May 19, 2014

New group to lead joint research into automobile engines

by Masaaki Kameda

A joint research initiative for developing car engines will be led by the Research Association of Automobile Internal Combustion Engines (AICE), it was announced Monday. The aim of consolidating the industry’s research into nonpolluting, fuel-efficient engines is to reduce development costs at each of ...

Yen losing force as driver of automakers' profits

May 13, 2014

Yen losing force as driver of automakers' profits

by Masaaki Kameda

The fiscal year ending March 2015 is looking less rosy for Japanese automakers, who are unlikely to benefit any further from the weakened yen because of fierce overseas competition, experts say. Profit growth at Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor. Co. ...

Maserati, others taking on Toyota at home

May 12, 2014

Maserati, others taking on Toyota at home

by Ma Jie and Yuki Hagiwara

Maserati, Volkswagen and other foreign automakers are riding their best sales streak in years in Japan, as the economy improves and drivers like Taichi Matsukura try to stand out amid a sea of Toyotas. “When I opened the door, the colors and interior immediately ...

Sales rise boosts operating profit at Honda by 38%

Apr 25, 2014

Sales rise boosts operating profit at Honda by 38%

by Masaaki Kameda

Honda Motor Co. said Friday it logged a group operating profit of ¥750.2 billion, up 37.7 percent, for the business year ended March on higher sales of four-wheel vehicles and motorcycles and the yen’s fall. Consolidated net profit jumped 56.4 percent to ¥574.1 billion ...

Apr 24, 2014

Domestic car output up fourth year

The combined domestic output of Japan’s top eight automakers rose 3.6 percent from to 9,379,989 units in fiscal 2013 ended last month, up for the fourth consecutive year, data released by the firms showed this week. The growth was backed by new models and ...

Apr 21, 2014

Carmakers pin China hopes on Beijing Auto Show

Japanese automakers faced lingering political tensions between Japan and China as the Beijing auto show opened to the media over the weekend. The motor show, the largest in the world’s biggest car market, has attracted more than 2,000 companies from 14 countries and regions. ...

Apr 18, 2014

Fit-based crossover gets U.S. push

by Alan Ohnsman

Honda Motor Co. is expanding its lineup with the HR-V sport-utility vehicle in an effort to boost sales by tapping a growing U.S. market for small crossovers. The 2015 HR-V, which shares a platform with the subcompact Fit hatchback, will debut “this winter,” the ...

Apr 17, 2014

Automakers show off new SUV, luxury models in New York

Japanese carmakers revealed new and redesigned sedans and sport utility vehicles at the annual New York International Auto Show on Wednesday. Toyota Motor Corp. launched the 2015 Camry with a revamped exterior, quieter passenger cabin and three engine choices, including a hybrid option. The ...

Apr 10, 2014

Mexico passes Japan to become No. 2 car exporter to the U.S.

Mexico’s booming auto industry has reached a major milestone, claiming to have overtaken Japan as the second-biggest car exporter to the United States in the past three months. The Latin American nation now only trails Canada, but experts say Mexico could become the top ...

Toyota's Aqua hybrid sedan retains top spot for sales

Apr 4, 2014

Toyota's Aqua hybrid sedan retains top spot for sales

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Aqua subcompact hybrid was the nation’s top seller in fiscal 2013, retaining the highest slot for the second consecutive year, industry data showed Friday. Sales totaled 259,686 units for the Aqua, which has remained popular since its launch in December 2011. ...