Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
Chang-Ran's Feed
Dec 3, 2010

Nissan launches Leaf EV, gets 200 km range in Japan

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Japan’s Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Friday marked a major milestone in automotive history with the launch of the Leaf, the world’s first electric car to be mass-marketed.

The Leaf gets 200 km (124 miles) on a full charge under Japanese test standards, 160 km (100 miles) under California’s regulations, and 73 miles under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s reading.

Dec 2, 2010

Turning over new Leaf: Get ready for EV era

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Over the past few
years, Eiji Makino has met with heads of state, governors and
mayors around the globe pursuing an unconventional strategy
for Nissan’s new electric car, the Leaf: lining up support for
the model before it was even on the road.
    Electric cars need to recharge around town and a growing
number of governments, seeking to reduce oil dependence and
clean up the environment, have agreed to subsidise that kind
of infrastructure.

The Nissan-Renault car alliance put together more than 80
such agreements across five continents, with the first batch
of its zero-emission cars reaching customers only this month.
    “At first we had no clue which regions to attack,” Makino,
who was put in charge of Nissan Motor’s strategy for
electric vehicles in 2008, said at the company’s global
headquarters in the Japanese port city of Yokohama. “Portugal
was the first partnership we signed, and that made sense
because they were promoting renewable energy.”

Dec 2, 2010

Getting a charge out of the electric car

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Electric cars run
soundlessly, get some of the best mileage, and don’t pollute
the air. But if you ask officials in Yokohama, Japan’s
second-largest city, an electric car can do even more than that.

They can contribute to the electricity network.

Because electric vehicles, or EVs, run on batteries, they
could theoretically store energy and feed it back into the
home from the garage, for instance, or even provide
electricity to the community if it was connected to a “smart
grid”.

Dec 1, 2010

Japan, Europe November car sales fall

TOKYO/PARIS, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Japanese car sales slumped
for the third straight month as the euro zone crisis threatened
sales, while economic woes and the end of scrappage schemes
threatened a bleak start to 2011 for Europe’s car markets.

In Europe, while austerity measures and economic concerns
will likely hit spending power and consumer confidence in the
coming months, the end of scrapping incentives had a more
immediate impact on November automobile sales.

Dec 1, 2010

Japan new car sales slide; Hyundai hit by strike

SEOUL/TOKYO, Dec 1 (Reuters) – South Korea’s top auto
brand Hyundai faced a prolonged strike at its biggest factory,
and car sales in Japan slumped for the third straight month as
the deepening European debt crisis threatened the outlook for
global sales.

The euro zone’s troubles add to the woes of Japanese
automakers, which are in for a sharp, long drop in domestic
vehicle sales after the government’s subsidies on some
fuel-efficient vehicles ended in September.

Nov 18, 2010

Ford to cut Mazda stake, losing top shareholder title

TOKYO (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will cut its stake in Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to 3.5 percent from 11 percent, losing its status as the Japanese carmaker’s top shareholder and falling to fourth place, Mazda said on Thursday.

Ford has been the Hiroshima-based car maker’s No.1 shareholder since 1979 when it bought 25 percent of a debt-ridden Mazda, and lifted that to a controlling 33.4 percent in 1996.

Nov 18, 2010

Toyota lays out big green-car push with hybrids, EVs

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp on Thursday laid out big plans for launching greener vehicles, including 11 new conventional hybrids over the next two years and a Prius-based plug-in hybrid that may cost as little as 3 million yen ($36,050).

One of the hybrids will be a compact car with fuel efficiency exceeding 40 km per liter — the highest for a gasoline-electric model measured under Japanese test cycles, it said.

Nov 16, 2010

Nissan sees bumper 2011, worries on yen

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sees China leading a 2011 boom for the global auto industry, but competition will be tougher than ever while Japanese makers will suffer the most due to a strong yen, a top executive said.

Nissan, held 43 percent by France’s Renault SA (RENA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), has emerged from the global financial crisis faster than most as it managed inventory better and outpaced many rivals with sales growth in emerging markets such as China.

Nov 16, 2010

Reuters Summit-UPDATE 1-Nissan sees bumper 2011, worries on yen

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)
sees China leading a 2011 boom for the global auto industry, but
competition will be tougher than ever while Japanese makers will
suffer the most due to a strong yen, a top executive said.

Nissan, held 43 percent by France’s Renault SA (RENA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz),
has emerged from the global financial crisis faster than most as
it managed inventory better and outpaced many rivals with sales
growth in emerging markets such as China.

Nov 13, 2010

Nissan COO: High yen makes ’11/12 profit rise tough

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co will find it hard to increase its profit further in the next business year if the yen remains at its strong levels, even if the firm can expand its sales volumes, a top executive said on Saturday.

“We’re still working on our projections for next year, but it would be very difficult to see profits continuing their rise with the dollar at 80 yen,” Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga told reporters on the sidelines of the APEC CEO summit.

    • 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:
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