Japans yen policy puts output at risk says Nissan’s Cheif Ghosn

Nissan Motor Co 7201.T Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said the Japanese governments efforts to rein in the rise of the yen had failed, forcing manufacturers to reduce investment in Japan and shift output elsewhere.

"If the Japanese government wants to really safeguard and develop employment, then something has to be done," Ghosn told Reuters in an interview in New York. "We have been talking about this as an industry for a while. Unfortunately, it keeps happening. It looks like whatever effort has been done so far has not delivered results."

"We have to have some vision of what is going to be the exchange rate landscape," he added.

Read the rest of the story: Japans yen policy puts output at risk: Ghosn.

Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association Says Demand May Drop 14% This Year

Demand for cars, trucks and buses in Japan may drop 14 percent this year after the March 11 earthquake cut production and demand, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

Sales may drop to 4.25 million vehicles, the automakers group said today in a statement in Tokyo. For the fiscal year ending March 31, demand may drop 3.3 percent from a year earlier to 4.45 million, it said.

Read the rest of the story: Japan Automakers Group Says Demand to Drop 14% This Year.

Japan automakers output still a mixed bag

Japan’s automakers reported mixed vehicle production figures Monday as the industry works toward recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Some, such as Nissan, are doing considerably better than others.

Nissan Motor Co. made 419,831 vehicles worldwide in June, up 18.5 percent from the same time last year and an all-time record for a single month.

Its production in Japan rose 1.9 percent to 102,390 units thanks to strong demand for the Juke and Rogue crossovers. Global vehicle sales rose more than 13 percent in volume terms, and exports jumped 25 percent.

Read the rest of the story: Japan automakers output on the mend after disaster.

Japan new vehicle sales fall by record 51%

Japan’s domestic sales of new cars, trucks and buses logged their biggest-ever drop in April, an industry group said Monday as the March quake and tsunami hit production and supplies to dealers.

The sales came to 108,824 units in April, down 51 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.

The drop, far steeper than a 37 percent fall in March, was the biggest since the data began being recorded in 1968. The previous record fall was 45.1 percent in May 1974 when Japan was reeling from the oil crisis.

Read the rest of the story: Japan new vehicle sales fall by record 51%.

Industry crisis worsens for Japanese Automakers

Latest developments in the auto industry following Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The twin disaster and subsequent damage to nuclear reactors have disrupted the flow of auto parts and cars around the world.

In Japan:

• Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s No. 1 automaker, plans to restart production of the Prius and two Lexus hybrids — the HS 250h and CT 200h — on March 28. The company is expected to keep most of its other plants closed into next week, according to IHS’ Global Insight Automotive Report.

• Honda Motor Co. extended a shutdown of car production at its Saitama and Suzuka factories until April 3. It will restart motorcycle production on March 28. "Honda’s core supplier base could be most affected by the disaster," according to IHS.

• Nissan Motor Co. resumed production of the Nissan Leaf at its Oppama and Zama plants, but said the ability to keep producing the cars will depend on the frequency of rolling blackouts.

Read the rest of the story: As Japan shutdowns drag on, auto crisis worsens.

Honda’s take on the PHEV Motor System

Honda Motor Co Ltd disclosed the details of the electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) that it will start testing in Japan.

The PHEV is based on Honda’s "Inspire" sedan. The company combined an in-line four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with a displacement of 2.0L, two motors and a lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable battery. One of the motors has a maximum output of 120kW and is used to drive the vehicle and regenerate energy. The other is used as a generator that can generate about 100kW of electricity.

The most distinctive feature of the PHEV is its two-motor system, which is different from the one equipped in Toyota Motor Corp’s PHEV and can independently operate the engine and the motors. As a result, it becomes possible to drive the vehicle (1) as an EV only by electricity, (2) as a hybrid vehicle by using the engine and the motors and (3) as a gasoline vehicle by using only the engine.

Read the rest of the story: Honda’s PHEV Has Different Motor System From Toyota’s.

Toyota Recalling 1.53 Million Cars for Fluid Leak

Toyota Motor Corp.’s recall of 1.53 million autos worldwide for a flaw linked to brake-fluid leaks boosts the company’s tally of U.S. vehicles requiring repairs to more than 5 million this year. Honda Motor Co. plans to fix hundreds of thousands of vehicles for the same defect.

Toyota said yesterday it will repair about 740,000 vehicles in the U.S. and 599,000 in Japan with rubber seals at risk of allowing leaks. U.S. models affected include Avalon sedans, Highlander sport-utility vehicles and Lexus GS 300, IS 250 and IS 350 luxury cars. The Toyota City, Japan-based company has announced recalls covering 5.4 million U.S. autos this year.

“They seem to know they must be very open about this to restore customer confidence,” said Ian Fletcher, an analyst at IHS Automotive in London. “They can’t afford anymore to have the massive political trial they had in the U.S.”

Read the rest of the story: Toyota to Recall 1.53 Million Cars for Fluid Leak.

Ford and Mazda ties still strong

Ford Motor Co. said Sunday its relationship with Mazda Motor Corp. has not changed, in the wake of media reports that the automaker plans to sell down its stake.

Ford spokeswoman Mark Truby said the company does not comment on speculation about its stake in Mazda. But he said Sunday the company’s relationship with Mazda has not been changed.

"We continue to have a collaborative relationship with Mazda," he said.

Read the rest of the story: Ford: We’re not dumping stake in Mazda – Business – Autos.


Toyota Hybrids Sales in Japan Top 1 Million Units, Global Sales over 2.68 Million

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that cumulative sales in Japan of its hybrid vehicles have topped the 1-million mark, while more than 2.68 million units have been sold globally as of July 31, 2010(1).

In August 1997 in Japan, TMC launched its first hybrid vehicle, the Toyota "Coaster Hybrid EV" minibus. In December of the same year, TMC launched the Toyota "Prius" – the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. The use of the Toyota hybrid system was subsequently expanded to such vehicles as minivans, SUVs and rear-wheel-drive sedans. In 2009, TMC broadened its range of hybrid vehicles further with the launch of the third-generation Prius, as well as two other dedicated hybrid vehicles, the Lexus "HS250h" and the Toyota "Sai". Currently, nine TMC-produced hybrid passenger vehicle models and three hybrid commercial vehicle models are sold in Japan.

via Sales in Japan of Toyota Hybrids Top 1 Million Units, Global Sales Pass 2.68 Million Units.

Nissan Launches New March subcompact

Japan – Nissan took the wraps off its new March subcompact Tuesday, which is being manufactured in Thailand for sale in Japan, underlining a trend for Japanese automakers to shift more production abroad.

Nissan Motor Co. said it was setting up a special inspection facility at its Oppama plant in Japan, which used to make the model, to do additional quality checks on the Thai-made March to ensure it makes the cut with notoriously finicky Japanese customers.

Read the rest of the story: Nissan takes lead with Thai-made March in Japan