Auction Numbers Are Dropping

Yes cars at auction here in Japan are fewer than before.

Car auction numbers
Car auction numbers are dropping and there are less cars at auction

Auction Numbers Are Dropping

USS Japan which is the largest auto auction group in Japan is a juggernaut beyond comprehension. They go around swallowing smaller car auctions like they are plankton.

Which Japanese auction house will survive in the long run? Will there be one monster or a group of monsters.

Yes, it’s a huge beast which started many years prior to my arrival in Japan which was in 1999. USS was already a force to be reckoned with and one could tell even then that this auction group was not going away.

Car Exporter Chat

During 2019 sometime or another I was walking to a key box at USS Tokyo and met up with two other exporters who shall remain nameless in this cut-throat business. (We all pretend to be nice but it’s one for all and all for one’s self)

There we were chatting away pre-Corona Virus time and we commented how few cars there were at certain auctions and mentioned that if some auctions survive ( JAA Tokyo ) etc it would be surprising.

JAA was bought out by USS, as was HAA Kobe. So it began.

So Many Cars In The One Place

When I looked on the auction page in say November or so last year, USS Tokyo was showing it had 18,000 cars listed for a single auction day. USS Yokohama had dropped from about 5,500 cars to about 3,500 cars on the day.

  • USS Tokyo is Thursday
  • USS Yokohama is Tuesday

We were shocked that USS Tokyo had grown so quickly from about 10,000 to 12,000 cars per auction to suddenly 18,000 cars. They were obviously sucking the siblings dry. Obviously they know all too well what they are doing but 18,000 cars were amazing and quite an undertaking to manage every Thursday.

Corona Virus Time

Yes, it came and we are all affected. USS Tokyo is down to about 11,000 cars per day and they are selling about 40% less. Exporters are screaming and cars in Japan are not moving. I can’t think of much else to say about the current situation honestly.

Waiting Game

Many of the larger car exporters who were exporting to countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, etc are finding it hard as they survived on volume with small margins. Others like myself have a small niche market and we have fewer overheads so survival seems somewhat more optimistic. If we can we must all wait. When USS Tokyo car entry numbers start to grow we will have our answer.

What do you think?

Written by Japans Car Man


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