to stop production of the Estima this September of 2019.  This is just a rumor but there are talks that the name “Estima” will be resurrected when Toyota comes out with an EV Mini-van in a few years.  I am a huge fan of the Estima and own one right now.  My plan is to get another Estima for our next family vehicle.  If you are looking for an Estima look no further.  Provide Cars Ltd. can help you get one and ship it to your choice of port.  The Japanese auto auction has hundreds of Estimas on auction.  If you are in the market sign up for a free trial account at www.providecars.co.jp.

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Japanese Report on EV

I received a report recently about the merit of owning an EV (Electric Vehicle).  I hope you all enjoy this information.

First things first.  It’s cheap to operate an EV.  It’s less than half the cost of a gasoline vehicle.  You don’t need to go to the gas station.  You can charge the car at home.  It doesn’t cause any major issues with smell and sound.  Because it doesn’t require petrol that means your country will not have to depend on importing of oil as much.  This is called energy security.

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Going forward there are some things to consider.  There will be a greater need to invest into maintaining EV.  This means repair shops will need specialized equipment.  Auto companies will need to increase their technological advancement on mileage, cost and charging times.  Apartment complexes will need to install charge stations for tenants. Used auto market will need to make adjustments to welcome the sale of used EV.  Discussions on reduce, reuse and recycling the batteries will be one of the top priorities.

Other things to consider.  Gasoline vehicles are still a lot cheaper.  Almost half the cost of an EV.  Average vehicle will go further than an EV.  Where it will take only a few minutes to fill up a gasoline vehicle an EV will take 30 to 40 minutes with fast charge and about 10 hours to charge the vehicle at home.

 

Here is something to consider.  If you have a solar panel you will technically have free fuel for your car.

 

Is Porsche the Best Sports Car?

Hope the summer heat isn’t getting to you.  It is hot and humid in Japan.  How did I ever make it in this heat as a child when we didn’t have A/C?  Anyway, today, I want to talk about Porsches.  My aunt use to tell me how much she liked Porsches.  In America a lot of people pronouce it as “Porsh”.  Most people don’t sound out the “e” at the end but the proper pronunciation requires the “e” to be sounded.  In Japan they say “Po Lu Shae”.  Believe it or not Porsche is a popular car in Japan despite the large selection of sporty Japanese made cars.

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I spoke to an importer from the U.K. and asked what he thought the best sports car was?  He said, “I’ve owned a Lambo and other high end cars but I think the best sports car to own is the Porsche”.  I was surprised with his answer and asked, “Why?”  He said it was because he believes they are the most practical sports car available in the market.  Easy to get in and out and you can actually go grocery shopping with it because there is decent amount of space for your stuff.  Plus, the maintenance cost is not as expensive as other sports cars like the Veyron.  The Veyron will cost you 21,000 dollars and up for an oil change.  LOL!  Minor maintenance such as an oil change and filter will cost you 200 dollars to 400 dollars.  A major repair like transmission service will cost 400 dollars to 600 dollars.

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Veyron

 

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So where is a good place to buy a nice used Porsche?  The car auctions in Japan of course.  Most people don’t run the cars hard but more as a economic status.  You can get them at a really reasonable price.  Infact, we have customers that import them back into Germany.  Can you believe it?  A car that came from Germany makes it’s way back home to where it came from!

 

Nissan e-NV200

Apart from a name that doesn’t stick around in the brain memory banks very long (try remembering it’s name in 5 minutes time?), the range of this newer model seems quite good.  Youtube promotion for the British/London area is in miles, but still if you work it out into kms, quite substantial.

 

Top 5 Forklifts

Thank God it’s Friday!  Today is Forklift Friday!  I want to talk a little about forklifts today!  Forklifts are essential to many businesses.  There’s quite a few forklift companies out there.  So which company is the best?  Here are the top 5!

  • Toyota Industries Corp. $8.78 billion. Longtime leader in the industry.  (Japan)
  • The KION Group. $5.924 billion. (Germany)
  • The Jungheinrich Group. $4.25 billion.(Germany)
  • Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd. $3.7 billion. (Japan)
  • Crown Equipment Corp. $2.9 billion (U.S.A)

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As you can see the top 5 forklifts company consists of German, Japan and USA.  Some might say that it doesn’t matter what brand you get but that is not true at all.  You need to put into consideration of the following when buying a forklift.

  1. Load capacity.
  2. Lift height.
  3. Fuel type.
  4. Hand Pallet Jack (Lift Truck)
  5. Electric Pallet Jack (Lift Truck)
  6. Manual Stacker.
  7. Walk Behind Electric Pallet Stacker.
  8. Order Picker.

This is my personal opinion but if I were buying I would choose one that would have a better resale value.  You never know when you will need to upgrade as your business grows.  Or perhaps you might have to down grade.  Either was you want to make sure you get the biggest return when you have to sell your forklift.  Typically Chinese forklifts do not get the best return so I would recommend the forklifts mention at the top.

We at Provide Cars Ltd. help customers buy used forklifts at the Japanese auctions.  Typically if you are buying 1.5 ton size forklifts we can fit 7 to 9 forklifts in one 40 foot high cube shipping container.  Most forklift auctions are on Tuesdays and Thursday.  If you are curious and have any questions let us know.  You can get a nice forklift at a great price!

Toyota Prius PHV (Plug in)

Many of us know that the Toyota is the best hybrid car on the market.  Sales of the Prius continue to grow despite electric vehicles coming on to the market.  The Toyota Prius will be the go to car for awhile as it continues to get better in every aspect from handling to gas mileage.  What is so great about the Prius PHV is that even when you put it in EV Mode and Power Mode the battery doesn’t seem to decrease much.  It’s advertised to go 68km on EV mode but in reality it goes about 47km which is still great!

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Did I mention that you can charge the battery at home?

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Wait, did I mention that you can get one with a solar panel that will charge the battery as well?

How about getting an extra 1000 km a year on solar power?  Yes, please and thank you!

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The interior has a nice comfy feel to it.

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The trunk has decent space for luggage and groceries.

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If you’re wondering where you can get one you can get one at the Japanese auto auction at a great price.  If you have never imported a car ask Provide Cars.  Get a hold of our owner ,Jon, at [email protected]  He will assign someone to contact you and help you every step of the way.  If you want to talk to someone just call us at +81 798 75 1451.  You won’t regret it!

Affordable Fast Cars

When you hear the word “cars” what do you think of?  The movie, “Cars”?

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OK, what else?  SPEED!  Racing!   So which car is currently the fastest street legal car in the world?

According to sources the Hennessey Venom F5`s top speed was 301 mph.  But the Hennessey has yet to confirm the speed with the Guinness Book of World Records.  What can tell you is that it costs $1.6 million US dollars.  I’m sure many of us can afford it?  I don’t think so.

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But let’s not get discouraged yet.  There are affordable and fast cars out there.  Here’s a list of them.

1. Toyota Celsior

Considered to be one of the most reliable cars on the market.  A 1994 model with under 84,000 miles sold for $650 USD at the Japanese auto auction.

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2. Volvo V70R

Don’t be fooled by it’s station wagon look.  This baby produces 300 horse power!  Was sold for less than $1000 USD at Japanese auto auction.

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3.  Nissan Fairlady Z

You can snag one for less than $4000 USD in great condition.  I remember doing almost 120mph on the highway once.  Don’t do it on a rainy day like I did.  Always drive safe ; )

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4.  Nissan Skyline 350GT

Another Nissan that gives you speed for the best bang for your buck. How much you ask?  You can get one for less than $1000 USD at the Japanese auto auction.

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This is a short list of some of the affordable cars that are available.  However, there are dozens and dozens of more affordable and fast cars at the auto auctions.  Some of you are probably skeptical of the prices quoted in this blog.  I don’t see any point of lying but If you want to find out for yourself sign up for a free trial with Provide Cars Ltd.  Go to www.providecars.co.jp and click on the Sign Up tab.  You will be assigned to one of the staff members so feel free to ask as many questions as you like.

Car Stickers for Safety

If you have been to Japan you have probably seen the following stickers on cars.  Each sticker has specific meanings and helps new and experienced drivers on the road. Knowing who you are driving behind could help drivers become more aware and cautious.  Who knows, it could probably help road rage as too.

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1. Wakaba/Shoshinsha Mark – Beginner’s sticker

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When you first obtain a driver’s license, you are required to place this mark on both the front and back side of your vehicle for one year. It’s called the 若葉(wakaba – green leaf) or 初心者(shoshinsha – beginner) mark in Japanese.

 

2. Koreisha/Momiji/Yotsuba Mark – Senior Driver Sticker

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It is recommended that drivers over the age of 70 or older should attach this sticker, but anyone over age 75 is required to attach this sticker to their vehicle. The tear-drop shaped version is called the 紅葉(Momiji – or “Autumn leaves”) in Japanese and was instituted in 1997. In 2011, the 四葉 (Yotsuba – four-leaf clover) version was introduced to replace the previous Momiji sticker.

 

3. Choukaku Shougai Mark – Hearing Impaired Driver Sticker

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Hearing impaired drivers should attach this sticker to their vehicles. It is called a 聴覚障害 (choukaku shougai – hearing impaired) mark in Japanese.

 

4. Shintai Shougai Mark – Handicapped Driver Sticker

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Handicapped drivers should attach this sticker to their vehicles. It is called the 身体障害 (shintai shougai – physical impairment) mark in Japanese.