Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
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May 14, 2014

Uniqlo wants 15 “brands” to emulate success of Heattech line

TOKYO, May 14 (Reuters) – Ask Yukihiro Katsuta what anyone
could possibly need for sartorial comfort beyond heat-generating
innerwear in winter and a breezy, cooling undershirt in summer
and he’ll tell you that Uniqlo, the Japanese casual-wear brand,
is just getting started.

“I want about 15 ‘brands’ like that,” the head of research
and design at Uniqlo said, referring to the hot-selling Heattech
thermal line and the silky, feather-weight Airism series, the
latter of which earned the status last year as a strategic
stand-alone brand within the Uniqlo universe.

Apr 10, 2014

Toyota to recall 6.4 million vehicles for steering, other faults

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), in its second-largest recall announcement, said on Wednesday that it would call back 6.39 million vehicles globally, and analysts saw automakers increasingly turning to recalls rather than risk bad publicity or legal costs.

Rival General Motors Co is in the midst of its own recall of 2.6 million cars related to an ignition switch problem, which has been linked to at least 13 deaths.

Apr 9, 2014

Toyota to recall nearly 6.5 million vehicles for steering, other faults

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp, in its second-largest recall announcement, said on Wednesday that it would call back 6.39 million vehicles globally after uncovering five different faults involving parts ranging from steering to seats.

The world’s biggest automaker said it was not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the glitches, which were found in 27 Toyota models including the RAV4 and Yaris subcompact.

Apr 8, 2014

Japan tax hike splits retailers, luxury hit hardest

TOKYO, April 8 (Reuters) – The rise in Japan’s sales tax to
8 percent that took effect last week has driven a boom-and-bust
in sales of high-priced items like jewellery but passed with
little impact on sales of daily necessities, two leading
Japanese retailers said on Tuesday.

Takashimaya Co, Japan’s third-biggest department
store operator, said the last-minute rush of demand in March had
been stronger than the company anticipated, especially for items
like watches, jewellery and luxury brands. As a result,
Takashima sees a pullback in sales starting this month that will
continue through summer, the company’s president said.

Apr 7, 2014

India’s Sun Pharma to buy struggling Ranbaxy for $3.2 billion as Daiichi Sankyo retreats

TOKYO/MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd has agreed to buy generic drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd for $3.2 billion (1.9 billion pounds), betting it can fix factory quality glitches that plagued the current owner, Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co, and got Ranbaxy India-made drugs barred from the United States.

The all-share transaction, the biggest pharmaceutical sector deal in the Asia-Pacific region this year, will create the world’s fifth-largest maker of generic drugs. The acquisition comes as the pace of consolidation increases in a market that’s primed for growth in the U.S. and emerging markets and could be worth $335 billion globally by 2017, according to Lucintel.

Apr 7, 2014

Sun Pharma to buy Ranbaxy in $3.2 billion all-share deal

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (SUN.NS: Quote, Profile, Research) said it will buy Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd (RANB.NS: Quote, Profile, Research) in a $3.2 billion all-share deal, creating the world’s fifth-largest generic drug maker from two firms struggling with quality issues in the lucrative United States market.

Ranbaxy, India’s biggest drugmaker by sales and 63.4 percent owned by Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, is banned from exporting drug ingredients to the U.S. Sun Pharmaceutical’s Karkhadi plant is also barred from shipping products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Apr 7, 2014

India’s Sun Pharma to buy Ranbaxy in $3.2 bln all-share deal

TOKYO, April 7 (Reuters) – India’s Sun Pharmaceutical
Industries Ltd said it will buy Ranbaxy Laboratories
Ltd in a $3.2 billion all-share deal, creating the
world’s fifth-largest generic drug maker from two firms
struggling with quality issues in the lucrative United States
market.

Ranbaxy, India’s biggest drugmaker by sales and 63.4 percent
owned by Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, is banned from
exporting drug ingredients to the U.S. Sun Pharmaceutical’s
Karkhadi plant is also barred from shipping products by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration.

Mar 14, 2014

Toshiba, SanDisk sue Hynix over suspected flash memory technology leak

TOKYO (Reuters) – Partners Toshiba Corp of Japan and SanDisk Corp of the United States separately filed civil lawsuits against South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc, seeking damages over the suspected theft of data related to their flagship flash memory chip technology used in smartphones and tablet computers.

SK Hynix said on Friday it had not yet received the litigation and had no comment to make. Hynix competes with both Toshiba and SanDisk, partners in flash memory technology for nearly 15 years, in supplying chips to device makers.

Mar 3, 2014

J.Crew could be a good fit for Uniqlo, but not at $5 bln

TOKYO, March 3 (Reuters) – An acquisition of preppy J.Crew
by Fast Retailing could fit snugly between its Uniqlo
basics and more upmarket Theory brands, but the Japanese
clothing firm is likely to balk at the $5 billion price tag
J.Crew is said to be asking for.

One banker in Tokyo, who is not involved with Fast
Retailing’s talks with J.Crew but is familiar with Chief
Executive Tadashi Yanai’s thinking, said the billionaire had
looked at the deal “but would not pay $5 billion for J.Crew.”

Feb 25, 2014

Uniqlo tweaks ‘Made for All’ to give U.S. shoppers a ’3-D’ fit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Fast Retailing Co’s (9983.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) casual clothing brand Uniqlo is rethinking its “Made for All” strategy, looking to offer lower priced lines in smaller Asian cities and more generous sizes to fit the U.S. market, a top executive said on Tuesday.

Asia’s biggest clothing retailer is studying ways to offer a better fit for U.S. consumers – a move that could help Uniqlo expand its customer base in the world’s biggest market as it adds more stores in suburban areas.

    • 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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