GM Japan chief wary of weak yen

Douglas Herberger, president of General Motors Japan Ltd., expressed concern Jan. 31 over the yen’s recent depreciation, saying the firm would have to reassess its strategies in Japan if the trend continues.”If that trend continues, I will be very concerned,” Herberger said, adding that he hopes exchange rates fall to a range of between 95 yen and 105 yen to the dollar in the long term. Herberger, who became president of GM Japan this month, said his role is to develop and implement a consistent business strategy for the GM group in Japan, while maintaining the character of each brand within the group.He said the firm will target different segments of the Japanese auto market with different brands and work on providing the right vehicles at the right time at the right price for Japanese consumers. Most vehicles from the American “Big Three” automakers failed to meet sales targets in Japan last year, but Herberger said he “is pleased with the progress” in sales and market share that GM has made as a group.The GM group, which includes the highly popular German-made Opel brand, held the top share in the imported car market, he pointed out. Meeting consumers’ needs is the only way to succeed in the Japanese market, he stressed, declining to comment on an earlier remark by a U.S. Commerce Department official that the Japanese market is still not open.