Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
Chang-Ran's Feed
Nov 6, 2014

Japan’s Ezaki Glico aims to conquer world with Pocky stick snacks

OSAKA, Nov 7 (Reuters) – For the first time in its 92-year
history, Japanese snacks maker Ezaki Glico is getting
serious about growing overseas, aiming to fatten its Pocky
biscuit into a $1 billion brand to rival global giants such as
Hershey’s and Oreo.

The company’s Glico brand and its 48-year-old stick-shaped,
chocolate-coated Pocky pretzels are household names in Japan but
elsewhere the marque has stalled, capping the firm’s overseas
business at just a tenth of its $3 billion revenue.

Oct 31, 2014

Japan’s Mazda Motor, Fuji Heavy post big Q2 profit jump on weak yen

TOKYO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Japanese automakers Mazda Motor
Corp and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd posted rosy
second-quarter profit growth on Friday as a weak yen made their
exports more lucrative.

The second-tier automakers benefit the most among their
domestic peers from a cheaper yen because they ship overseas
about 80 percent of their Japan-made vehicles. Earnings made
abroad are worth more when repatriated under a weak yen.

Oct 29, 2014

SoftBank’s humanoid robot lands job as Nescafe salesman

TOKYO, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Nestle SA will enlist a
thousand humanoid robots to help sell its coffee makers at
electronics stores across Japan, becoming the first corporate
customer for the chatty, bug-eyed androids unveiled in June by
tech conglomerate SoftBank Corp.

Nestle has maintained healthy growth in Japan while many of
its big markets are slowing, crediting a tradition of trying out
off-beat marketing tactics in what is a small but profitable
territory for the world’s biggest food group.

Oct 28, 2014

Honda cuts sales forecast as recalls delay new model roll-outs

TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has trimmed its full-year sales forecast citing “tough” competition in Japan and China as well as the impact of recalls on new-model development, but said a weak yen would help it maintain its operating profit goal.

The Japanese automaker also said on Tuesday that operating profit fell 4.1 percent to 164.4 billion yen ($1.52 billion) in the second quarter, missing the 184.1 billion yen average estimate of 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Oct 24, 2014

Honda execs take pay cut after 5th Fit hybrid recall

TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co said on Thursday its president and 12 other executives would take an unprecedented, quality-related pay cut after the Japanese automaker announced the fifth recall in a year of its new Fit hybrid model.

The recall, which covers 425,825 Fit hybrid vehicles and other models in Japan, comes as Honda is facing lawsuits due to accidents involving airbags supplied by Takata Corp. The airbags have been linked to four deaths – all on Hondas – and have triggered a multi-million vehicle recall by many automakers worldwide.

Oct 24, 2014

(OFFICIAL) UPDATE 2-Honda execs take pay cut after 5th Fit hybrid recall

TOKYO, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co said on
Thursday its president and 12 other executives would take an
unprecedented, quality-related pay cut after the Japanese
automaker announced the fifth recall in a year of its new Fit
hybrid model.

The recall, which covers 425,825 Fit hybrid vehicles and
other models in Japan, comes as Honda is facing lawsuits due to
accidents involving airbags supplied by Takata Corp.
The airbags have been linked to four deaths – all on Hondas -
and have triggered a multi-million vehicle recall by many
automakers worldwide.

Oct 23, 2014

Honda execs to take pay cut after fifth Fit hybrid recall

TOKYO, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co said on
Thursday its president and 12 other executives would take an
unprecedented pay cut after the Japanese automaker announced the
fifth recall in a year of its new Fit model.

The recall, which covers 425,825 vehicles in Japan, comes as
Honda is facing lawsuits due to accidents involving airbags
supplied by Takata Corp. The airbags have been linked
to four deaths – all on Hondas – and have triggered a
multi-million vehicle recall by several automakers worldwide.

Oct 20, 2014

Japan’s Java wars: Convenience stores angle for coffee market crown

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s convenience store operators are jostling for eminence in a famously cut-throat industry, and one product has come up trumps for the market’s top players – coffee.

Millions and millions of cups of it.

Inspired by a popular 100 yen ($0.93) blend launched by McDonald’s in 2008, Seven-Eleven touched off a boom in convenience store coffee last year, lifting Japan’s long-stagnant coffee market and rankling rival businesses.

Oct 9, 2014

Fast Retailing sees profit growing on expanded Uniqlo line

TOKYO, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Japan’s Fast Retailing Co
said on Thursday it expects profit to grow 38 percent in the
year ahead as its core Uniqlo casual wear brand expands its
offering of kids’ and high-tech clothing.

Asia’s biggest retailer has more than trebled its revenue
over the past decade with rapid expansion in Asia and brisk
sales of its heat-generating innerwear, Ultra Light Down line
and other functional clothing that it has become known for since
launching its 1,900 yen ($18) fleece jackets 20 years ago.

Oct 2, 2014

Japan’s Seven & I misses own profit target as consumer spending flags

TOKYO, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Japanese retail giant Seven & I
Holdings turned in a first-half profit that came up
short of its own expectations while slowing growth at its core
7-Eleven convenience store chain points to weakening consumer
spending across the country.

While the retailer said on Thursday operating profit still
rose 1.6 percent in the six months to Aug. 31, the shortfall
comes amid growing questions over consumer spending trends after
Japan raised its sales tax to 8 percent in April from 5 percent.
Seven & I also warned consumer sentiment was being hit as the
weaker yen means Japan has to pay more to import fuel and power
inputs.

    • 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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