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Peter Lyons Offers an Insider’s Look at “How Japanese Cars Changed the World”

Posted March 23, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto imports sales Toyota

When the first Toyota Toyopet Crowns landed on the docks in Los Angeles in the late summer of 1957, no one on hand realized they were watching history unfold. Six decades later, Japanese automakers are well entrenched in the U.S. market, with Toyota, Honda, Subaru and Nissan (and formerly, Mazda and Mitsubishi) all currently operating manufacturing plants on U.S. soil. The reach of the Japanese auto industry goes well beyond these shores, and on Tuesday, March 22, journalist Peter Lyons will present How Japanese Cars Changed the World: An Insider's Look, at the Japan Society offices in New York City.

The Toyopet Crown may have launched the Japanese auto industry in the United States, but ironically it very nearly killed it as well. The initial cars shipped to California had undergone no testing outside of Japan, and as Wanda James writes in Driving to America, their performance was not up to U.S. expectations. Driving on the freeways of Southern California, the cars were unable to achieve, let alone maintain, a safe speed. Hills caused overheating issues, but perhaps worse was that the Toyopet Crown's brakes weren't sufficient to hold the car on steep grades. Even the vibration from the car's engine, attributed to its three main bearing design, proved unacceptable to those given test drives.

How Japanese car companies gained a foothold in the North American auto market.

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Re: Peter Lyons Offers an Insider’s Look at “How Japanese Cars Changed the World”

03/23/2016 10:22 AM

I'd say they have improved a lot since then.

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Re: Peter Lyons Offers an Insider’s Look at “How Japanese Cars Changed the World

03/23/2016 11:42 AM

And the Japanese as well as other nations' automobiles have fostered competition that have tremendously improved domestic automobiles as well. I well remember the wake-up call that Detroit received in the 70's. And they DESERVED it too. The consumer benefits from marketplace competition.

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Re: Peter Lyons Offers an Insider’s Look at “How Japanese Cars Changed the World”

03/24/2016 2:18 AM

Yes free trade has a way of making things better...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry_in_North_Korea

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