Asia autos correspondent, Tokyo
Chang-Ran's Feed
Apr 9, 2012

Toyota aims to spice up cars with new development methods

TOYOTA CITY, Japan, April 9 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp
unveiled on Monday a new framework for vehicle
development aimed at making its cars more appealing, while
cutting costs by at least 30 percent through the use of more
shared parts.

Since taking the helm three years ago, Chief Executive Akio
Toyoda has sought to steer Toyota’s focus back to making better
products, blaming unchecked sales growth in the run-up to the
financial crisis for its penchant for building popular but
unexciting cars.

Apr 2, 2012

Tata Motors, M&M post highest ever monthly car sales

TOKYO/SEOUL (Reuters) – New car sales in Japan surged in March from a disaster-hit low last year, while global sales for South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co also grew as brisk overseas sales made up for a sharp drop at home.

Sales of new cars, trucks and buses excluding 660cc minivehicles jumped 78 percent to 497,959 vehicles in Japan, marking the biggest monthly gain on record, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said on Monday. Minivehicle sales increased 60.5 percent to 253,929.

Apr 2, 2012

Japan March car sales soar, Hyundai saved by overseas demand

TOKYO/SEOUL, April 2 (Reuters) – New car sales in Japan
surged in March from a disaster-hit low last year, while global
sales for South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co also grew as brisk
overseas sales made up for a sharp drop at home.

Sales of new cars, trucks and buses excluding 660cc
minivehicles jumped 78 percent to 497,959 vehicles in Japan,
marking the biggest monthly gain on record, the Japan Automobile
Dealers Association said on Monday. Minivehicle sales increased
60.5 percent to 253,929.

Mar 22, 2012

Toyota won’t offer low-end cars for volume’s sake: CEO

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has no intention of offering ultra-cheap cars to boost sales in emerging markets and will keep its focus on customers who expect a certain level of reliability, the company’s president, Akio Toyoda, said on Thursday.

Toyoda’s comments come days after rival Nissan Motor (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) announced the revival of the Datsun brand to target buyers in the lowest and sizeable end of developing markets, while a German magazine reported Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) was also planning a similar move.

Mar 21, 2012

Nissan bets on Datsun heritage brand for sales push

YOKOHAMA, Japan, March 21 (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co
is counting on its heritage Datsun brand to attract a
vast pool of first-time car buyers in emerging markets as it
aims to grab an 8 percent share of the global market by 2016,
executives said on Wednesday.

Japan’s No.2 automaker announced a day earlier the revival
of the 80-year-old Datsun nameplate for entry-level cars
starting in India, Indonesia and Russia from 2014, after it was
ditched in 1981 to consolidate all cars under the Nissan brand.

Mar 9, 2012

Toyota provides shot in arm for Japan’s quake-hit Tohoku

KANEGASAKI, Japan, March 9 (Reuters) – At this
19-year-old Toyota factory in Kanegasaki, 500 km (300 miles)
north of Tokyo, one shiny Aqua hybrid car rolls off the assembly
line every 75 seconds, 17 hours a day.

With 120,000 orders to fill from just the first month of
sales since late December — equivalent to 10 months’ worth of
targeted sales in Japan — the frantic pace will only quicken in
the coming months.

Mar 2, 2012

Toyota: supply chain will be ready by autumn for next big quake

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will have in place by autumn a more resilient supply chain that would recover within two weeks of another massive earthquake hitting Japan, a top executive said on Friday.

Japanese automakers have been working to disaster-proof their sprawling supply chains ever since last year’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated the country’s northeastern coast, forcing many to halt or reduce car production for more than six months.

Mar 2, 2012

Toyota says supply chain will be ready by autumn for next big

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) will have in place by autumn a more resilient supply chain that would recover within two weeks of another massive earthquake hitting Japan, a top executive said on Friday.

Japanese automakers have been working to disaster-proof their sprawling supply chains ever since last year’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated the country’s northeastern coast, forcing many to halt or reduce car production for more than six months.

Mar 2, 2012

Insight: After Civic bruising, Honda fights for its soul

TOKYO/DETROIT (Reuters) – The future of Honda Motor Co may rest with a pair of contrarian Japanese car engineers working from a drab Tokyo suburb with a hotline to the boardroom. Their mission: just say no.

Honda’s creative directors Toshinobu Minami and Yoshinori Asahi are out to kill any mediocre car designs rumbling down the pipeline. In short, they have been told to stop anything like the 2012 Civic, a cheapened redesign that prompted critics, consumers and rivals to wonder how Honda had so badly lost its way.

Mar 2, 2012

After Civic bruising, Honda fights for its soul

TOKYO/DETROIT, March 2 (Reuters) – The future of Honda
Motor Co may rest with a pair of contrarian Japanese
car engineers working from a drab Tokyo suburb with a hotline to
the boardroom. Their mission: just say no.

Honda’s creative directors Toshinobu Minami and Yoshinori
Asahi are out to kill any mediocre car designs rumbling down the
pipeline. In short, they have been told to stop anything like
the 2012 Civic, a cheapened redesign that prompted critics,
consumers and rivals to wonder how Honda had so badly lost its
way.

    • 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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