“For us right now, we have a very stable presence [in Japan],” said Alan Batey, Chevrolet’s global brand president. “It’s not one with aspirations so big that it’s burning through a lot of cash.”
U.S. auto executives feel there is no amount of political pressure that could swing the tide to increase sales in Japan. GM currently sells Cadillac and Chevrolet performance cars almost exclusively. The automaker sold 1,228 vehicles in 2016.
Ford completely backed out of the Japanese market after 40 years of money-losing operations. “We concluded that our resources are better spent elsewhere,” David Schoch, president of Ford’s Asia-Pacific operations, said.
Instead, U.S. automakers are focusing their efforts elsewhere, particularly in China. Auto execs are hoping the latest administration will be able to ease the 25 percent tariff placed on cars brought into China and hopes restrictions are lifted on producing vehicles in the country.
Both Ford and GM have been successful in China, as local consumers continue to view the American brands with high regard, particularly Cadillac and Buick.