Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Time Waste Wednesday: Visiting Japanese Automakers' Web Sites

Mazda Scrum Wagon
For years, one of my favorite Web surfing activities has been to visit the Japanese automakers' Japanese domestic market (JDM) Web pages. It's cool to see some of the vehicles sold in Japan that don't make it to the U.S. or other parts of the world. It's also great to see some of the innovate, sometimes weird, and often very strange features some of the JDM models showcase. Many times, the Web design is really, cool, too.

Even if you don't read Japanese, many times you can navigate these pages by putting your mouse cursor over links and looking in the lower-left corner of your browser to see where the link will take you, since they're usually in English.

There are a few terms some manufacturer use on their Web sites you might not be immediately familiar with:

  • Lineup: This one's pretty obvious. It's the lineup of an automaker's vehicles.

  • Grade: The different trim levels in a specific model.

  • Style: Similar to a gallery, there are usually various vehicle photos here.

  • Keep in mind that many times the manufacturers' will have a page with all of their vehicles listed. If it's in Japanese, it's usually one of the first links on the page.

    There are some fantastic sections to some of these sites. Plus which, some of the car names can be pretty interesting, too. For instance, the Mitsubishi Town Box, the Mazda Scrum Wagon, and the Daihatsu Terrios Kid. (I love this stuff!)

    Also be sure to check out some of the unique features and accessories offered in Japan that we don't get here in the States. Just start paging through some of the Web sites below; it's a great waste of time (and is a lot of fun).


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