Where Do JDM Cars Come From?

Welcome back to another edition of Car Facts, the series where we answer your car questions.

In today’s short article, we are looking at the following question that we have seen a few people ask online:

“Where do JDM cars come from?”

The answer to this question is simple, so this won’t be a long article.

JDM Cars Come From Japan

The simple answer is that JDM cars come from Japan*

However, the proper answer is a little bit more complicated:

JDM stands for “Japanese Domestic Market’, and generally refers to cars that were built in Japan for purchase new in Japan, instead of export outside of the country to be sold new in other markets.

For example, take the humble Honda Civic (read our full Honda Civic history & generation guide here if you’re interested).

A Honda Civic built in Japan to be sold new in Japan (and not exported) like the original EK9 Civic Type R is a JDM car.

A Honda Civic built in Japan but sold new in a country like Australia or New Zealand is not a JDM car.

Where most of the confusion comes from is that many people think all Japanese cars are JDM – this simply isn’t true.

Make sure you read our full guide to the meaning of JDM for more information on this topic.

*The only exception we can think of to this is if a non-Japanese manufacturer developed a model of car specifically for the Japanese domestic market only.

Conclusion – Where Ae JDM Cars From?

JDM cars come from Japan, because they are Japanese cars built for the Japanese Domestic Market (hence the term JDM).

If you’d like to learn more about JDM and the meaning/origin of the term, then read our full guide here.

We also have a number of other Car Facts articles on JDM cars and the wider industry – so make sure to check out even more of our content.


  • Sam

    Sam focuses mainly on researching and writing the growing database of Car Facts articles on Garage Dreams, as well as creating interesting list content. He is particularly enthusiastic about JDM cars, although has also owned numerous European vehicles in the past. Currently drives a 3rd generation Suzuki Swift Sport, and a Volkswagen Touareg (mainly kept for taking his border collie out to the hills to go walking)

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