The term's most common application is to Japanese-brand automobiles built specifically for the Japanese market, i.e., designed and constructed to conform to Japanese vehicle and equipment regulations and to suit Japanese market preferences. JDM vehicles migrate to other markets through ordinary commerce and the grey market.
JDM vehicles often differ in features and equipment from vehicles sold elsewhere.
For example, Honda has produced many different versions of the B18C, B16A and K20A engines for various markets worldwide. Generally, engines intended for use outside Japan have been detuned because Japanese Gasoline is of a higher octane rating than is generally available in other markets.