Mohtaram Omar Sahib,
Thanks for your input. Here is what I've found about the Toyota Avensis: Toyota Avensis Saloon Review | What Car? and it is not a bad review by any means. Whatcar (What Car? - New and Used Car Reviews, Car Deals, News & Advice) has given the Toyota Avensis a 4 out of 5 star review which is quite high by all standards.
I remember when Detroit was on the top of the world in making cars, the big three (GM, Ford and Chrysler) were the leaders of car manufacturing. Then came Honda to the US and in 1982, the Accord became the first Japanese car to be built in the US and became car of the year several times. Toyota caught up fast and Detroit felt the heat. In fact the Japanese have taught Detroit how to behave; reduce their prices, improve their standard and make their cars more reliable. Toyota is the only Japanese brand in the US to make through to the luxury car-line with its flagship 'Lexus' brand which topped the 2012 JD Powers' IQS (Initial Quality Survey) <a href='http://autos.jdpower.com/content/press-release/ws4mUEA/2012-u-s-initial-quality-study.htm'>2012 U.S. Initial Quality Study | J.D. Power Autos</a>. The magic behind Japanese cars is their reliability, top notch. What happened next; in 1993 the big three bounced back with better cars and pricing and beat the Japanese about which Alex Trotman, the Scottish CEO of Ford responded, "We should not be complacent about the Japanese, they are very tough competitors and will come back very strongly. People say that they have been beaten and would never make a comeback, this is all rubbish. It is a very tough market, you have to work very hard to make a profit which is very thin," and the Japanese did come back with a vengeance and today they are giving Detroit a very very tough time. Look who has gained from the competition; the users who have a choice for a better product.
My point is that in Pakistan we don't have such a competition. There is lots of regulation by the government which favours the local manufacturers no ends. In the end we the consumers suffer. There is lots of protectionism facilitated by the government to the local manufacturers so that they can make a lot of profit which I call a rip-off inflicted upon me when I don't have a choice. The government allowed the local manufacturers to assemble cars on the agreement that with time they would be produced and not just assembled in Pakistan which would bring the price down. Nothing of that sort has happened. No local production of cars and just their assembly because of which their product has become more and more expensive and the quality is not at par with the international standard. There are reports that the government gets favours from the local manufacturers in return for protectionism by her (the government). Bribes are given to the government so that restrictions on imports are made which overwhelmingly favours the local manufacturers. Do you think this is fair? Is it right to accept or give bribes. This is what's happening in our auto industry.
Coming to you point about whether you will get what you are paying for if you opt for a JDM. If you buy a car directly from an auto auction in Japan with an original auction sheet, you just can't go wrong with your purchase. The car is run through a stringent grading system and even the slightest of smudges in logged on to the auction sheet. That is why they export millions of used cars from Japan. Japan has a problem with cars. They don't recycle them like what the Germans or the Americans do. They just export it. If you go for an 'S' grade car, it is almost a brand new one. A 5 grade is a lovely car, very very slightly used and the quality of JDM cars is well known the world over, second to none. It is this quality of theirs which has even taught Detroit how to make cars which is not trivial. Japanese believe in precision engineering that is why they have the largest ratio of engineers to population in the world.
My point is that protectionism should go so that the local manufacturers learn their lesson. Look what has happened. The age-limit of used cars has been decreased from 5 years to 3 years and duties and taxes increased giving the local manufacturers unfair advantage to sustain their rip-offs on the buyers. September 2012 was the worst month for local manufacturers in the history of Pakistan with the least locally produced cars sold and the very next month the government came forward to protect them by decreasing the age limit of cars from 5 to 3 years. In August 2012 duties and taxes were increased on used cars adding insult to injury upon the buyers.
In 2013 what has happened. The local manufacturers were perturbed by the government's announcement that she was slashing duty on hybrids and they (the local manufacturers) appealed to the government not to decrease the duties and taxes on hybrids. What the heck is going on with them. They want restrictions all the time so that buyers are forced to buy their substandard product. Do you think it is justified? I don't think so.
I've a very experienced garage history of mine. I've a Mercedes Benz 190D, a 1985 Suzuki FX, a 1990 Mitsubishi Pajero, a Toyota Corolla Diesel 2.0 (an old model when production used to be good). I've my main cars in the US: a 2009 GM Hummer H3T SUT, a Toyota Tacoma 2008, a BMW 550i and two Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokees. I've not bought a car in Pakistan for quite sometime now. My main purchase was in the late 1990s, that of a Toyota Corolla Diesel 2.0. Today I want a new car for myself in Pakistan and looking at local cars, I couldn't believe what I'm seeing. If I would go for any locally made car, it would be a Toyota Corolla GLi 1.3L manual, zero mile. It is such a favourite crap that I wouldn't have any problems getting it off my hands for it has such a good resale value. If I want to go for a quality car then it would be a 2010 Toyota Premio 1.8 (5A grade) directly bought from an auction house in Japan. I would overwhelmingly pick it over a locally assembled Honda Civic 1.8 VTi Oriel Prosmatic. Civic is not a bad car but I think in a road-test Toyota Premio 2010 would win hands down. In an event of trying to sell it, you are right, I would lose big money.
I've attached the pics of my 2009 GM Hummer H3T SUT parked in my home in the US. We have plans to import it so that people in our country find out what vehicles are there in the world.
Regards and take care.