Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced that he had reached an agreement with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to open trade talks between the two nations. Previously, the president had threatened a 25 percent tariff on cars to reduce imports and encourage more production in the U.S. The two agree that the "sanctions on auto exports won’t be applied while the talks take place."
A key topic of talks will likely be giving better access to U.S. cars to be sold in Japan, something President Trump has complained about before. Data from Japan’s auto industry associations said only 0.3 percent of the 3.2 million vehicles sold in the country this year when American brands. Contrast this to 40 percent of the U.S.' market share being made up by Japanese automakers according to Bloomberg.
But there arises a problem with Trump's ambition, Japanese buyers aren't interested. Japan has argued time and time again that the reason American automakers don't do some well is the perception of that American cars are " bulky and inefficient". There is one American brand that bucks this trend, Jeep. According to Bloomberg, Jeep sold more than 7,000 vehicles in the first eight months of this year - beating all other U.S. brands combined.
Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)