Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
Chang-Ran's Feed
May 8, 2015

Toyota flags 3rd year of record profit on strong US sales, cost cuts

TOKYO, May 8 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said it
will crank net profit up to a third straight record this year as
cost cuts and rising U.S. sales offset weaker business
elsewhere, building on bumper earnings last year powered largely
by foreign-exchange gains.

Reporting net income jumped 50 percent in the quarter ended
March, the world’s top-selling automaker said on Friday it
expects net profit to rise 3.5 percent to 2.25 trillion yen
($18.75 billion) in the year that began in April.

May 8, 2015

Fuji Heavy forecasts jump in annual profits, plans more U.S. capacity

TOKYO, May 8 (Reuters) – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd,
the maker of Subaru cars, forecast a big jump in annual profits
citing a stronger dollar and higher sales in the U.S. market,
its biggest, saying it would add capacity there earlier than
planned to meet red-hot demand.

An acute supply shortage has been the biggest challenge for
the Tokyo-based automaker as demand for cars such as the Legacy,
Outback and Forester has shown no sign of letting up in the
United States.

Apr 28, 2015

Honda forecasts flat profit this year as quality fixes weigh

TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) forecast on Tuesday a scant 0.4 percent rise in net profit for the year that began on April 1, saying higher quality-related costs and currency losses would offset gains from vehicle sales growth.

The forecasts look especially weak after Japan’s No.3 automaker reported earnings that fell far short of its guidance in the just-ended year, when quality problems delayed vehicle development, pushed up costs and hampered sales.

Apr 28, 2015

Honda forecasts flat profit this year after tough 2014/15

TOKYO, April 28 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co forecast
a scant 0.4 percent rise in net profit for the year that began
on April 1, after falling short of its guidance in the year just
ended when quality problems delayed vehicle development and
hampered sales.

Last year’s profit shortfall was due about half to
quality-related costs and half to weaker sales in the United
States and Japan, Honda Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura
told a briefing for reporters.

Apr 24, 2015

Mazda projects modest 3.5 pct rise in FY op profit amid forex headwinds

TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp
on Friday forecast a modest 3.5 percent rise in
operating profit in the year ahead, as losses from the yen’s
strength against the euro, Australian dollar and Thai baht take
the shine off higher vehicle sales.

For the year though March 2016, Mazda said it expected an
operating profit of 210 billion yen ($1.76 billion), based on a
dollar rate of 120 yen and a euro rate of 130 yen. A Thomson
Reuters survey of 24 analysts before the statement estimated the
annual profit would be about 234 billion yen.

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.

    • About Chang-Ran

      "I have been covering the Japanese auto industry since 2002, broadening coverage to the Asian region in 2003."
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