Ubiquitous Kei Car Penetration

Kei cars portraying the right picture of the automotive landscape. This most basic and purest form of private transportation is an affordable way to move the masses. Due to competition, customer preferences and its own beneficiaries to the owner, Kei cars are no longer confined to the small number of brands.

Related: Local Assembled vs JDM- Which One You’ll Buy?

Almost all the manufacturers are electrifying their range of products by launching Kei cars. These contenders are brawn to tackle urban roads. Due to the asthmatic amount of power and performance agility, it might not be the most economical way to drive but promises to deliver a lot of fun. Let’s embrace the mystery of Kei cars and their way of commuting.

Kei Cars-Redefining the Economy

Kei cars also named as light automobiles are the small highway-legal passenger cars. This category made its public debut in 1949 by the Japanese Government to enjoy tax and insurance benefits. The rules defined for Kei cars revised over several times and specified the size, engine and power output to keep the environment clean and green and to make riding a pocket-friendly alternate. Kei cars are the break from taxes and periodic test/inspections. One way to define the concept of Kei cars is that they are light, small, less powerful contender offering better mileage than a regular car.

Ingenious Architecture Confinements

There are strict limitations to declare a car as a Kei car. An engine must have to be 660cc or smaller than that producing not more than 64hp and the vehicle need to seat up to 4 passengers. It is even more exciting to know that all Kei cars are quirky and modern. The apparent ingenuity of the designer who manages to offer legroom and headroom along spacious and comfortable seats is just praised worthy. Ignore the terrible trunk space because of its aesthetically appealing outlook.

Changing the Landscape Of Mobility

Kei cars are designed to deal with Japanese customers and the country witnessed the least number of accidents on road. Good road safety measures and good driver training are two major factors behind the popularity of Kei cars despite not having tech gadgetry to ensure passenger protection. Hence, these vehicles are popular for the fuel economy and their inexpensiveness. These masterpiece like creatures features a turbocharger, infotainment system, airbags, remote controlled door, collision avoidance system, four-wheel drive, CVT and keyless start to ensure mobility with great convenience.

Related: Understanding JDM, Imported & Local Assembled Cars

It is not only a Japanese product, making sense in Japan. But there are few workhorses in this category that have found their way overseas and successfully addressing the daily driving needs of a larger audience. More economical, more comfortable and more practical nature of cars from this league is changing the landscape of mobility. Currently, Daihatsu, Honda, and Suzuki are the big player in the industry and it is apparent that the Kei-car penetration will remain high for the next couple of years.


The Kei car phenomenon, spurred by the Japanese government was intensively designed to encourage mobility and to stimulate the economy. Today the Kei cars are not only popular in Japan, but have made their way into other markets and are the most ubiquitous in lower-income segments.  You can satisfy your wanderlust by opting a new or used Kei car available under the stock of SBT Japan at a fairly reasonable price range.

by Helen Marry

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