Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
Chang-Ran's Feed
Jan 10, 2011

Toyota unveils extended family for Prius hybrid

DETROIT (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) unveiled on Monday a family of Prius models with two new additions to its iconic hybrid series due to hit U.S. showrooms over the next 18 months.

Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, has dominated the gasoline-electric hybrid market since putting the first Prius on the road in 1997. Toyota has 14 hybrid models globally, helping it win a reputation as one of the most advanced car makers in next-generation technology.

Jan 10, 2011

Hyundai eyes rebranding in Apple’s ‘premium’ image

SEOUL/DETROIT (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor (005380.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) unveiled a new brand slogan at the Detroit auto show on Monday, seeking to transform its image as a maker of value-for-money vehicles into one that evokes “new premium” at affordable prices.

Under the slogan “New Thinking. New Possibilities,” Hyundai said it would aspire to emulate premium products such as Apple’s iPhone and the Nespresso coffee-making machine, while maintaining the affordability that has helped it become the world’s fifth-biggest automaker with affiliate Kia Motors (000270.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Jan 10, 2011

Subaru planning hybrid for US in ’13

DETROIT (Reuters) – Fuji Heavy Industries’ Subaru brand is planning a hybrid model for the United States in 2013, although it remains to be seen how big an impact such cars would have on the market, a top executive at its U.S. unit said.

“We’re going to need something at some point, even (only) to say we have it because that enhances our brand image in the market,” Tom Doll, chief operating officer of Subaru of America, told Reuters in an interview at the Detroit auto show on Monday.

Jan 10, 2011

BYD sees mass U.S. entry in Q1 2012 with e6

DETROIT (Reuters) – BYD Co Ltd (1211.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a Chinese car and battery maker backed by Warren Buffett (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), expects to enter the mass U.S. auto market in the first quarter of 2012, starting with its e6 electric car model, its chairman said on Monday.

“The United States offers a huge opportunity for new-energy vehicles, especially pure electric,” Chairman Wang Chuanfu told Reuters in an interview at the Detroit auto show.

Jan 10, 2011

Nissan taking drastic steps due to strong yen

DETROIT (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will take drastic steps to shield itself against the profit-eroding effects of the strong yen, including shifting production of the next Rogue crossover to Tennessee from Japan, a top executive said.

Carlos Tavares, head of Nissan’s operations in the Americas and executive vice president at Japan’s second-biggest automaker, said the transfer, expected by 2013, would add more than 100,000 units a year of production in the Americas.

Jan 10, 2011

Nissan taking drastic steps due to strong yen

DETROIT, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research) will
take drastic steps to shield itself against the profit-eroding
effects of the strong yen, including shifting production of the
next Rogue crossover to Tennessee from Japan, a top executive
said.

Carlos Tavares, head of Nissan’s operations in the Americas
and executive vice president at Japan’s second-biggest
automaker, said the transfer, expected by 2013, would add more
than 100,000 units a year of production in the Americas.

Dec 24, 2010

Toyota aims to lower break-even point for Japan operations

NAGOYA, Japan (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is aiming to significantly lower the break-even point for its Japanese operations through a slew of improved manufacturing processes, a top executive said on Friday.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda has said he wants to maintain domestic production of at least 3 million vehicles a year in Japan to protect jobs and the tradition of manufacturing, or “monozukuri,” at home despite headwinds from a stronger yen.

Dec 24, 2010

Toyota aims to lower break-even point for Japan ops

NAGOYA, Japan, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
is aiming to significantly lower the break-even point for its
Japanese operations through a slew of improved manufacturing
processes, a top executive said on Friday.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda has said he wants to maintain
domestic production of at least 3 million vehicles a year in
Japan to protect jobs and the tradition of manufacturing, or
“monozukuri”, at home despite headwinds from a stronger yen.

Dec 21, 2010

Toyota to pay maximum $32 million fine in U.S. safety probe

WASHINGTON/TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has agreed to pay the maximum fine of $32.4 million related to two U.S. probes into its handling of a spate vehicle recalls which hurt sales and tarnished its once impeccable reputation for quality.

The settlements conclude a tumultuous year for the world’s largest automaker over the recalls of 11 million vehicles in the United States and disclosure of problems blamed by safety advocates for hundreds of crashes and the deaths of dozens of people.

Dec 21, 2010

Toyota to pay maximum $32 mln fine in US safety probe

WASHINGTON/TOKYO, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor
has agreed to pay the maximum fine of $32.4 million related to
two U.S. probes into its handling of a spate vehicle recalls
which hurt sales and tarnished its once impeccable reputation
for quality.

The settlements conclude a tumultuous year for the world’s
largest automaker over the recalls of 11 million vehicles in
the United States and disclosure of problems blamed by safety
advocates for hundreds of crashes and the deaths of dozens of
people.

    • 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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