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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.

Jul 31, 2014

Japan’s second-tier automakers say on track for record profits

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) – Japanese automakers Mazda Motor
Corp and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, which
makes Subaru cars, said they are on track for record full-year
profits after strong sales in the United States powered
double-digit profit growth in April-June.

The United States is the biggest market for both of the
carmakers which rank among the second-tier of Japan’s auto
firms, and is seeing industry-wide sales at eight-year highs.

Jul 31, 2014

Japan second-tier carmakers see Q1 profit jump on U.S. sales

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) – Japan’s second-tier automakers
Mazda Motor Corp and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd
posted double-digit profit growth in April-June helped by strong
sales in the United States, their biggest market.

Mazda’s U.S. sales jumped 18 percent helped by the launch of
its remodelled Mazda3, while Fuji Heavy, the maker of Subaru
brand cars, increased its U.S. market share in the first half of
the year thanks to the popularity of its Forester compact SUV.

Jul 30, 2014

VW closes in on Toyota as global auto leader

TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) – Volkswagen is closing
in on Toyota Motor Corp as the global leader in vehicle
sales, with a rapid expansion drive in China – the world’s
biggest auto market – while Toyota curbs growth to focus on
shoring up quality.

Toyota, reigning at the top spot in the auto industry for
two years in a row, announced relatively robust global sales
growth of 3.8 percent for the first six months of the year to
5.097 million vehicles on Wednesday, a record first-half result.

Jul 29, 2014

VW set to overtake Toyota as global auto leader

TOKYO (Reuters) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is poised to overtake Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as the global leader in vehicle sales, with a rapid expansion drive in China – the world’s biggest auto market – while Toyota curbs growth to focus on shoring up quality.

Toyota, reigning at the top spot in the auto industry for two years in a row, will announce its global sales for the first six months of the year on Wednesday, which could fall short of Volkswagen’s half-year total.

Jul 29, 2014

Honda profit beats estimates but U.S. sales dented

TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said teething troubles at a new plant in Mexico dented sales and profit in the U.S. market, its biggest, taking the shine off a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit powered by brisk results in Japan.

U.S. sales by Japan’s third-largest automaker dipped 0.8 percent in the first half, while sales rose at rivals Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). It posted a 6.0 percent drop in North American operating profit for the April-June quarter.

Jul 28, 2014

Nissan aims to boost U.S. sales and profit as it closes on Honda

YOKOHAMA Japan (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) aims to boost sales and profitability in the United States, its biggest market, an executive said, after Japan’s No.2 automaker posted a 14 percent rise in quarterly U.S. sales, closing in on rival Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

For the April-June quarter, Nissan posted a 4.3 percent quarterly operating profit margin for North America, up from the 3.8 percent it booked the same period a year ago. It sold around 350,000 vehicles in the United States, helped by the popular Altima sedan and Rogue SUV and a new dealership programme.

Jul 23, 2014

Japan readies fuel cell subsidies in bet on Toyota’s next big thing

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is readying subsidies to help Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and key suppliers take the lead in hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles that could top $400 million over the next several years if the most bullish projections for the technology play out.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s planned consumer rebates of at least $20,000 per vehicle would be the largest government support plan for hydrogen vehicles yet, raising the stakes for a commercially unproven technology with roots in the space race that Toyota and others see headed for the mainstream over the coming decades.

    • 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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