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Feb 5, 2014

Mazda, Mitsubishi see record annual profits, warn on Thailand

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Japan’s second-tier carmakers Mazda
Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors Corp are
expecting record level profits buoyed by a weaker yen after
years of being on the brink, but both warned about a slowdown in
Thailand.

Mazda on Wednesday raised its annual operating profit
forecast by 12.5 percent to 180 billion yen ($1.8 billion), in
line with expectations and higher than the record 162.1 billion
yen it booked four years ago before the Lehman crisis hit.

Feb 4, 2014

Toyota says expects record annual profit, maintains outlook

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) raised its operating profit forecast for the financial year by 9 percent to a record 2.4 trillion yen ($23.7 billion) as the yen, which has fallen against the dollar by some 9 percent this financial year, buoys profits of the export-oriented car maker.

The world’s best-selling automaker said on Tuesday it now expects to post 2.4 trillion yen in annual operating profit, up from its previous forecast of 2.2 trillion yen and higher than its pre-Lehman crisis record of 2.27 trillion yen from six years ago.

Feb 3, 2014

In trickle-down Abenomics, some Toyota suppliers come up dry

NAGOYA, Japan, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp
is one of the conspicuous success stories of Japan’s radical
efforts to revive its economy, with profits rebounding and its
60,000 workers in Japan hoping this year to receive their first
base wage rise in six years.

But when the carmaker reports on Tuesday quarterly profits
that are likely to be nearly five times what it booked a year
ago, its continued revival will mask a much less optimistic mood
among the auto industry’s smaller firms.

Jan 31, 2014

Honda warns on emerging markets while aiming for record sales

TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) warned auto demand is cooling in emerging markets and especially Southeast Asia, but Japan’s third-biggest carmaker remained upbeat about its prospects and said it aims to sell a record 4.5 million vehicles or more in 2014.

Honda said new, smaller models would help it to maintain strong sales growth in some key emerging markets like Indonesia and India where industry-wide demand has been ebbing.

Jan 28, 2014

Toyota to curb Japan output in April as tax hike kicks in

TOKYO, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp plans
to curb daily vehicle output in Japan by 15 percent in April
from a year earlier as it adjusts for a dampening of demand from
a national sales tax rise, a source familiar with its production
plans said on Tuesday.

The tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent is widely expected
to spur a pickup in consumer spending before it goes into effect
on April 1, followed by a temporary slump when it kicks in.

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.

    • 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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