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Cherokee first US car in Japan’s Top Ten

by David Zatz on

The first American-build vehicle ever to voted one of the top ten new cars in Japan is the Jeep Cherokee, built in Toledo, Ohio. The Cherokee placed #8 in the list, which was started in 1980, according to an Associated Press story in the Toledo Blade.

Jeep Cherokee (very small)

Around 6% of new cars sold in Japan this year were from foreign companies.  The country has traditionally been extremely loyal to its domestic automakers, and the government has been accused of blocking foreign car sales in the past. It remains more open than China, in some ways; China outlaws more than 50% foreign ownership of domestic factories or companies, and has punitive import duties on cars and trucks. The United States has, in return, granted China “Most Favored Nation” trading status.

Jeep was the top-selling U.S. brand in Japan even before the Cherokee went on sale in May. Cherokee is made in Toledo, Ohio, only, and plans are to sell it in 150 countries, up from the current 100. Jeep has traditionally had more of an international sales pattern than most American automakers (for the same cars).


Through September, Jeep had sold about 747,000 vehicles worldwide, a 41% increase over September 2013 — a record year.

The Cherokee was named 2014 Utility Vehicle of the Year by the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada. The best selling Jeep is the Grand Cherokee, followed by the Toledo-built Wrangler.

The Top Ten list is the result of votes by Japanese auto journalists. Six of the ten cars on the list this year were made by Japanese companies.  Thanks, anonymous respondent.

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