Japanese Car Facts


Japanese cars surpassed U.S. production by 12 percent in 2007, making Japan the world's largest car maker. This came despite vehicle sales hitting a 20-year low the year before. Japan holds many vehicle firsts and finds its lowest auto fatality rate in years.

Japan's Accord

  • Honda's Accord, the first Japanese car built in America, first came off the assembly line at the Marysville, Ohio, plant in 1982. Accord imports already on the American road since 1976 were the 3-door hatchback and 1979's 4-door sedan.

Engine Firsts

  • Stratified-charged engines allow fuel into the cylinder before the ignition is turned on. Nobody in the world marketed that engine until Honda did. Another Japanese car company, Mazda, successfully marketed Felix Wankel's rotary-piston engine. It remains the only car manufacturer worldwide to market Wankel's 1919 dream turned lifetime reality.

Fewer Auto Accidents

  • Japan rallied back from years of high fatality rates when deaths from auto accidents hit a 57-year low in 2009. Car air bags contributed to the decline as did stiffer traffic violation penalties and improved drunken driving education. Only 4,914 people died on the roads, the first time since 1952 that the number was below 5,000.

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  • Photo Credit yellow car, a Honda Japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com
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