I can't speak much as to the current state of things in Japan in regards to the auto industry-some info below. However, as of a few years ago-
The U.S. automakers were virtually prohibited from producing anything for the Japanese domestic market, inasmuch as the laws & regulations were so restrictive. This was done deliberately-not just in the automotive field, but most other areas as well- to restrict imports of all kinds.
If you look at the import vs. export trade balance of Japan, for example, in 2007, the overall balance was about 73 trillion yen imported vs. 84 trillion yen exported. However, if you subtract oil & other mineral fuels, the balance becomes 53T vs. 84T. yen.
If you subtract other raw materials & chemicals used for manufacturing...(not including foodstuffs in the subtraction) the ratio becomes 41.6T vs. 84T. yen.
GM does have a small segment of its global operations dedicated to Japan. http://www.gm.com/corporate/about/gl...cific/japa.jsp
under General Motors Asia Pacific & General Motors Japan (two separate companies). When you review the product line, however, the Corvette & the Trailblazer are about the only U.S.-made vehicles...the rest are Asian-sourced from Suzuki, or distributed/modified by Mitsui. Japanese laws generally require that foreign companies either partner with Japanese companies, or that the Japanese "branch" be a wholly separate company with only vestigial ties to the U.S. firm.
Ford is represented, on a limited basis, by Ford Japan Ltd. http://www.ford.co.jp/servlet/Conten...agename=DFY/JP
To give a limited idea, Ford sold about 6200 vehicles in Japan in 2005, from 84 dealerships.
Total import share in Japan for cars & light trucks/SUVs is around 5% of that market, more or less....the total share of imported TRANSPORT EQUIPMENT (which includes cars, trucks, and equipment like loaders, excavators, etc.) is only 3.5% of that 73.1 trillion yen.
Probably more than you were looking for,
, but the subject interests me quite a bit.