You may recall that Japanese market share in the U.S. surpassed 40 percent in 2009, a milestone that was widely noted.
Then came Toyota's unintended-acceleration crisis in 2010, followed by the earthquake and tsunami that hammered the country in 2011. The share of Japan's brands fell under 35 percent in 2011.
But it has been climbing ever since -- and the Japanese are off to a fast start this year. After rising in 2014 by four-tenths of a point to 37.5 percent, they captured 38.2 percent in the first two months of 2015.
U.S., European and Korean carmakers all have declined this year in combined share.
Actually, American Honda and Nissan North America have lost share this year. The Japanese thrust has come from Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., which accounted for 14.5 percent of the market in the first two months, up from 13.8 percent last year.
Oh, and then there is unstoppable Subaru, which has gone from a 3.1 percent share in January and February of 2014 to 3.4 percent so far this year.
Subaru sales have risen 21 percent in 2015 in an overall market up 9.2 percent. Indeed, this dynamo of a brand -- which in 2009 had a share of just 2.1 percent -- has slipped past both Dodge and GMC in U.S sales rankings this year.