Sep 17, 2016


How a team of 45 people builds luxury hand-made cars in Japan

Unless you are a car enthusiast, you may have never heard of Mitsuoka Motor. It’s a small automaker headquartered in Toyama, known for building uniquely designed cars, some of which take inspiration from British vehicles of the 1950s and 1960s. Two interesting things stand out about this company. One is that they take production cars (from makers like Nissan or Mazda), utilize their engines but replace various aspects of the bodywork to turn it into their own custom-made design. Secondly, they do it all by hand, with a team of 45 skilled craftsmen.

The company takes great pride in the way they build each vehicle. From their web site:

“Cars that we deliver to customers are most characterized by their keen designs that you cannot find in mass production cars. Every step in our production-line is done by “Hands” of our craftsmen who devote themselves to build each and every car. The car manufactured in that way has a scarcity value and it is really only in the world for you.”

Looks like robots won’t be replacing human hands at Mitsuoka anytime soon.

The cost? Compared to other luxury brand cars, the prices are notably lower. For example, the Ryugi (which looks like a Rolls-Royce), is offered with a hybrid option and costs less than $40,000.

You can read more about Mitsuoka’s production process in this article from Bloomberg.

Photos via Bloomberg and Mitsuoka Motor.

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