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Is it the standing on their heads that makes them mad?

Some type of political accord could help a lot here. Our two main parties reached one on housing density which looks set to drastically increase affordability in the years to come, as the public and private sectors can now rely on policy continuity. A new accord on transport investment seems incredibly unlikely.

So, political agreement on affordability. Great.

These cars come overwhelmingly from Japan. Japan has a huge domestic car market for right-hand drive cars (meaning the wheel is on the right, but you drive on the left). They are often eager to export old cars thanks to stringent and shifting regulations. Their cars are prized here for their reliability and value, usually arriving in a good state to run for another decade or so without serious issues.

This wouldn’t be much of an issue, except for the fact that Japan’s auto industry has massively stumbled on EVs. Japan’s largest carmaker, Toyota, bet big on hybrids and only just started to sell a fully electric car last year, which was subject to embarrassing supply chain issues and even a global recall. Mitsubishi recently made headlines trying to convince people that internal combustion engines were actually cleaner than EVs in many countries. (This is not the case almost anywhere.)

So the bloke wants everyone to stop buying cheap second hand Japanese – where, of course there are no embedded emissions because they’re not new – and instead move to very expensive and all new electric cars?

15 thoughts on “Is it the standing on their heads that makes them mad?”

  1. On a point of basic principle, when two main parties are in accord over something it is a bad thing, not a good. The essence of democratic politics is (or used to be) choice.

    As for the car stuff, it’s ALL bolx.

  2. The Aussies and Kiwis do very well out of second-hand Japanese cars. If our government were interested in reducing our cost of living it might repeal any regulations that stop us doing well out of them too: higher shipping costs, of course, but a bigger market.

  3. I’ve noticed quite a few Jap MX-5s around in the UK – it’s the Eunos badge that gives them away. I don’t understand why Mazda dropped the name for Anglo markets 🙂 – they went with Miata in the US.

  4. Four things to be aware of if buying a Japanese import; three trivial.
    1 Rust protection on Japanese domestic cars is not as good as export models.
    2 Speedometer in kph only.
    3 Radio bandwidth is shorter so some stations in UK not receivable.
    4 Maximum speed limit in Japan is 100kph (62 mph) so a gong might sound at motorway speeds in UK.

  5. I had a grey import Toyota Granvia for a while – awesome machine with so many toys (for a ’98 car).

    Sold it as it wasn’t getting much use but now I bitterly regret that decision

  6. We had a Jap Mazda import in Cyprus and my wife brought it with her here. Lovely car. Needed to pass an MOT and paperwork was irritating on import. We used stickers on the speedo to calibrate the MPH points. Also needed ‘side lights’ to be fitted.
    Otherwise lovely, until I crashed into someone.

  7. Japanese car manufacturers seemed to have the right idea on electric cars but are now being forced to change because of government idiocy in their export market.

  8. Our host often says to blow up the Town Planning Act, or whatever you have, to reduce house prices. Well, that’s what they did with the accord in NZ.

    Note though, it has been bitterly opposed by local governments, because they lose the ability to prevent developments.

    So it’s not everyone in agreement. Just central government stopping the worst Nimbys.

  9. Any government in NZ who prevents second hand Japanese cars will be looking for new employment. The activists can scream all they like, but doubling car prices for poor people is not a good look for Labour, and not in National’s playbook.

  10. U.K. government did worst case restrictions in order to meet net zero targets with no new change in technology etc……

    All airports in the U.K. except Heathrow, Belfast and Glasgow to close by 2030,
    No flying at all by 2050,
    No new petrol or diesel cars by 2030,
    By 2050 road use restricted to 60% of today’s level,
    Food, heating and energy restricted to 60% of today’s level by 2050,
    Beef and lamb to be phased out by 2050.

    Sounds like a real vote winner which is why we aren’t allowed to vote on it I presume

  11. Bloke in the Fourth Reich


    At which point it might be a good idea to move to one of the few places in the world where one drives on the left.

    And isn’t anglophone.

  12. I read that and then noticed it was from the Guardian.Typical stupidity from a Guardian “journalist”.
    The thing about cars in New Zealand is that they do not rot like cars in the UK as salt is not thrown everywhere as soon as it gets cold.The roads are gritted with real grit so you soon learn to drive with some caution after a frosty spell.Large numbers of old cars are plentiful and it is not unusual see 1950s cars I remember from my childhood still running about.The other thing not mentioned is that everywhere is a long way from everywhere else so an EV without a phenomenal range is completely impracticable.If you need to get anywhere in a hurry then flying is the only other option, outside Auckland and Wellington,trains do not exist.

  13. “one of the few places in the world where one drives on the left.”

    Few? 35% of the world drives on the left.

  14. Then more will end up in Siberia, somehow the folks there have no problem with RH/LH drive, cost is the deciding factor.
    Beats the heck out of a rototiller hitched to a potato wagon on those cold winter mornings.

  15. 35% of the world drives on the left.

    By population. But that includes India, and I really wouldn’t recommend driving there, particularly if you’re not Indian.

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