What Is a JDM Car?

What Is a JDM Car

For decades, the Japanese automobile industry has been ranking among the top three highest vehicle producers. The first boom was experienced in the 1970s when the Japanese industry was oriented towards domestic usage and international exports.

According to Statista, Japan has produced little than 100 million motor vehicles in the last decade. Isn’t it colossal!

Most of the famous vehicle brands like Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Suzuki, and Lexus are products of the Japanese Automobile Industry. 

If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ve probably heard the phrase “JDM” before. You must question what is a JDM car? Alternatively, why is the word JDM so popular, and are JDM cars better than other cars?

In this article, we’ll go over all there is for you to know what is a JDM car.

So, what is a JDM car?

JDM stands for “Japanese Domestic Market.” The phrase refers to automobiles produced for the Japanese domestic market by Japanese automotive firms.

Vehicles developed for the Japanese domestic market differ significantly from cars built for export. The Japanese car owner values innovation over long-term ownership. This forces Japanese automakers to test new technologies and styles in local vehicles first.

The 2003 Honda Inspire, for example, was the first vehicle to use Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system. The 2003 Honda Accord V6, on the other hand, was the same basic vehicle.

But, it was primarily targeted at the North American market and did not have VCM. This had a bad image following Cadillac’s experiment with the V8-6-4 engine in the 1980s.

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In the makeover for 2008, the implementation of VCM to the Accord V6 was successful.

Misconceptions about JDM

Now that we know what is a JDM car; let’s talk about some common misconceptions related to it.

A widespread misunderstanding of the term JDM is that it refers to vehicles made in Japan. This is untrue, however. A vehicle built in Japan is not always a JDM vehicle. JDM refers to a vehicle that was built for use only in Japan.

The Toyota Supra MKIV, for example, was available brand new in the United States. It was a left-hand drive and came with certain specification adjustments to meet US regulations.

As a result, it was classified as a USDM car, which means it was built in Japan and sold new in the United States.

Nissan 240SX is not a Japanese domestic market car, but it was made in Japan. This is because it was only sold in the United States domestic market.

The Nissan 180SX, the 240SX’s Japanese market equivalent, is a legitimate JDM automobile. The reason behind this is that it was legally sold in Japan by Nissan.

Are JDM Cars Better?

When it comes to the cars industry, car enthusiasts wonder why JDM cars are better. Well, there are a variety of reasons why JDM cars are superior to other cars.

Let’s dive into them;

  • Japanese automobile manufacturers are famous for their efficiency and utility. When compared to other cars, they have always produced the best results.
  • In comparison to previous cars, the car’s design is far more advanced. JDM cars are loaded with cutting-edge innovation. Hybrid technology is present in practically every Japanese car.
  • There are many different types of JDM automobiles to choose from, ranging from household minivans to SUVs.
  • Japanese cars are superior to other cars because they provide intelligent and cost-effective alternatives to American-made cars.
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JDM inspired vehicles

Some automotive enthusiasts enjoy constructing JDM copies from locally available vehicles. For example, to make an ‘exact’ copy, enthusiasts in the United States will frequently convert a US-market Honda Civic (sixth generation) from left-hand drive to right-hand drive.

Then, they source other parts such as the engine and gearbox from the JDM EK9 Type R.

Converting a USDM model first-generation Subaru Impreza and fitting JDM STi parts to make it appear as though it is a genuine WRX STi model are examples of “JDM conversions.” Base model Mitsubishi Lancers are widely used in Malaysia.

They are commonly converted to Lancer Evolution copies in Southeast Asia by changing out relevant parts, right down to the removal of the floor pan.

Now we fully know what is a JDM car. But, many people are curious about the legal status of JDM cars in the United States. So, are JDM cars legal in the United States?

Yes, JDM automobiles are legal in the United States. But, there is one stipulation. The vehicle should be at least 25 years old when it arrives.

Along with it, some documents are important to import a 25-year-old JDM automobile. This includes a statement of landing, export license, translated version of an export license, invoice, and ISF filing forum.

When your ride arrives in the United States, take this paperwork to your local customs office for authorization.

Bottom Line

In the end, we know what is a JDM car and everything about it. JDM cars are superior to other vehicles, but their age of 25 years makes it difficult for people to use them in the United States. On the other hand, they are also superior to USDM cars.

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