Most of the private cars seen on the roads of Bangladesh are Japanese-brand cars. Bangladeshi customers now prefer brands such as Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, etc., over European brands such as Audi, Mercedes, and BMW. In fact, many of the customers prefer to buy 2-3 years or even 5 years old JDM or Japanese domestic market cars when buying a brand new car. Even in many countries, JDM reconditioned cars are quite popular among customers. In fact, about 85 percent of the sedans, SUVs, or minivans (Noah), or light passenger commercial vehicles (Hiace) seen on the roads of Bangladesh are JDM cars. But, what exactly is the reason why these JDM cars made in Japan are still so popular in Bangladesh?
From the 1980s, reconditioned JDM cars, jeeps, and microbuses began arriving in Bangladesh. Being a developing country, cars are still considered luxury items in Bangladesh. As a result, any motor vehicle in Bangladesh costs two-three times more than its original price, and even four times in some cases. This is why it was not possible for most customers in Bangladesh to buy European and Japanese brand-new cars. But in the case of CBU JDM reconditioned cars, the government imposed tariffs based on depreciated value for a long time to bring the cars within the affordability of customers in Bangladesh.
According to Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (BARVIDA), more than 14,000 JDM vehicles have been imported to Bangladesh in the FY 2021-22.
|Fiscal Year||Number of Imported Cars|
Cars built for the Japanese domestic market were manufactured to meet the country’s government regulations to ensure fuel efficiency, performance, and strong build quality, so that Japanese people could use the cars for a long time. Due to this, the cars made for the Japanese domestic market continued to provide good service even on Bangladeshi roads. Especially, there was a high tendency among MPs, ministers, and VIPs to buy cars like Land Cruiser, Prado, and Harrier. Due to which, the trend of buying JDM Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi JDM cars among common customers also started increasing. In fact even in the current times, along with the improvement in the condition of the country’s roads, the increase in the purchasing power of the customers, the options and availability of brand new cars have also increased.
In addition to Japanese brands, German and European brands like BMW, AUDI, Mercedes, Maserati, US brands Ford and JEEP, and Korean brands Hyundai and Chinese brands DFSK and Haval have also established authorized dealership networks in Bangladesh. But still, customers prefer to import 2-3 years old JDM cars. In fact, in many cases, it can be seen that European brand new cars can be bought at the price of a car like Land Cruiser, but customers are more interested in buying the JDM version of Land Cruiser, Mitsubishi Pajero. In fact, 85 percent of the cars sold in Bangladesh every year are JDM reconditioned cars.
Why JDM Car Popular?
The reliability of Japanese domestic market cars is one of the main reasons for their popularity. Japanese cars have the strong build quality, handling capabilities, powerful engines, and better materials, which helped them establish a reliable image from the start. Manufacturers of Japanese cars have always focused on fuel efficiency and affordability, as well as meeting the high-performance driving standards and regulations of their domestic market.
On imports of Completely Built Unit (CBU) vehicles into Bangladesh, there is a 25% import duty with a 45-500 percent supplementary duty based on engine capacity, a 15% VAT, a 5-percent advance income tax, a 5-percent trade VAT, and a variety of other tariffs. On the other hand, in the case of CBU JDM car imports, the government has been allowing the imposition of tariffs on the depreciated value of up to 45 percent based on the model year of the car for a long time. Due to this, the cars become quite affordable for Bangladeshi customers. Bangladeshi customers still prefer to buy JDM cars because JDM cars provide better value for money in terms of price-to-performance due to the reliability and relatively affordable price of JDM cars.
JDM cars remain highly popular due to their robust construction, which is attributed to various factors such as the manufacturing process, research and development, and the use of better materials. Japanese car manufacturers, driven by government mandates for fuel efficiency and affordability, maximized the utilization of domestic materials, resulting in higher-quality components. For instance, the switch to aluminum chassis and frames in the 80s resulted in stronger build quality and reduced weight. In Bangladesh, where car prices are considerably inflated, customers prefer to invest in cars that can provide reliable service over a long period. Despite poor road conditions, JDM cars have earned a reputation for their durability compared to European cars. These reasons are why JDM cars are still a favorite among customers.
Technology, Efficiency & Safety
Despite Japan’s industrial revolution in automobile manufacturing starting in the 1960s, the country has made significant contributions to the industry by introducing new technological innovations and enhancing existing ones. Since the 1980s, Japanese manufacturers have been ahead of their counterparts in introducing advanced car models and technologies. The Toyota AE86, for example, was one of the first cars on the market to use the Active Rotating Grille technology, which automatically opens and closes the grille to optimize airflow and reduce drag at high speeds. This technology was later reintroduced by BMW in their M240i model almost four decades later.
Japanese auto manufacturers have also been pioneers in implementing various technologies used in current cars, including Active Exhaust Systems, Electronically Controlled Suspension, Four-Wheel Steering, and Active Aerodynamics. However, their most significant contributions have been in fuel efficiency and safety. JDM cars are manufactured in compliance with Japanese government regulations and undergo rigorous inspections, resulting in top-notch braking and handling capacity. Additionally, Japanese cars are more efficient than European cars in terms of hybrid engines, and they perform exceptionally well in emergencies, as demonstrated by their excellent ratings in various safety tests.
Modification & Tuning
The popularity of JDM cars since the 1970s can be attributed to their tuner-friendliness, which has allowed for easy modification and upgrades. The Fast & Furious movies have played a significant role in educating the current generation about the performance and tuner-friendliness of JDM cars. These movies showcased iconic vehicles like Brian O’Connor’s highly modified Toyota Supra Mark 4 and the 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse to a global audience, highlighting how tuning and modification could enhance JDM cars’ already impressive performance.
Despite JDM engines being recognized for their fuel efficiency, the stock engines come with an Electronic Control Unit that can be modified to generate more power. On the other hand, European cars are already optimized for performance, and it’s challenging to increase power through modification. JDM cars are known for their superior handling capabilities, braking, and overall build quality. Additionally, their chassis can handle the extra power generated by modifications. Thanks to the wide availability of aftermarket parts, it’s relatively easy to modify JDM cars, which can enhance their performance at a low cost. Upgrading parts like forged pistons, conrods, crankshafts, valve springs, and intakes can significantly improve the car’s handling and provide an even better driving experience.
Low Maintenance & Spare Parts
Another reason for the popularity of JDM cars is their low maintenance requirements and spare parts availability in the market. Due to the build quality and engine performance of Japanese cars, the regular maintenance requirements of the cars are much less than the cars made by European or US manufacturers. Also, finding spare parts for JDM cars is easier than for any other car brand. In addition to Japanese manufacturers, many companies around the world make a variety of aftermarket spare parts for various models of JDM cars. These aftermarket parts are easily available all over the world and even in Bangladesh.
Besides, in terms of price, the spare parts of JDM cars are quite affordable which is much less than the cost of spare parts for US or European build cars. Meanwhile, servicing JDM cars is also relatively simple. This is one of the reasons behind the popularity of JDM cars in Bangladesh. On the other hand, European cars cannot be serviced or repaired without an authorized service center, which is quite expensive. Since JDM cars tend to be easier to service than European cars and can be done at a lower cost, they are more popular among customers. As Bangladeshi customers tend to use cars for a long period, convenience in repairing any car issue has a big impact on the car buying decision. Due to this customers still have so much interest in JDM cars in Bangladesh. Due to the popularity and demand for JDM cars, properly maintained JDM cars can fetch good resale value after several years of use. This is another reason for the popularity of JDM cars.
However, one of the problems in buying JDM cars in Bangladesh is the rigging of auction sheets. Many JDM importers resort to unscrupulous methods such as lowering the odometer mileage reading, and tampering with the exterior and interior ratings to hide any accidental history of the car, including the car’s entertainment system, and other original parts. There are usually many websites on the internet where car auction sheets can be verified. But many have trouble finding trusted sources. CAR MODS BD is providing a Japanese auction sheet verification service in Bangladesh to solve this problem for customers. Customers can easily get the genuine auction sheet of the car by searching and paying with the chassis number of the car on the CARMODSBD.com website.