Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ten Weird, Wild & Wonderful Japanese Cars We Never Got to Buy
by Steve Levenstein, October 08, 2007



Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and more... Japanese cars have come a long way from the tiny, underpowered Toyopets and Datsuns many of us knew of or grew up with in the 1960s and 1970s. Not all of Japan's cars made the trip across the ocean, however. Our top ten list, whle hardly definitive, manages to cover some of Japan's most exciting and interesting cars that, for various reasons, never left the nest. Of such things are legends born...CLICK HERE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
They can keep them

Good post.

However, looking at some of the cars it maybe a blessing we never got to buy them!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,860 Posts
That writer's list is way too short... There a several micro cars and other GM and Ford cars sold outside that USA that would have been very fun to own and drive here....

After several tours overseas in the Army, I was always astounded that a small 3 cylinder Dihatsu was competitive and popular in Europe but never made it here

WHAT...!! Someone went out of their way to import YUGOs fer crying out loud
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That someone was Malcolm Bricklin

Malcolm Bricklin, first imported the Yugo to the U.S. in 1985. Bricklin said the cars would resemble the Volkswagen Rabbit; will have air bags, to address safety concerns; and meet both European emissions and safety standards. He also setup Subaru of America's distribution network in 1968.

Bricklin is also known for introducing some rather high-profile flops. He designed and financed production of the Bricklin SV-1, a gull-winged car--much like the DeLorean.



More than 120,000 Yugos sold in the U.S. before he sold out in 1988 for more than $15 million.

In December of 2004 Bricklin reportedly signed a contract with Chery Automobile Co Ltd, a Chinese government-owned car company.

The plan was for his new company, Visionary Vehicles LLC, to import 5 models priced approximately 30 percent lower than similar imports. His goal is 250,000 cars the first year through 250 dealers.



He ended plans in 2006 to enter into a joint venture with Chery Automobile Company to manufacture and distribute Chery vehicles in the United States.

"We have great respect and admiration for President Yin Tongyao and Chery, but we are no longer negotiating exclusively with them," announced Bricklin.

General Motors (GM) filed a lawsuit against China's Chery Automobile Co for alleged piracy of a mini car.



However, Chery entered into a business arrangement with DaimlerChrysler to develop a new small car. Chrysler signed a deal with Chery, China's biggest automaker, to introduce a low-cost production car and export the first Chinese-made cars to the United States. "The first cars should be exported to North America and Western Europe in two 1/2 years", said Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda. As part of the Chrysler Group's global transformation, we are finding new ways to bring vehicles to market faster, more efficiently and with less cost,'' LaSorda said at a signing ceremony.

Now in 2007 Bricklin wants to bring in a 100 MPG Hybrid by 2009 and is in talks with various Chinese companies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
A friend in high school called me and said that his neighbor had a Toyota 2000GT in his driveway. I went over, sat in it, and dreamed of having such a cool car. I knew they were never imported, but I didn't know they were that rare.

We had a '67 and a '70 Toyota Corona...oddities then.
 

·
aka '24-42'
Joined
·
930 Posts
A friend in high school called me and said that his neighbor had a Toyota 2000GT in his driveway. I went over, sat in it, and dreamed of having such a cool car. I knew they were never imported, but I didn't know they were that rare.

We had a '67 and a '70 Toyota Corona...oddities then.
Toyota imported 60 2000GT's to meet the minimum to qualify for Production class racing.

It didn't handle all that well.

When I sit in my car, I feel 'Smart'. If I didn't leave my sunglasses on the seat, I feel smarter.

Donald LaFavor
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top