Yoko's Feed
Jan 21, 2014

Toyota warning on Thai crisis reveals frustration, limited options

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) warning it could rethink further investment plans in Thailand looks aimed at signaling its deep frustration over a drawn-out political crisis, but Japanese car makers are unlikely to scale back Thai operations any time soon.

Until recently the likes of Toyota, Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have said mostly that anti-government protests in Bangkok, now in their third month, were having little impact on their local bases.

Jan 13, 2014

Special Report: Deadly airbags backfire on firm that crossed ‘dangerous bridge’

DETROIT/TOKYO (Reuters) – At a New Year’s party thrown by Honda in 1985, Juichiro Takada, heir to a family woven-cloth business that had branched into car seatbelts, divulged a decision. His company, Takata Corp, would steer clear of mass-producing automotive airbags.

The newest idea in car safety, cushions that inflated within thousandths of a second after an accident, was just too risky. One mistake could ruin the company he inherited from his father.

Jan 13, 2014

Deadly airbags backfire on firm that crossed ‘dangerous bridge’

DETROIT/TOKYO, Jan 13 (Reuters) – At a New Year’s party thrown by Honda in 1985, Juichiro
Takada, heir to a family woven-cloth business that had branched into car seatbelts, divulged a
decision. His company, Takata Corp, would steer clear of mass-producing automotive
airbags.

The newest idea in car safety, cushions that inflated within thousandths of a second after
an accident, was just too risky. One mistake could ruin the company he inherited from his
father.

Jan 12, 2014

In Japan, Detroit demands broad access but targets narrow niche

TOKYO, Jan 13 (Reuters) – American “muscle car” enthusiast
Satoshi Kimiwada says his business selling used Chevrolet
Camaros, Ford Mustangs other U.S. cars in Yokohama is on the
verge of extinction.

But he does not blame the “non-trade barriers” that U.S.
automakers say block their access to Japan’s car market, or the
trade negotiators in Washington and Tokyo whose talks to resolve
them have been bogged down in months of wrangling.

Dec 19, 2013

GS Yuasa: Dreamliner battery snafu shows suppliers must be more active

KYOTO, Japan (Reuters) – Japanese battery maker GS Yuasa Corp (6674.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said suppliers should take a more active role to ensure their technologies work properly in new settings, after its batteries overheated and grounded Boeing Co’s (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Dreamliner early this year.

The company, which is betting heavily on future demand in plug-in hybrid and electric cars and on new industrial applications for its loss-making lithium-ion batteries, learned important lessons from the Dreamliner incident, its president told Reuters in an interview.

Dec 15, 2013

Abenomics scorecard: ‘A’ for early initiative, ‘C’ for follow-through

TOKYO/DAITO, Japan, Dec 16 (Reuters) – One year into Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic revival plan the message from
Japan’s industrial heartland and economists is clear: he has yet
to act on his pledge to stage the nation’s comeback as a global
economic dynamo.

Abe’s recipe of massive money printing, fiscal stimulus
twinned with longer-run consolidation and pro-growth policies
has already made it into economic vernacular as “Abenomics” and
won praise for its initial “print and spend” stage.

Nov 20, 2013

Nissan unfazed by EV delays, dismisses rivals’ fuel cell targets

TOKYO (Reuters) – Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault SA (RENA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said he was unfazed by delays in his electric vehicle sales targets, predicting rivals would face even greater obstacles in their plans to launch fuel cell car sales over the next few years.

Ghosn on Wednesday reiterated that Renault and Nissan would push back by two to three years an initial target to sell a combined 1.5 million electric vehicles by end-March 2017.

Nov 19, 2013

As big automakers go electric, Mazda squeezes more from gasoline engines

HIROSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has only a tenth of Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) research and development budget, but is betting it can make the century-old internal combustion engine as fuel efficient as hybrids like its rival’s pioneering Prius.

The gamble on developing gasoline engines, while others move increasingly towards electric cars, could also show whether a small automaker can survive independently in a high-stakes market for mass-produced passenger cars dominated by the likes of Toyota, General Motors (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Nov 14, 2013

Mitsubishi Motors cuts Japan electric car price by up to $9,100

TOKYO, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors Corp
has slashed the price of its i-MiEV electric minicar in Japan by
up to $9,100, aiming to boost sluggish sales as makers of
electric vehicles face slower-than-expected acceptance of the
technology.

Japan’s sixth-biggest carmaker, which started selling the
i-MiEV in 2009, said on Thursday it was dropping the price of
its top of the range i-MiEV by around 25 percent, or 900,000 yen
($9,100), to 2.9 million yen.

Nov 11, 2013

Japan’s Nissan says to bring luxury Infiniti badge home

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd
will start selling Infiniti-badged cars in Japan for
the first time as it tries to position the brand as a global
competitor to prestige European cars, the company said on
Monday.

Japan’s second-biggest carmaker said it will sell its
redesigned Skyline sedan with the Infiniti badge on the front,
steering wheel and wheels from late February 2014. The model is
sold overseas as the Infiniti Q50.

    • 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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