Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
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Feb 7, 2011

Toyota Q3 set to slump on Japan sales

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is expected to report a huge drop in quarterly profits on Tuesday hit by tanking Japanese car sales and a firm yen, highlighting its damaging exposure to the loss-making export business.

Domestic rivals Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are also seen suffering a drop in October-December profits, but the decline at Toyota is set to be the deepest given its heavier weighting in the shrinking Japanese market.

Feb 7, 2011

Toyota Q3 set to slump on Japan sales, outlook eyed

TOKYO, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp is
expected to report a huge drop in quarterly profits on Tuesday
hit by tanking Japanese car sales and a firm yen, highlighting
its damaging exposure to the loss-making export business.

Domestic rivals Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor Co
are also seen suffering a drop in October-December
profits, but the decline at Toyota is set to be the deepest
given its heavier weighting in the shrinking Japanese market.

Feb 7, 2011

Suzuki Motor Q3 op profit up 31 percent, keeps forecast

TOKYO (Reuters) – Suzuki Motor Corp (7269.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Japan’s No.4 automaker, posted a 31 percent rise in quarterly profit on Monday on brisk sales in Asia, but stuck to its conservative forecasts as competition intensifies in the key Indian market.

Suzuki has enjoyed robust earnings growth compared with most domestic rivals thanks to its limited exposure to the stronger yen and heavy weighting in India, where majority-held unit Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MRTI.BO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sells every other car.

Feb 4, 2011

Nippon-Sumitomo merger stirs hope for steel shakeup

TOKYO (Reuters) – Plans by Nippon Steel Corp (5401.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Sumitomo Metal Industries (5405.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to create the world’s No. 2 steelmaker fanned expectations of further consolidation in the fragmented industry, sending Japanese steelmakers shares surging on Friday.

Over-capacity has long been a problem for the global steel industry, but big deals have been few and far between since the merger that created top steel company ArcelorMittal (ISPA.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in 2006.

Feb 3, 2011

Nippon Steel, Sumitomo to create world No.2 steelmaker

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp (5401.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Sumitomo Metal Industries (5405.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plan to merge to create the world’s second-largest steelmaker as they battle tough competition from Asian rivals and shrinking demand from domestic automakers.

The deal, which would likely see Japan’s top steelmaker Nippon Steel acquiring Sumitomo Metal, valued at $11 billion, comes as the industry grapples with surging prices for steelmaking ingredients iron ore and coking coal.

Feb 2, 2011

Honda to lower CR-V exports to U.S. to reduce fx impact

TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co is looking to make small investments in North America to build more of its popular CR-V crossovers there, reducing exports from Japan to cushion the blow from a strong yen, an executive said.

“Our profit structure has improved mainly thanks to robust overseas operations, and the toughest area remains exports from Japan,” Chief Financial Officer Yoichi Hojo told a small group of reporters at Honda’s headquarters on Wednesday.

Feb 2, 2011

Honda may end CR-V export to US to reduce yen impact

TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking
to end exports of the popular CR-V crossover to the United States
from Japan when it is remodelled in autumn to reduce losses from
the strong yen, an executive said on Wednesday.

“Our profit structure has improved mainly thanks to robust
overseas operations, and the toughest area remains exports from
Japan,” Chief Financial Officer Yoichi Hojo told a small group of
reporters at Honda’s headquarters.

Feb 1, 2011

Carmakers start 2011 strongly

TOKYO/PARIS (Reuters) – Carmakers are making a strong start to 2011, soothing concerns about slower demand growth in the Asian markets that drove sales last year and a bumpy recovery in western markets.

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor, the world No. 5 player, said global sales rose 14 percent in January. Indian vehicle manufacturers reported sales rises of between 14 and 22 percent, and world No. 1 seatbelts-to-airbags group Autoliv predicted a North American recovery would help sales this year.

Jan 31, 2011

Honda seen lifting guidance despite tough Q3

TOKYO, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co
is expected to lift its cautious guidance on Monday even as a
strong yen and sliding Japanese sales hit quarterly profits,
confirming optimism about the automaker’s robust earnings
potential for this year.

Japan’s top automakers are all expected to report a sharp
decline in October-December profits as the end of subsidies to
replace clunkers has hammered domestic sales since October. An
8-yen fall in the dollar and higher raw materials costs
are also seen erasing the positive effect of global sales gains.

Jan 28, 2011

Japan automakers’ Q3 seen hit by yen but Hyundai charging on

SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese and Korean automakers are expected to post divergent quarterly results, with Hyundai Motor (005380.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) continuing its sales-led profit growth and Toyota, Nissan and Honda being pounded by a firmer yen.

In the year ahead, however, analysts are upbeat on the outlook for Japan’s top three automakers, who will benefit from a recovering U.S. market, while they caution about tougher competition awaiting Hyundai in key markets, including South Korea.

    • 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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