Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
Chang-Ran's Feed
Apr 23, 2015

HondaJet flies Japan skies, but no sales landing in Asia for now

TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co on
Thursday flew its HondaJet business aircraft for the first time
in Japan, bringing to life a dream cherished by legendary
founder Soichiro Honda, but the automaker said sales of the jet
in Asia remain years away.

The HondaJet, built and tested in the United States, is
expected to receive final type certification from the Federal
Aviation Administration in the next few months, some 70 years
after Soichiro Honda first dreamed of making aircraft. That
would pave the way for deliveries of the $4.5 million jet to
U.S. and European customers, launching Honda’s aviation business
in earnest.

Apr 16, 2015

Electric cars won’t spread even with rapid chargers: Toyota engineer

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Battery-powered electric vehicles don’t have a practical future as a long-range alternative to conventional cars even if technological breakthroughs allow them to be charged quickly, a top engineer at Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday.

Electric vehicle (EV) supporters have touted developing high-speed charging technology as the way forward for cars like Nissan Motor Co’s Leaf. But Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of Toyota’s hydrogen fuel-cell car Mirai, said that would guzzle so much energy at once as to defeat the purpose of the EV as an ecologically sound form of transportation.

Apr 15, 2015

Toyota resumes expansion with new Mexico, China plants

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Wednesday it will build new factories in Mexico and China, ending a self-imposed expansion freeze and putting more pressure on global rivals.

The world’s largest automaker by sales volume said it would build a $1 billion plant with an annual capacity of 200,000 cars in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, increasing its overall North American production capacity by about the same number of vehicles.

Apr 15, 2015

Toyota ends expansion freeze with new plants in Mexico, China

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) announced plans for new factories in Mexico and China on Wednesday, ending a self-imposed expansion freeze to fend off rivals racing to overtake it as the world’s top-selling automaker.

Confirming earlier Reuters reports, the Japanese manufacturer said it would build a $1 billion plant with the capacity to produce 200,000 cars a year in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.

Apr 9, 2015

Toyota to start Tokyo trial of electric three-wheeler in green mobility push

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyoites will get a chance to zip around town on Toyota Motor Corp’s three-wheeled electric car-motorbike from Friday, in a trial aimed at crafting a global business model to reduce gridlock and pollution.

The world’s top-selling automaker will partner Japanese car-sharing service operator Park24 Co Ltd for a six-month experiment leasing the i-Road concept vehicle, with a view to setting up a green car-sharing business akin to Daimler AG’s car2go service.

Apr 9, 2015

Toyota to start Tokyo trial of car-cum-motorbike in green mobility push

TOKYO, April 9 (Reuters) – Tokyoites will get a chance to
zip around town on Toyota Motor Corp’s three-wheeled
electric car-cum-motorbike from Friday, in a trial aimed at
crafting a global business model to reduce gridlock and
pollution.

The world’s top-selling automaker will partner Japanese
car-sharing service operator Park24 Co Ltd for a
six-month experiment leasing the i-Road concept vehicle, with a
view to setting up a green car-sharing business akin to Daimler
AG’s car2go service.

Mar 27, 2015

In among the robots, veteran Toyota staffer says manual labour is key to success

TOYOTA CITY, Japan, March 27 (Reuters) – In a corner of
Toyota’s oldest factory, the Japanese carmaker’s longest-serving
employee preaches the benefits of craftsmanship, saying manual
labour is the key to success in a highly automated automotive
industry.

Mitsuru Kawai, 67, joined Toyota’s technical academy from
junior high school more than half a century ago, and believes
that even in today’s sleek, streamlined, robot-filled factories
there’s a place for manual skills to be learned, honed and
encouraged.

Mar 26, 2015

Modular mojo: Toyota re-engineers its appeal

TOYOTA CITY, Japan (Reuters) – Toyota Motor (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking to cast off a reputation for making reliable, but often dull, cars in a wide-ranging review of its designs, technologies, factories and supply deals – a full makeover aimed at staying on top in a cut-throat industry.

For decades, the Japanese automaker carved out global leadership by using common parts across many of its models. This was efficient, but made for uniform styling. A one-size-fits-all layout for the engine’s surrounding parts, for example, gave its cars a boxy front end.

Mar 18, 2015

Big Japan firms plan bigger pay hikes but smaller firms expected to lag

TOKYO, March 18 (Reuters) – Japanese blue-chip firms
announced wage hikes on Wednesday that topped increases last
year, but overall pay raises across corporate Japan are not
expected to offset higher costs of living for workers or be
enough to drive a sustainable economic recovery.

Major exporters like Toyota Motor Corp were
responding for a second year to public calls from Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe’s government for help in generating a virtuous cycle
of higher profits, wages and prices to decisively end two
decades of deflation and stop-start growth.

Mar 4, 2015

Toyota diversifies top ranks

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) on Wednesday promoted more foreigners to senior posts, including the first woman and first African-American to hold executive titles, diversifying a management team long dominated by Japanese men.

The world’s biggest automaker appointed Europe chief Didier Leroy to become one of six executive vice presidents (EVP) effective after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in June. He would be the first foreigner to become a Toyota EVP, the highest post to be held by a non-Japanese.

    • About Chang-Ran

      "I have been covering the Japanese auto industry since 2002, broadening coverage to the Asian region in 2003."
      Joined Reuters:
      2000
      Languages:
      English, Japanese, Spanish
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