Kimura Motors was founded by Akira Kimura in post-war Hokkaido in 1946. A developing brand in the almost demolished post-war Japan, Kimura began its life building affordable cars that everyone could enjoy. The Auburn was fabricated in 1949, and was an immediate hit. With a spacious interior and low price tag, it instantly started the company’s reputation for small, fun, reliable cars. In 1960, Kimura introduced their second car; the K1200-C. With a small yet powerful 1.2L Inline-4, advanced safety features, and a very light weight, the K1200-C helped Kimura gain their popularity for sports cars. A successor, the K1800-C, was released soon after in 1966 with a more powerful 1.8L motor, but was not as wildly successful and soon was discontinued in 1968.
Thanks to the growing popularity and international export of the Auburn and despite the relative failure of the K-C series and the international oil crisis, Kimura was able to release a new large saloon in 1975 called the Eminence. Sold only in Japan for it’s first and second generations, it became a status symbol for Kimura; a home-brewed luxury sedan with the capability to compete against European sports cars in performance and American luxury limos in comfort. The Eminence, with it’s sleek and modern styling, too became a relative hit; Japan’s prime minister soon was ferried in one of his own.
Arguably the biggest expansion and growth of the Kimura brand was during the 1980’s. The Auriga, Kimura’s first midsize sedan, was unveiled to the public in 1983. It was loved by reviewers for it’s sharp handling, quick acceleration, aerodynamic style, and low price tag. In fact, it was so popular, it not only spawned 3 new body styles by the second generation (wagon, coupe, and hatchback) but also nearly doubled Kimura sales. In 1986, Kimura revealed the Avina, a subcompact car designed to roam the streets with a statement. This, too, generated enormous sales for Kimura, and allowed the company to begin a gigantic “Phase 2” plan; from the years 1989 to 1992, 6 all-new Kimura models were released (Hana, Opus, Helruna, Cavatina, Arctos, and KT-U). In order to keep up with the rigorous build schedule, 4 new factories were built over the course of 10 years; one UK plant in Birmingham, one US plant in Chicago, and one German plant in Leverkusen, along with another Japanese factory.
The Opus, KT-U, and Arctos were all released in 1989, with the former 2 sharing an FR base platform (The Arctos shared a platform with the FF Auriga). The Opus was the go-anywhere SUV, capable of hauling you and 5 of your children. The KT-U was a rugged pickup that could get up and go wherever, whenever. Unlike the other two’s more rugged nature, the Arctos was marketed as a minivan for the future; a versatile and highly flexible interior made it easy to pack wherever, whenever. Also introduced in 1989 was the official branch of Kimura’s racing division, or KRS (Kimura Ralliart Sport). While it had been in service since the mid 1970’s, it was officially bought by Kimura in 1989 to produce sports machines.
Kimura unveiled the 1990 Helruna at the Tokyo Motor Show. It was shown to have taken spiritual influence from the now legendary K-C series, although it aesthetically was very different. With Kimura’s first mass-production turbocharged inline-4 and highly tunable nature, it gained traction as a staple in Japan’s tuner car culture. It also was the very first Kimura to wear a KRS badge.
In 1991, Hana was released as a small all-terrain vehicle made to tackle any road. On the same platform a year later was the Cavatina, with a similar body but elongated and with rear sliding doors for a more MPV-esque use.
The 2000s saw Kimura becoming a hugely successful company. With sales in over 180 countries, a lineup of over 10 cars (and over 15 in Japan), it showed no signs of stopping. The year 2000 was a planned overhaul for the entire company; from 1999 to 2001, Auriga, Hana, Opus, Helruna, Auburn, Eminence, and Cavatina were updated for the 21st century. Kimura’s first internationally exported Kei car was released, named Kubik. A new Sirani MPV was created in 2003, with the Cavatina’s previously MPV-oriented style going in a more rugged, crossover-like direction. The Sirani fit the gap well, and became another big seller for Kimura.
2010 and beyond; a legacy. Kimura continues to improve and build upon itself, day by day, innovating. Kimura introduced the Asura in 2017; it was the very first supercar made by us, with lessons taken from Kimura’s bright F1 experience. The modern day lineup all represent the finest made by Kimura. No longer just a small Japanese company making niche cars for the driving enthusiast, our cars represent the pinnacle of technology, comfort, and performance.
KUBIK Kei Car (2000+)
Avina Subcompact Hatchback (1986+)
Auburn Compact Hatchback (1949+)
Auriga Midsize Sedan (1983+)
Eminence Premium Sedan (1975+)
Arctos Minivan (1989+)
Sirani MPV (1999+)
Hana Subcompact Crossover (1991+)
Cavatina Compact Crossover (1992+)
Opus Mid-size SUV (1989+)
KT-U Pickup Utility (1989+)
Helruna Sports Coupe (1990+)
Asura Super Coupe (2017+)