Although Japan is one of the leading auto exporters in the world, with Japanese brands having a global sales and manufacturing presence, the Japanese home market remains one of the most closed markets in the world to outside brands. But 2013 represented the best year on record for imported cars. In an effort to increase its presence in the Japanese market, Ford is re-introducing the Fiesta subcompact after a seven-year hiatus, accord to The Detroit News.
The Fiesta will be sold in Japan with a starting price of $22,900, and will be offered with the new three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Although sales of imported cars reached an all-time high of 280,540 vehicles in 2013, sales of U.S.-brand cars remain low. Ford sold approximately 3500 vehicles in Japan last year, with the Explorer sport-utility being the most popular model. General Motors only sells about 1000 vehicles a year in Japan.
Ford plans on expanding its product offerings in Japan, by adding the EcoSport subcompact SUV, as well as offering the 2015 Mustang with right-hand-drive. The addition of the EcoSport SUV will bring a the total number of models sold by Ford in Japan to eight. The increased number of smaller models from imported brands is one factor cited by the increased popularity of imported cars in Japan.
Source: The Detroit News