If you think things have been tough for General Motors in America, you should see how bad it's going for them in Japan. Forget pulling out of the Tokyo Motor Show, we're talking a steady sales decline over the past decade that has brought volume to just 2,000 units a year from a high of 50,000 in 1996. That really sucks, so GM wants to try and change things ASAP. They have announced a modest goal of doubling sales in Japan over the next three years.
Part of the problem with Japanese sales is image, but product selection and a shrinking dealer network are also to blame. Rick Brown, president of GM Japan, says they plan to address those issues by adding a couple of dealerships a year, and by shaking up the product mix. They plan to start selling the Chevy Aveo, the new 2010 Camaro, and despite the struggling economy, some new luxury cars and SUVs like the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, Saab 9-3X, 9-4X and 9-5.

Even though those products might help, it might be a case of too little too late. Japanese buyers might be even more hesitant than usual to buy cars from the Detroit 3 because of bankruptcy fears. It's not like Ford and Chrysler are doing any better in Japan either, with similar sales declines over the pact ten years. Heck, they aren't even buying as many domestic cars these days.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req.]

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