The Japanese automotive trade has been a significant participant within the international automotive marketplace for a long time. As of 2016, Japan was liable for over 20% of all automobiles exported globally. In 2017, the US was Japan’s largest export market, with exports totaling $51 billion USD.

Whereas the US has traditionally been a big importer of automobiles from Japan, you will need to be aware that there have been intervals by which this relationship has modified. For instance, in the course of the Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, exports from Japan to the US had been considerably larger than they’re right this moment.

This might be attributable to a number of elements, together with a powerful yen/weak greenback change charge throughout that interval and even a rise within the recognition of Japanese luxurious automobiles amongst People throughout this era.

This text will study the statistics of JDM auto exports to the USA over the previous three a long time and analyze any rising traits on this trade, in addition to go over stats associated to different Japanese exports to the US.

JDM has been on the rise since 2011

jdm carjdm car

You could have observed extra JDM imports on the roads, as we now have seen a constant improve in JDM importing since 2011. This has been a welcome change for a lot of automobile fans.

The JDM automobiles have larger high quality and extra efficiency capabilities and have gotten more and more reasonably priced. The rise is predicted to proceed as firms uncover why Japanese automobiles are so common and enhance their efficiency fashions to compete with the excellence of JDM automobiles.

The variety of automobiles is exported from Japan to the USA yearly

The variety of automobiles exported from Japan to the USA has been growing over time. In 2018, a complete of three,134,179 automobiles had been exported from Japan to the USA. 1991 was the yr with the best variety of exports (4,080,907), with 1990 being the second-highest (3,899,325).

JDM imports elevated 5.5% from 2017 to 2018

Acura NSXAcura NSX

The information isn’t all dangerous, although. JDM imports in 2018 had been up 5.5% from 2017. However the complete variety of automobiles coming over continues to be decrease than it was at its peak in 2016. So, you may wish to act quick in case you’re in search of a Nissan Skyline from the ’90s, a Mitsubishi Eclipse from the early 2000s, or every other basic Japanese mannequin that’s been in your thoughts currently.

Greater than half of imported automobiles are from the 90s

JDM Nissan SkylinesJDM Nissan Skylines

As you’re narrowing down your seek for the right Japanese import, it’s value trying into some normal traits.

Roughly 54% of all imports are from the Nineteen Nineties. The most well-liked maker is Nissan, with 61% of all JDM automobiles, adopted by Toyota with 22%.

These automobiles embrace numerous makes just like the Skyline and Honda Integra Type R. On your common automobile proprietor in search of a strong journey at an reasonably priced worth, look no additional than the 90s!

As far as pricing goes, 60% of imports are priced between $5K and $15K in US {dollars}. Taking into consideration shipping costs (often round $1K) and taxes (round 2%), you’ll be paying about $8K for a dependable automobile that can final you years.

The Nissan Skyline R32 was first launched in 1989, however they had been by no means authorized to import to the US till 2014. R32s are one of the vital sought-after automobiles by JDM fans, and GTR fashions are significantly common.

This is because of their fame as a quick automobile that handles properly, in addition to the chance to switch them closely for extra efficiency. The Skyline GT-R has appeared in video video games like Gran Turismo, Want for Pace, and Forza Motorsport.

High 90s JDM automobiles within the USA

The most well-liked JDM automobiles within the USA are typically automobiles from the 90s. Collectors love these automobiles attributable to their reliability and high-performance capabilities. Check out our article on the 20 Best JDM Cars of the 90s

The High 90s JDM automobiles within the USA are as follows:

Nissan Skyline R32

R32 Nissan SkylineR32 Nissan Skyline

The Nissan Skyline R32 is a sports activities automobile that was produced between 1989 and 1994. It had a 2.6-litre straight-six engine, which produced as much as 217 horsepower. The Skyline R32 has change into common in the US as a result of it’s a uncommon automobile, and folks like to gather uncommon automobiles.

The Nissan Skyline R32 was first launched in 1989 as a successor to the Nissan Skyline GTS25t, which was also called the Nissan Fairlady Z. The Nissan Skyline R32 was bought as a sedan or coupe and had rear-wheel drive with impartial suspension and unequal-length A-arms (Macpherson strut). It additionally got here with disc brakes on all 4 wheels.

In 1992, Nissan upgraded the engine of the Skyline R32 by including DOHC (twin overhead camshaft) know-how to extend energy output by 20 horsepower over its predecessor at 240 hp complete output whereas nonetheless retaining related gasoline financial system rankings at 20/26 mpg metropolis/freeway, respectively based on EPA estimates based mostly on guide transmission fashions solely the place relevant (computerized transmission fashions had been rated at 18/25 mpg metropolis/freeway).

View R32 Nissan Skyline GT-Rs listed for sale.

Read our R32 Nissan Skyline Ultimate Guide

Read our Nissan Skyline Buying Guide

Nissan Skyline R33

Nissan Skyline r33Nissan Skyline r33

The Nissan Skyline R33 is a Japanese sports activities automobile that was produced from 1993 to 1998. It’s the successor to the Nissan Skyline GT-R and is among the hottest classics in the US.

The Skyline R33 is on the market with a 2.6-litre straight-six engine that produces 175 horsepower and goes 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds. The physique model was designed by Mamoru Aoki, who additionally designed the Infiniti Q45. Whereas it was bought as a sedan in Japan, it was solely accessible as a coupe in America attributable to security laws.

The Nissan Skyline R33 is common in America as a result of it gives good efficiency for its worth level and has been featured in lots of racing video games corresponding to Gran Turismo 6 and Forza Motorsport 4.

View R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R, GTST, GTS, and GTS4 listed for sale

Read our R33 Nissan Skyline Ultimate Guide

Read our Nissan Skyline Buying Guide

Nissan Skyline R34

Nissan Skyline R34Nissan Skyline R34

The Nissan Skyline R34 is a automobile that was produced by Nissan from 1999 to 2002. It’s a sports activities automobile that has been in manufacturing since 1969 and has change into extremely popular because it is among the few Japanese automobiles with an AWD system.

The Skyline R34 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.6-litre inline-six engine that produces 276 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 282 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. This engine could be paired with both a 5-speed guide transmission or a 4-speed computerized transmission (which is uncommon). The automobile additionally options an all-wheel-drive system that makes use of a viscous coupling middle differential and multi-plate clutch to distribute torque between the entrance wheels and rear wheels, relying on traction circumstances.

The R34 comes with many alternative options, together with energy every part, air-con, cruise management, keyless entry/startup/lock/cease (with distant keyless entry), heated seats and mirrors (with defrosting), an anti-theft alarm system, twin entrance airbags (with aspect influence safety), aspect door influence beams constructed from excessive energy metal tubing (designed for optimum safety towards aspect impacts), rear disc brakes on all 4 corners for elevated stopping energy throughout emergencies.

View R34 Nissan Skyline GTR, GTST, GTS, and GTS4 are listed for sale.

Read our R34 Nissan Skyline Ultimate Guide

Read our Nissan Skyline Buying Guide

Toyota Supra

Toyota SupraToyota Supra

The Toyota Supra was a sports activities automobile produced by Toyota and bought in the US from 1993 to 1998. The Supra has been common in the US since its introduction, largely attributable to its distinctive efficiency, in addition to its reasonably priced price ticket.

The Supra was launched in 1993 after being launched as an idea automobile on the Chicago Auto Present in 1992. Manufacturing of the Supra started at Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd.’s Takanezawa plant in Japan; some fashions had been additionally assembled by Magna Steyr GmbH in Austria. The manufacturing model had a number of enhancements over the idea automobile, together with extra highly effective engines and improved styling.

As a result of it was designed to be a competitor to different sports activities automobiles such because the Nissan Skyline R33, it was powered by a 2JZ inline six-cylinder engine with an output of 276 horsepower (205 kW). The Supra additionally featured an all-wheel drive and an electronically managed four-speed computerized transmission with guide shift functionality.

The all-wheel-drive system utilized digital sensors to find out which wheels wanted energy at any given second; this allowed drivers to benefit from higher traction on slippery surfaces with out having to fret about dropping management of their automobiles when making turns or accelerating shortly out of corners.

View Toyota Supra listed for sale

Read our Toyota Supra Ultimate Guide

Toyota AE86 Corolla Levin & Trueno GTV (GTS)

Toyota AE86Toyota AE86

The Toyota AE86 Corolla Levin & Trueno GTV is a sporty automobile that was produced from 1983 to 1987. It was designed for the Japanese market, however it has change into common in the US due to its distinctive design and reasonably priced worth.

The Toyota AE86 Corolla Levin & Trueno GTV has a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive format, and a 2200 cc engine. The engine produces about 135 hp at 7000 rpm and 128 lb.-ft. of torque at 5200 rpm. The automobile has a curb weight of about 2300 lbs., so it could possibly speed up from 0-60 mph in about 7 seconds with its guide transmission or in about 6 seconds with its computerized transmission.

The Toyota AE86 Corolla Levin & Trueno GTV is on the market in a number of colours, together with white, silver metallic, black metallic, pink pearl metallic, darkish blue pearl metallic, and white pearl metallic. It additionally is available in three trim ranges: SR5 (base), GT-Apex (mid), and GT-R (prime). Every mannequin has totally different options like totally different wheels, spoilers, and aspect skirts, relying on its trim stage.

View Toyota Levin listed for sale

Nissan 180SX

Nissan 180SXNissan 180SX

The Nissan 180SX is a sports activities automobile that was produced from 1989 to 1999. They arrive in two totally different physique kinds: coupe and convertible. The automobile had two totally different engine choices: a single-cam KA24E or a twin-cam RB25DE. The RB25DE was extra highly effective and had extra torque than the KA24E, however it was additionally heavier.

The Nissan 180SX received its identify from the truth that it was smaller than different automobiles in its class at slightly below 180 inches lengthy (about 1/8 of a mile). Its fundamental competitor was the Honda Civic SiR hatchback, which was additionally bought as an Acura Integra GS-R.

The Nissan 180SX is so common within the US as a result of it has been featured in lots of video video games over time, together with Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, Want for Pace: Underground 2, Challenge Gotham Racing 4, and Forza Motorsport 4.

View Nissan 180SX listed for sale

Read our Nissan 180SX Ultimata Guide

Nissan Silvia S13

Nissan Silvia S13Nissan Silvia S13

The Nissan Silvia S13 is a Japanese sports activities automobile that was produced from 1984 to 1989. The Silvia S13 is among the hottest automobiles within the US and has been because it first debuted.

The Nissan Silvia S13 was first launched in 1984 as a alternative for the earlier mannequin, which had been on sale since 1982. The automobile was made accessible in each coupe and convertible variants, in addition to with both a 1.8L or 2.0L engine possibility.

The Nissan Silvia S13 was initially marketed as an reasonably priced different to different sports activities automobiles just like the Mazda RX-7 and Toyota Supra (which had been additionally common on the time). The automobile was designed with efficiency in thoughts; nonetheless, it additionally supplied a cushty journey due to its suspension system and tires.

The automobile grew to become common amongst tuners attributable to its light-weight development supplies corresponding to aluminum alloy wheels and physique panels plus the truth that it has been comparatively straightforward for them to switch over time.

View Nissan Silvia S13 listed for sale

Read our Nissan Silvia Ultimate Guide

When seeking to get essentially the most bang in your buck, it’s helpful to take a look at what manufacturers are in demand or to see which manufacturers are bringing in cash. Under are statistics that may assist when in search of a automobile.

Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are the most well-liked manufacturers. These three Japanese automakers have been branching out into new markets currently and making a reputation for themselves in the US and overseas. They’ve change into so common that they’re on virtually each nook! Right here’s why:

  • All of them make fun-to-drive automobiles with nice gasoline financial system.
  • All of them make dependable automobiles with good security rankings and lengthy warranties.
  • All of them manufacture award-winning automobiles that buyers love (suppose Corolla vs Accord vs Camry).

Most individuals import for private use, not for resale/enterprise

Acura NSXAcura NSX

In the event you’re contemplating importing a JDM automobile, it’s vital to know the authorized course of and what classification your automobile will fall into. It’s additionally vital to know that almost all JDM automobiles are imported for private use and never for resale or enterprise functions. The bulk of people that import a JDM automobile accomplish that as a result of they need a novel day by day driver with styling that may’t be discovered on U.S.-market automobiles.

What else does Japan export to the USA?

Japan is a significant exporter of automotive automobiles and automotive elements, however many different key Japanese exports additionally discover their strategy to the US. A number of the most typical Japanese exports to the US embrace every of the next:

Digital tools

Japan is among the largest exporters of digital tools to the US. Nearly all of this tools is bought on to U.S. customers, however Japan additionally sells a few of its digital tools to U.S.-based firms that resell it to customers in different nations. The highest 5 exports from Japan embrace Built-in Circuits; Computer systems; Phone Gear; Video Recorders and Reproducers; and Radio and Tv Receivers.


Japan is a number one exporter of equipment to the US. In line with the U.S. Division of Commerce, Japan’s equipment exports to the US rose by 6.9 p.c in 2020 and totalled $7.1 billion. Japan’s equipment exports consist primarily of producing tools, together with industrial robots and computer systems, in addition to workplace machines corresponding to copiers and printers. Japan additionally produces plane elements which can be exported to the US.

Optical and medical tools

Japan can be one of many main exporters of optical and medical tools to the USA. A few of these gadgets are as follows:

Optical items: These embrace lenses, mirrors, prisms, and different gadgets which can be utilized in telescopes and microscopes. They’re often constructed from glass or plastic supplies however can be constructed from metallic alloys corresponding to titanium or metal.

Medical tools: This contains gadgets corresponding to x-ray machines or ultrasound scanners that are used for diagnostic functions; it additionally contains gadgets like listening to aids that are designed to be used by sufferers who are suffering from listening to loss or different circumstances affecting their capacity to listen to clearly (i.e., folks with superior age).


Japan exports many several types of plastics to the US. In 2016, it exported over $7 billion value of plastic items to the U.S., together with a number of several types of plastics. Japan exports a considerable amount of polyethylene, which is utilized in packaging supplies and different shopper items.

It additionally exports quite a lot of polypropylene, which is utilized in plastic luggage and containers for meals storage. Along with these two fundamental classes, Japan additionally exports different forms of plastics like low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Iron and metal merchandise

Japan is among the largest exporters of iron and metal merchandise to the US. In 2017, Japan exported $5.3 billion value of those items to the U.S., based on the Worldwide Commerce Administration (ITA).

Iron and metal merchandise are manufactured from uncooked supplies corresponding to iron ore, coal, and limestone. The uncooked supplies are processed into pig iron, which is then transformed into metal by including carbon or different alloying brokers.

Nearly all of Japan’s iron and metal exports include unwrought flat-rolled merchandise, together with plates, sheets, and strips. In 2017, these accounted for greater than half (51 p.c) of all Japanese iron/metal exports to the U.S., based on ITA knowledge.

Different main Japanese iron/metal exports embrace castings; nonferrous wire; bars/rods/shapes; pipes/tubes; tubes/pipes (seamless); tubes/pipes (welded); and valves (besides hydraulic).

Natural chemical compounds

Japan exports a variety of natural chemical compounds to the US. This contains a number of chemical compounds which can be used within the manufacturing of different merchandise, in addition to chemical compounds which can be used immediately by customers.

For instance, Japan is among the main suppliers of benzene and ethylene. Benzene is a solvent and precursor to varied chemical compounds, together with styrene and phenol. Ethylene is used to make plastics and different merchandise.

Ships and boats

Japan is among the prime producers of ships on this planet and can be one of many largest exporters of ships to the US. In 2014, Japan exported $1.3 billion value of ships to the US.

The most well-liked sort of ship that Japan exports to America is oil tankers, which accounted for roughly 70% of all ships exported from Japan in 2014. The second-largest class was container ships (26%), adopted by bulk carriers (5%).

Japan additionally exports different forms of business vessels corresponding to passenger ships, fishing vessels, and cruise liners; nonetheless, these kind of vessels account for lower than 10% of complete exports every year.

Toys, video games, and sports activities tools

Toys and video games are one in all Japan’s main exports to the US, accounting for greater than $4.5 billion in annual gross sales.

The Japanese toy trade is dominated by massive firms corresponding to Bandai, Tomy, and Takara Tomy (Takara Tomy). These firms manufacture toys for a variety of various age teams, from preschoolers to youngsters. Many of those toys are based mostly on common characters from Japanese manga comics and animation motion pictures.

The most well-liked character is Whats up Kitty, who was created in 1974 by Yuko Shimizu. Whats up, Kitty has been featured in a whole lot of various merchandise since her creation. She has even appeared on postage stamps issued by the postal service in Japan!

Buying and selling Playing cards

Japan is among the largest buying and selling card markets on this planet. They export their playing cards to the US and different nations around the globe.

Japan’s buying and selling card trade is led by firms like Konami and Bandai, which produce their playing cards. Nevertheless, in addition they import playing cards from different nations like America, Canada, and France. Additionally they import playing cards from different Asian nations corresponding to China and Korea.

A number of the hottest buying and selling playing cards produced in Japan are Yu-Gi-Oh! (a collection created by Kazuki Takahashi), Pokémon (a collection created by Satoshi Tajiri), Digimon (a collection created by Akiyoshi Hongo), Dragon Ball (a collection created by Akira Toriyama), Beyblade (a collection created by Takara Tomy)

The biggest Japanese exporters

Nissan SilviaNissan Silvia

The biggest Japanese exporters to the USA are Toyota Motor Company, Sony Company, Nissan Motor Firm Ltd., and Panasonic Company.

Toyota is the world’s second-largest automaker by manufacturing quantity, after Basic Motors. The corporate employs greater than 300,000 folks worldwide and has annual revenues of $265 billion. In the US alone, Toyota has round 5,600 staff and produces greater than 1 million automobiles per yr at its vegetation in Kentucky, Texas, Alabama, and West Virginia. The corporate additionally exports its automobiles to South America in addition to Europe and Asia.

Sony is a multinational electronics firm that was based by Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita in 1946. It at present employs over 70,000 folks worldwide and has annual revenues of $74 billion from its vary of merchandise, together with cameras and audio tools in addition to online game consoles such because the PlayStation 5 (PS5).

Sony additionally makes smartphones beneath its identify in addition to for different producers corresponding to Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., BlackBerry Ltd., LG Electronics Inc., Panasonic Company, and so on.

What does the USA export to Japan?

Nissan SkylineNissan Skyline

The US exports many issues to Japan, together with automobiles, meals gadgets, and vitality.

The US is a significant exporter of automobiles to Japan. The Japanese automobile manufacturing trade has grown over time and now makes up greater than half of all automobiles produced in Japan yearly. In 2017, the US exported over $1 billion value of cars to Japan.

Japan imports quite a lot of meals merchandise from the US as properly. The US exports 88 p.c of its agricultural merchandise to Japan every year. A number of the hottest gadgets embrace beef and pork merchandise, which make up virtually half of all agricultural exports between these two nations every year.

The US additionally exports quite a lot of vitality merchandise to Japan every year. It was not too long ago reported that American vitality firms are promoting extra pure gasoline than ever earlier than!

There’s a thriving marketplace for JDM Imports within the USA

There’s a thriving marketplace for Japanese home automobile imports within the USA. Whereas some folks prefer to provide you with their very own modified JDM automobiles, there are nonetheless many preferring to make use of one of these automobile to get extra out of their automobiles. The US is among the nations with the best variety of Japanese imports per capita.

The rationale behind this recognition is that JDM automobiles are identified for being dependable, secure, and low emissions automobiles that supply a novel model and look. These automobiles are additionally authorized in all 50 states, which makes importing a JDM automobile straightforward for anybody who needs to strive it.


Japan’s exports are on the rise, and that’s nice information for anybody who loves automobiles. This improve is basically attributable to a rise in automobile exports and elevated international demand for Japanese medical gadgets and know-how. However all issues thought-about, that’s a superb factor for us!

The very best half? Many of those JDM automobiles are actually greater than 25 years outdated and authorized for importation into the US. For instance, 1989 Nissan Skylines are actually eligible for importation, they usually’re extremely wanted by fans in all places.

It stays to be seen if these traits will proceed within the years forward, however JDM auto imports aren’t displaying any indicators of slowing down. As new applied sciences proceed to emerge in Japan, doubtless, the demand for JDM automobiles will solely proceed to rise, which is in the end good for the worldwide auto trade as a complete, however particularly for automobile fans in the US.

  • Photos from wallpaperaccess

Christopher joined jdmbuysell.com in 2018 as an automotive Journalist and now has oversees all communications with patrons & sellers.

Christopher WeydertChristopher Weydert
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