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German Cars From Japan

Can I buy a German car from Japan?

Importing German Cars From Japan
Importing German Cars From Japan

German Cars From Japan

Why would anyone think about buying a German car from Japan? It simply doesn’t seem right does it! When I first started exporting cars some 20 plus years ago I was one of those exporters who solely focused on Japanese cars. Yeah, I saw many German cars driving around the place here in Japan as I went about my daily business. What was really odd to me that they were nearly all Left Hand Drive except the more entry-level cars. This in itself seemed odd for a Right-Hand drive country Japan.

I recall so well driving down the expressway on my way to USS Tokyo back in circa 2005 or so that I would often be passed by a very large Porsche designed Mercedes Benz E500 limited edition. The large wide-bodied cars with their overly large rear wheel arches looked just stunning as they flew by.

Mercedes Benz E500 limited by Porsche Design
Such an iconic car the Mercedes Benz E500 limited by Porsche Design

I never actually found these E500s that attractive at first as I had no connection with them. They simply looked impressive and so German. Also when you see a car with 500 on the back which is made by Mercedes and Porsche you’re expecting big things. The E500 Limited Edition certainly delivered this in volume. It wasn’t until sometime later in my car exporting career that I would get some first-hand experience with this wonderful car.

Mercedes Benz was making some fabulous cars during the 80s, 90s and still today. However, it was during these decades that the Japanese had loads of expendable cash and spent up large on exotic cars from not only Germany but Italy and elsewhere.

Japans Bubble Period

During the 80s Japans wealth was undisputed with money being printed faster than the Japanese could spend it. For a normally frugal race, spending was freedom and a better way to see your cash being used than just squirrelling it away in the bank. The average salaryman was taking home bonuses sometimes 2 or 3 x what he would normally receive. What better way to show off other than a nice present for the wife which is highly unlikely here or a car for yourself? especially a European left-hand drive car that just wreaks success. Here are some popular cars to import during this time.

Classic Porsche 911 930
Is there a more desirable car than a Classic Porsche 911 930


BMW M3 E30 was the car to beat
BMW M3 E30 was the car to beat if Mercedes Benz could catch it.
1988 Mercedes Benz 560SEC looks great
These line of the Mercedes Benz 560SEC looks great can still be seen today in modern Mercedes cars

These are just a few of the fabulous cars that were being imported from Germany to Japan at this time.

Obviously the Japanese love reliability and these German cars were certainly offering plenty of reliability at the time so buying these cars was a popular past time. It was a fantastic time in Japan for buying any car and even better if you were affluent enough to splash out on a cool German car from Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, VW or any other.

German Cars Returning To Germany

As anyone on this website/blog knows that Japan was flooded with these great cars during this so-called bubble period. These cars were loved and cared for and often barely touched by the owners. In the late period of the millennium, people started paying attention to the volume of classic German cars that were sitting around in Japan waiting to be bought by a new grateful owner.

This was most evident with German buyers who are able to repatriate homemade cars easily. From 2008 and onwards I found myself in hot demand and somehow an authoritative figure from Japan as an exporter of classic German cars. I certainly didn’t mind as my sales increased by nearly 40% from 2010 – 2015 . It was a wonderful time to be exporting these fabulous Mercedes Benz E500 Limited Editions and Porsche 911s etc.

Now in 2020 I honestly can’t remember how many I have exported. But I can tell you that I met some fantastic people during this time and it was a pleasure working with many of them.

Contact Me At Auto Trader Imports

I am always available for discussion and consultation about anything to do with buying and importing a classic German car from Japan. You can find me here.

  • Phone: 0081-90-5400-6384

  • Fax: Nobody uses fax? 🙂

  • Email:

  • Web:

  • Skype: Autotraderimports

  • Whatsapp: 0081-90-5400-6384



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Written by Japans Car Man


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