Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
Chang-Ran's Feed
Mar 4, 2015

Toyota promotes foreigners, including first woman, to top posts

TOKYO, March 4 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp on
Wednesday promoted more foreigners to senior posts, including
the first woman and first African-American to hold executive
titles, diversifying a management team long dominated by
Japanese men.

The world’s biggest automaker appointed Europe chief Didier
Leroy to become one of six executive vice presidents (EVP)
effective after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in
June. He would be the first foreigner to become a Toyota EVP,
the highest post to be held by a non-Japanese.

Feb 27, 2015

Mazda bets on diesel-only car for Japan launch of key 2015 model

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will sell only diesel-powered cars in the domestic launch of its key model for 2015, gambling it can convince the country’s army of hybrid petrol-electric drivers that the days of sooty, noisy diesels are long gone.

Masamichi Kogai, Chief Executive of Japan’s fifth-biggest auto maker, placed his diesel bet in Tokyo on Friday as he unveiled the CX-3, a compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV).

Feb 27, 2015

Nissan says can meet U.S. sales goal with capacity in South Korea, Japan

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will be able to meet its goal of taking 10 percent of the U.S. market in two years without any major new investments and by making use of capacity available at factories in Japan and South Korea, a top executive said on Friday.

With sales in the United States growing at nearly twice the pace of the overall market last year, Japan’s No.2 automaker has been expanding capacity at its North American plants but needs more to meet demand.

Feb 25, 2015

Toyota calls union pay demands impossible; talks outcome key for Abenomics

TOYOTA CITY/TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday it was “impossible” to meet union demands for a 13,300 yen ($112) monthly pay rise, as the automaker concluded the first day of labor talks widely considered crucial for Japan’s economic recovery.

The outcome of annual pay talks at Toyota is often seen as a bellwether for other companies. A favorable result for the union is therefore critical for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s goal of creating a virtuous cycle of higher wages, bigger consumer spending and economic growth.

Feb 23, 2015

Honda CEO Ito to step down, replaced by low-profile engineer

TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Takanobu Ito will step down in late June after six years in the top post and be succeeded by Managing Officer Takahiro Hachigo, a low-profile engineer with global experience, the company said in a surprise announcement on Monday.

Japan’s No.3 automaker has hit a rough patch over the past year with quality problems that have led to multiple recalls of its popular Fit hybrid subcompact, which Ito conceded earlier this month could have been caused at least in part by an aggressive sales target.

Feb 16, 2015

Asian supply lines hit by U.S. West Coast ports dispute

SAN FRANCISCO/TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) – A labor dispute at
ports on the U.S. West Coast is disrupting supply chains across
the Pacific, forcing some Asian exporters to resort to costly
air freight and pushing up shipping rates as more freighters are
caught up in long lines to dock.

With ports near gridlock and cargo delays being felt
throughout the U.S. commercial supply chain, U.S. Labor
Secretary Tom Perez plans to travel to San Francisco on Tuesday
to help broker an agreement on a new contract between
dockworkers and the group representing shippers and terminal

Feb 9, 2015

Nissan lifts profit guidance on forex windfalls, cost cuts

YOKOHAMA, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co lifted
its annual earnings forecast on Monday, expecting its highest
operating profit in seven years due to favourable currency
movement and further cost cuts.

Japan’s No. 2 carmaker by sales also lowered its global
sales forecast by 150,000 vehicles to 5.3 million, expecting
weaker sales particularly in China and Russia due to
weaker-than-expected overall demand in those markets.

Feb 6, 2015

Japan automakers hit production snags as U.S. port dispute drags on

TOKYO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Japanese automakers are being
forced to ship some car parts to U.S. plants by expensive air
cargo and tweak production processes as a protracted labour
dispute at U.S. West Coast ports shows no signs of letting up.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd’s Subaru, the
fastest-growing brand in the United States, said this week that
it now had to shoulder an extra 7 billion yen ($60 million) in
costs a month due to air freight, which has seen prices go up
with the extra demand.

Feb 5, 2015

Takata adds nearly $30 mln to special loss to cover air bag recalls, cuts outlook

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp
booked nearly $30 million in extra charges for vehicle
recalls to replace potentially deadly air bag inflators, as well
as other costs, tipping it toward a bigger annual loss than
previously forecast.

Embroiled in a long-running global recall crisis, Takata on
Thursday reported a nine-month net loss of 32.5 billion yen
($277 million). It now expects its full-year net loss to be 31
billion yen, wider than the 25 billion yen it previously
forecast and broadly in line with analysts’ estimates.

Feb 4, 2015

Japan’s Mazda braked by rouble, Subaru maker roars ahead on weaker yen

TOKYO, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp
said the rouble’s plunge bit into European revenue and kept
annual profit targets unchanged, while Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd
, home of the Subaru, raised forecasts on brisk U.S.
auto sales and a weaker yen.

Both of the second-tier automakers benefit from a weaker
Japanese currency because they export most of the vehicles they
produce at home. But Mazda said the yen’s weakness against the
dollar was outweighed by a worse-than-expected impact from the
Russian currency’s collapse, cutting its third-quarter earnings.

    • About Chang-Ran

      "I have been covering the Japanese auto industry since 2002, broadening coverage to the Asian region in 2003."
      Joined Reuters:
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