Maserati SpA, Volkswagen AG and other foreign automakers are riding their best sales streak in years in Japan, as the economy improves and drivers like Taichi Matsukura try to stand out amid a sea of Toyotas.
“When I opened the door, the colors and interior immediately evoked Italy. The sound of the muffler got my heart racing,” Matsukura, a 42-year-old restaurant designer, said about the Fiat Abarth 595C convertible he bought to replace his Honda CR-V. “I don’t play pachinko or golf. So at least I deserve a car to excite myself.”
Consumers flush from a 57 percent rally in the Nikkei in 2013 -- Japan’s steepest rise in four decades -- have been shelling out for imported sports cars and compacts. In the year that ended March 31, 302,000 non-Japanese cars were sold in the country, the most since 1997, according to the Japan Automobile Importers Association.Read Article