You might have probably seen tiny Japanese cars in Movies or perhaps in real life as well. These cute-looking cars have a long history and story behind them. It was designed in 1949 to get worn-torn Japan back on its feet, or we can bring back Japan on its wheels. Starting with this small fact, we will get you acquainted with more facts about the Kei cars.
As you might have guessed, the name comes from the Japanese language. The name’s roots can be traced back to Kei Jidosha, which in English means light vehicle. But the irony is that it covered trucks and minivans as well, along with cars.
Growth of the Cars
After the world war, Japan’s economy was destroyed. Taking that into consideration Japanese government needed to get the economy back on track. Hence, the Japanese government supported the production of cars leading to its growth.
The company started making small cars, as Japanese people could not afford cars. So Kei started manufacturing small cars to replace the bikes that people used to own.
Kei vehicles were less expensive to purchase, protect, and tax. Introductory development was slow, not least because the motors were confined to 150cc four-stroke or 100cc two-stroke limits. Slowly the engines started getting bigger after the restrictions began loosening up in the early 1950s. Notwithstanding, an expansion to 360cc in 1955 for both four-and two-phase motors proclaimed the genuine birth of the Kei vehicle. The Suzuki Suzulight stands out forever as the first.
After which, many others followed, like Subaru 360 and Honda N600, among the others.
But the road was always not so smooth for these cars. In the 1970s Japanese government abolished some of the benefits associated with ownership. Simultaneously, the vehicle business overall was confronting more rigid control on emanations, which affected Kei vehicles. The area declined, with Honda and Mazda stopping Kei car creation while constructing Kei trucks.
From the beginning of 1976, the kei vehicle started to retaliate. The Japanese government presented another 550cc breaking point while concurring that cars could have increased dimensions. With these developments, the Kei cars became better and eligible for export in new markets such as Europe.
The Modern Cars
The cutting-edge Kei vehicle was brought into the world in 1990. By permitting an additional 110cc and a 100mm longer bodyshell, the Kei vehicle had grown up. Numerous 660cc saints were conceived. The Japanese government presented a 64hp cutoff, albeit the fitment of superchargers and turbochargers implied that carmakers could accomplish alarming execution figures and astounding efficiency. After these developments, some of the best tiny cars came into existence that we know today.
In 2013, The Japan Times detailed that Kei vehicles represented 30% of deals in Japan, with the US asserting they give an unjustifiable hindrance to exchange. As a result, 33% of the client base is inaccessible to foreign carmakers. The sales of these cars grew to 40% by the end of 2014.