Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
Chang-Ran's Feed
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.

Nov 12, 2010

Toyota boss given electric sports car by US partner

TOKYO, Nov 12 (Reuters) – The head of U.S. electric car maker
Tesla Motors (TSLA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) handed over the keys of a two-seater sports
car made by the startup to the president of Toyota Motor Corp
(7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Friday as they appeared in front of media for the
first time since their shock tie-up in May.

Dressed in a dark suit with checkered button-down shirt and
no tie, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said the burgundy-red
Roadster 2.5 model, the first in Japan, had been tuned “just like
my personal car”, and the gift to Toyota’s Akio Toyoda was to
honour their relationship.

Nov 10, 2010

Canada sees opportunity in rare earths

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Canada’s trade minister said China’s approach to supplying rare earth minerals to the world was troubling but presented an opportunity for resource-rich Canada to step up to the plate.

“Everybody is concerned about supply of rare earths,” Peter Van Loan told Reuters on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.

Nov 10, 2010

Climate talks must focus on immediate action: Mexico

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Mexico’s foreign minister said on Wednesday the U.N. climate talks she will co-host this month should zero in on immediate goals such as the creation of a Green Fund, as hopes fade for a sweeping result.

Failure to achieve even a “bare minimum” set of decisions would undermine the credibility of the already troubled negotiations on a broader climate pact, Patricia Espinosa said in an interview on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting.

Nov 5, 2010

Toyota lifts outlook but yen and weak sales a worry

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp raised its annual forecast for a second time as Japan’s subsidies to stimulate demand helped almost double quarterly earnings, but a firm yen and weaker sales are key risks.

The world’s top automaker had been rescued by Tokyo’s generous incentives favoring the hybrid segment it dominates, but part of that stimulus ran out in September and this is set to hammer sales in Japan for the foreseeable future.

    • 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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