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

Feb 16, 2012

Japan car makers lash out at Tepco over rate hikes

TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Japan’s auto industry on
Thursday attacked Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) for
its plan to hike corporate electricity rates from April, saying
the utility should cut its own costs first before passing the
pain onto customers.

The struggling operator of the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear
plant decided last month to raise electricity prices for
businesses by an average 17 percent, citing a higher import bill
as it shifts to fossil fuel-fired power generation amid public
concerns over the safety of nuclear power.

Feb 8, 2012

Nissan Q3 up on brisk sales, keeps forecasts

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co
pushed up quarterly operating profit by 3.6 percent as
record car sales last year boosted its market share in every
major region, and it kept its full-year forecast unchanged at
the highest level among Japan’s top automakers.

Despite launching few new models, Nissan increased its
global auto sales by 14 percent last year to 4.67 million
vehicles, and CEO Carlos Ghosn, who also heads partner Renault
SA, aims to achieve the scale he says top automakers
need to invest in future technologies.

Feb 7, 2012

Toyota raises annual profit forecast, eyes recovery

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) raised its full-year profit forecast by more than a third as it cuts costs, trims spending and expects Japanese government schemes to boost sales, though the guidance was still some way below analysts’ expectations.

Japan’s No.1 automaker now expects operating profit – earnings from its core operations – for the year to end-March of 270 billion yen, a drop of 42 percent from last year, and lagging a consensus forecast of 331 billion yen from 23 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Feb 7, 2012

Toyota Q3 jumps, sees “tough race” in North America

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly operating profit and raised its annual forecast on cost cuts and Japanese government subsidies, though this is still some way below analysts’ expectations.

Widespread floods in Thailand late last year battered Toyota just as it was recovering from production lost to the earthquake in Japan in March. The floods cost Toyota 240,000 vehicles in lost output worldwide, dragging 2011 global sales down by 6 percent and allowing General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG to overtake it in global vehicle sales.

Feb 7, 2012

Toyota Q3 jumps, raises FY outlook on cost cuts, incentives

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly operating profit, shrugging off a firm yen and the damaging impact of flooding in Thailand, and raised its annual forecast, helped by cost cuts and Japanese government subsidies.

Widespread floods in Thailand late last year battered Toyota just as it was recovering from production lost to the earthquake in Japan in March. The floods cost Toyota 240,000 vehicles in lost output worldwide, dragging 2011 global sales down by 6 percent and allowing General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG to overtake it in global vehicle sales.

    • 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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