Honda enters the us market in 1969 with the tiny N600. It boasted a 45hp engine and a price of $1,275. Civic debuts in 1973. Accord in 1976 and Prelude in 1979.
Mazda, then called Toyo Kogyo, arrives in 1970.
VW introduces the Rabbit in 1975, and becomes the first transplant automaker by opening a plant in Westmoreland, PA, in 1978 to build Rabbits and later Golfs, Jettas, and trucks. The plant closed in 1988.
Nissan Motor Corp. USA opens a plant in Smyrna, TN, in 1983, under the Datsun name. The plant currently manufactures Altimas, Sentras, compact pickups, and engines.
Suzuki, partly owned by GM, brings 2,600 trucks to the U.S. market in 1985. It adds cars in 1988 and delivers 15,400 vehicles in 1995.
Yugo also arrives in 1985, amid expectations that Eastern Europe will begin to flourish. Yugo ended their U.S. venture in 1992.
Hyundai arrives from South Korea in 1986. Sales peak at 264,200 import units in 1987.
Mazda opens a plant in Flat Rock, MI, in 1987. In 1992 it becomes a Ford/Mazda joint venture. The plant reaches its peak in 1994 with 247,004 units.
Two Japanese luxury brands were introduced to the US in 1989; Lexus from Toyota and Infinity from Nissan.