An Interesting Account Of Why Japanese Cars Are World-Famous As The Most Reliable


Japanese vehicles are known to have a unique personality. Apart from being highly inventive, they are also made to pass the test of time.

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Since they are designed with the state-of-the-art technology, several people choose to import new as well as secondhand Japanese cars to Australia with the help of

Japanese carmakers created reputation back in the 1980s for constructing bulletproof cars that crossed the dependability expectations of seemingly all of their competitors at that time.

The Australian, European and American markets were sceptical about Japanese automobile brands; but slowly automakers like Honda, Nissan and Toyota acquired a grip outside their domestic markets, mainly thanks to their reputation for constructing long-lasting vehicles.

While the gap in quality has reduced in last some years, data still reveals that Japanese auto brands are still on the top position when reliability is concerned.

Out of the top ten reliable automakers in the 2015 Auto Express Driver Power Survey, seven were from Japan and almost one third of the top 100 cars of the Reliability Index are Japanese.

One may wonder and it’s also interesting to see why Japanese car brands rank so high when it comes to reliability. What do Japanese manufacturers and engineers have that the rest of the world is trying hard to achieve?

Reliability of Japanese Cars

Following the WWII, the Japanese economy was neither prepared for nor capable of replicating the mass production model founded by Henry Ford. Instead automakers had to work smarter and not harder.

Automakers like Toyota couldn’t afford to purchase various stamping presses for each and every component of the manufacturing process, and instead, needed to use a single press to stamp the various parts of their vehicles’ bodywork.

Compared to a workshop run by a European or American manufacturer who subscribed to the mass production process of Ford, the setup of Japan at that time would have appeared shockingly old-school; but the upside was that there was less possibility of anything going wrong.

Plus, there was less chance for errors and the automotive employees of Japan were aware of this. Factory workers were able to stop the whole production process upon finding a mistake and thus could correct it before it could go into the manufacture.

On the other hand, in a mass-production line the process never stopped and problems were only spotted after the car came off the line; but by then several flaws could have slid through the net.

Toyota Production System

The thrifty approach to car building ultimately resulted in the birth of the Toyota Production System, known otherwise as lean manufacturing or just-in-time manufacturing.

Basically a set of socio-technical rules, the Toyota Production System meant to enhance the efficiency of Japan’s production facilities and minimize wastage.

As ironical it may seem, the Toyota Production System was in fact initiated by an American, W. Edwards Deming, who had been sent to Japan to help reconstruct the country after the Second World War.

Deming rightly believed that sustainable growth would be easily achieved by continuously improving quality instead of just manufacturing high-volume cars.

Japan’s automobile industry was thus reconstructed from the ground up. The production plants were located in the vicinity of key component suppliers to minimise transit time and costs, which also translated into an increased flexibility of Japanese factories in their manufacturing processes.

The rest of the Japanese automakers quickly cottoned on and just-in-time manufacturing was adopted by almost the entire country. To date, the rest of the world is trying to catch up, particularly with the introduction of shared-platform construction.

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