Friday, November 14, 2008


Kei cars are so compact they make the Mini look gargantuan, and you find them everywhere in the Japanese capital. They trace their roots to the microcars of the post-war era, a time when resources were scarce and money was tight. And though they harken to the past, they also hint at the future. The big Japanese automakers have been building Kei cars for years (and Toyota may bring one to America), and as the struggling auto industry finally realizes fuel economy and low emissions are important, it's learning that small is the next big thing.

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