Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
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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.

Jan 25, 2011

Nissan to reach full Leaf EV output speed by March

YOKOSUKA, Japan (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co said on Tuesday it would add overtime and holidays at one if its Japanese factories toward the end of the business year in March to bring production of the Leaf electric car up to full speed.

Japan’s second-biggest automaker has gradually ramped up output of its first mass-marketed zero-emission car since it starting building the Leaf in late October, completing about 3,000 units to date.

Jan 20, 2011

Mitsubishi Motors banks on emerging markets to double profit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors Corp said it would count on rapid expansion in emerging markets and big cost cuts to double its operating profit in three years, anticipating a resumption of dividends in the year to March 2014.

Announcing a new three-year business plan on Thursday, Mitsubishi Motors, one of Japan’s smallest automakers, said it would target a 37 percent jump in sales of Mitsubishi-brand vehicles to 1.37 million vehicles by 2013/14.

Jan 20, 2011

M’bishi Motors banks on emrg markets to double profit

TOKYO, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
said it would count on rapid expansion in emerging markets and
big cost cuts to double its operating profit in three years,
anticipating a resumption of dividends in the year to March 2014.

Announcing a new three-year business plan on Thursday,
Mitsubishi Motors, one of Japan’s smallest automakers, said it
would target a 37 percent jump in sales of Mitsubishi-brand
vehicles to 1.37 million vehicles by 2013/14.

Jan 13, 2011

China readies 10 million EV parking spots by 2020: executive

DETROIT (Reuters) – The Chinese government is said to be looking to prepare at least 10 million car parking spots for electric vehicles by 2020 in a new comprehensive policy due to be announced soon, a top executive at a local automaker said on Thursday.

China relies on foreign oil for more than half of its oil consumption and is looking to promote alternative fuel vehicles in the world’s biggest auto market, whose growth topped 30 percent last year to 18 million units.

    • 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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