A Tokyo Head Twister: Look Who's Buying U.S. Cars!

Not long ago, selling American cars in Japan was downright quixotic. The U.S. vehicles were known for lousy quality, high prices and crummy service. But no longer. Hisashi Honma, a 22-year-old salesman at a Ford dealership near Tokyo, can't get enough Mustangs, Tauruses and Mondeos for all the customers who want to buy them. One ordered a European-made Ford Mondeo wagon last month, even though he will have to wait three months for delivery. In May, Ford imported 2,500 of its muscular new Mustangs; they sold out in two months.

By the end of this year, Detroit's Big Three expect to...

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