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Oct 27, 2014

More air bag recalls could test automakers’ Takata ties

BEIJING/TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Japan’s Takata Corp
, whose potentially defective car air bags have been
linked to four deaths in the United States, is unlikely to be
dumped by its automaker customers given the cost and disruption
of such a move – for now.

Some business is leaking to rivals, but the industry doesn’t
have the spare capacity to make a significant dent in Takata’s
contracts. But over the coming few years, as the next new models
are designed and built, loyalty to Tokyo-based Takata, the
world’s No.2 safety equipment maker, is likely to be tested.

Sep 26, 2014

Takata regional U.S. air bag recalls may include GM vehicles

DETROIT/TOKYO (Reuters) – The safety recall in parts of the United States of millions of vehicles with potentially defective air bags made by Japan’s Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) may expand to include General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), according to documents filed this week with U.S. regulators.

More than 4.3 million cars produced by automakers including Honda Motor (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Fiat’s (FIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chrysler and Toyota Motor (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), are affected by the regional recalls. They began in June in certain high-humidity areas of the United States after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started investigating reports of air bag explosions in Florida and Puerto Rico.

Sep 19, 2014

Fiat and Mitsubishi Motors team up on new pickup

MILAN/TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors
will produce a new pickup for Fiat from 2016 in a deal
to boost the Italian carmaker’s commercial vehicle sales and
raise output at the Japanese company’s plant in Thailand.

According to a non-binding memorandum of understanding
unveiled on Friday, the companies will team up to develop and
manufacture the pickup which would be supplied by Mitsubishi and
based on its best-selling model, the L200.

Sep 16, 2014

Mitsubishi leads $600 mln investment in Indonesia plant, new car

JAKARTA/TOKYO, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors Corp
is leading a $600 million investment in Indonesia to
build a factory and develop a new car, as the Japanese auto
maker seeks to expand in a growing and increasingly competitive
auto market.

The pace of auto sales growth in Indonesia has been easing
this year as the economy has slowed, but Chief Executive Osamu
Masuko said boosting volume in one of the world’s most populous
countries was crucial for its long-term growth.

Sep 16, 2014

Safety worries cloud Japan dream of carbon-free hydrogen society

TOKYO, Sept 16 (Reuters) – On an empty lot in Japan’s
fourth-largest city, a Shinto priest performs rites in front of
a makeshift altar loaded with offerings of fruit and vegetables
to pray for the safety and success of Japan’s newest hydrogen
filling station.

The small ceremony in central Nagoya earlier this month,
attended by executives from operator Toyota Tsusho and
construction firm Obayashi Corp, was another step in
the world’s most ambitious plans to use hydrogen to run cars
and, eventually, produce electricity.

Sep 8, 2014

Tesla CEO says could sign new deal with Toyota in 2-3 years

TOKYO (Reuters) – Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s best-selling automaker, could sign a new deal over the next two to three years, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, as the two firms ready to end an existing program.

California-based Tesla has been supplying batteries and motors for Toyota’s RAV4 electric SUVs that went on sale in 2012, but that partnership is set to end this year after Toyota sold just 2,000 of the vehicles.

Aug 28, 2014

Honda says to recall 63,200 vehicles over Takata air bag defect

TOKYO, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co is
recalling about 63,200 vehicles due to a defect in driver-side
air bags made by Takata Corp, the latest in a series of
air bag recalls across the industry that have affected nearly 16
million vehicles to date.

Honda is recalling certain CR-V, Civic, Brio and Amaze,
model years 2012-2015, mostly in China and other Asian
countries, the automaker said on Thursday.

Aug 20, 2014

China fines Japanese auto parts makers record $201 mln for price-fixing

BEIJING/TOKYO, Aug 20 (Reuters) – China has fined Japanese
auto parts makers a record 1.235 billion yuan ($201 million) for
manipulating prices as the government steps up its enforcement
of an anti-trust law that has targeted major corporations and
revived protectionism concerns.

The fines, the largest so far meted out by the pricing
regulator, the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC),
follow a global crack down including in the United States and
Europe on price collusion in the auto parts sector, which has
also mostly affected Japanese companies.

Aug 5, 2014

Toyota reliance on U.S. deepens as emerging markets falter

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reliance on the U.S. market to drive record profits is deepening this year, its latest outlook showed, with strong sales of refurbished SUVs and Camry sedans expected to offset weakness in Thailand and other emerging markets.

The world’s best-selling automaker, which analysts say could be overtaken this year by German rival Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in global auto sales, also said it would stick to utilising existing plants to maximum capacity before investing in new factories.

Aug 3, 2014

Toyota dreams of green car future, but tied to gas-guzzler present

TOKYO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp is
hitching its future to green cars, investing billions of dollars
in gasoline-electric hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles, but for now
its record profit performance is being powered largely by a
gas-guzzling U.S. market.

In the United States, relatively cheap gasoline prices
helped to spur brisk 9 percent growth in industry-wide light
truck sales in the first half of the year, making that one of
the fastest-growing major global market segments – accounting
for about one-tenth of global vehicle sales.

    • About Yoko

      "Based in Tokyo since 2007, I have been covering politics in the world's third-biggest economy, as well as Japan's nuclear disaster, energy issues and diplomacy."
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