What makes JDM cars rare in India?

Japanese domestic market[JDM} refers to Japan’s home market for vehicles. For the importer, these terms refer to vehicles and parts designed to conform to Japanese regulations and to suit Japanese buyers. The term is abbreviated JDM. Japanese domestic market vehicles may differ greatly from the cars that Japanese manufacturers build for export and vehicles derived from the same platforms built in other countries. The Japanese car owner looks more toward innovation than long-term ownership which forces Japanese carmakers to refine new technologies and designs first in domestic vehicles. For instance, the 2003 Honda Inspire featured the first application of Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management.

In 1988, JDM cars were limited by voluntary self-restraints among manufacturers to 280 horsepower (PS) (276 hp) and a top speed of 180 km/h (111.8 mph), limits imposed by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) for safety. The horsepower limit was lifted in 2004 but the speed limit of 180 km/h (111.8 mph) remains in effect. Many JDM cars have speedometers that register up to 180 km/h (111.8 mph) (certain Nissans go up to 190 km/h, and the GT-R has a mechanism that removes the speed limiter on a track) but all have speed limiters.

 Popular brands include Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, Suzuki, Lexus, Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan.


There are 3 main ports in India where you can receive your car via ship, 1.Mumbai port, 2.Banglore port, 3.Chennai port. You cannot get to choose where the car is shipped or coming, you will be notified where car is being shipped or coming. After the car come to the port, you have to go to the port pay the “180%” of the import duty. My guesstimate, looking at other Toyota imports, will be somewhere around Rs 85 lakh to 95 lakh, depending on the kit and varient. That is the price of the vehicle, now added to that is the import duty of 180 percent. If taken that the selling price of the car is 90 lakh, import duty on it would be 1.62 crore. The total amount you need to spend is around 2.5 crore. Which discourages the buyer from going for a JDM car because, with the same 2.5 crore he/she can afford to buy luxurious cars without paying any import duty. After al,l this wont matter to a JDM car enthusiast.

After all this process, you must have to go to your respective city RTO with car and register your car to your name. When the registration is done, now you can legally drive your car on Indian roads.

Bad Roads

As we all know, the condition of roads in most places of India is pathetic. On these pathetic roads, a sweet devil such as a Toyota Supra cant be enjoyed. Roads are not often noticed in india, but what are noticed is pot holes, shoulder drop off’s , construction work zones, slick roads cause a major threat to these super costly and beautiful machines.

Loud Exhausts

Aftermarket exhausts in India are illegal unless approved by the RTO. This means that only those aftermarket exhausts that are sold by automakers as an authorized accessory are legal in the country as they are in compliance with the rules mentioned in the Motor Vehicles Act. According to automotive norms, vehicles should adhere to the noise norm of a maximum 80 decibel, but modifications takes the noise level to 100 decibel and above, which is illegal in india

While the stock exhaust emits up to 97.8 decibels, the FI Exhaust with the valves closed goes up to 119 dB. That’s loud enough on its own, but you can also open the valves and the peak noise level rises to about 131 decibels. Which will most certainly be considered illegal.

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