Posts tagged japanese automakers
Here’s a story that certainly plays to stereotypes: a new network of hydrogen refueling stations being built in Japan are the work of, surprise, oil companies. As The Japan Times reports, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. and 12 other companies – including automakers – are working together to establish about 100 new H2 stations, mostly in major cities.
For its part, the government is ready to “provide financial assistance and is considering deregulation,” The Japan Times writes, in part because it can cost up to six times as much to build a hydrogen station as it does a gas station. JX Nippon Oil installed the first of its planned 13 stations in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, last month.
Two Japanese automakers, Honda and Toyota, have long been bigger fans of hydrogen than pure electric vehicles. Honda has been leasing the FCX Clarity (pictured) for years and Toyota is working on a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for 2015. Hyundai, BMW, Daimler, Nissan and General Motors are among the automakers also publicly active in readying H2 vehicles for the near future.
Japan may subsidize, deregulate 100 new hydrogen fuel stations originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 20 May 2013 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
SHANGHAI (AP) — Japanese automakers promised special Chinese designs and green technology in addition to the usual flashy fanfare at this year's Shanghai Auto Show, trying to woo back sales that crumpled during a territorial dispute over East China Sea islands late last year.
By Yoko Kubota TOKYO (Reuters) – Four Japanese automakers including Toyota Motor Corp, and Nissan Motor Co are recalling 3.4 million vehicles sold around the world because airbags supplied by Takata Corp are at risk of catching fire or injuring passengers. The move announced on Thursday is the largest recall ever for airbags made by Takata, the world's second largest supplier of airbags and seatbelts. Shares of Takata tumbled almost 10 percent in Tokyo trading. The recall is the largest since Toyota pulled back more than 7 million vehicles in October. …
Best Year Since 2007, F-Series And Camry Remain Top-Sellers
Most automakers probably wish the party that was 2012 would keep right on going into 2013, because the past year was was very good for the auto industry in terms of sales. With December sales now reported, the final seasonally adjusted sales rate of the year is 15.38 million vehicles. Automotive News reports that 14.49 million light vehicles were sold in all, which is up 13 percent compared to 2011 and marks the third straight year of growth over 10 percent.
Of the major brands, Chrysler was the biggest winner with a 39.13-percent rise in sales compared to 2011, followed closely by Volkswagen with a gain of 35.06 percent. Of the big, big brands, however, Toyota led all with a rise of 27.12 percent on sales of 1,838,338 units. Honda followed with a gain of 12.69 percent on 1,266,569 sales. Both Japanese automakers can now be said to have fully recovered from both natural disasters that disrupted their production and supply lines, as well as recalls from previous years that had damaged both their brand images and reputations for sterling quality.
Perhaps it would be quicker to talk about the brands that didn’t perform well, as that group is much smaller. Coming in under a red flag were Cadillac (-1.71 percent), Jaguar (-2.16 percent) and Lincoln (-4.08 percent) – all luxury brands and each missing out on reporting a sales gain by relatively small margins. At the bottom of the barrel, however, is Mitsubishi, which found itself with sales falling 28.09 percent compared to 2011. Suzuki was also down, 4.73 percent to be exact, despite some speculating the fire sale of its remaining inventory would lead to an improvement in sales for the brand, which announced it was exiting the US market back in November.
Lastly, let’s go over some particular stats to give you a better picture of last year’s winners.
- Best-Selling Brand: Ford (2,168,015)
- Best-Selling Luxury Brand: Mercedes-Benz (295,063 *includes Sprinter)
- Best-Selling Vehicle: Ford F-Series (645,316)
- Best-Selling Car: Toyota Camry (404,886)
- Best-Selling CUV: Honda CR-V (281,652)
- Best-Selling Minivan: Dodge Caravan (141,468)
- Battle of the Pony Cars: Chevrolet Camaro (84,391, -4.4%) beat Ford Mustang (82,995, +17.8%)
- Top Five Midsize Sedans: Toyota Camry (404,886), Honda Accord (331,872), Nissan Altima (302,934), Ford Fusion (241,263), Hyundai Sonata (230,605)
- Top Five Minivans: Dodge Caravan (141,468), Honda Odyssey (125,980), Toyota Sienna (114,725), Chrysler Town & Country (111,744), Nissan Quest (18,275)
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 307 selling days in 2012 and 307 selling days in 2011, so there is no difference between the change in yearly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.
Thanks to currency fluctuations and their impact on the bottom line, a growing number of Japanese automakers are starting to increase vehicle production in the US, and it appears Subaru could be the next to do so. According to Bloomberg, Subaru is looking into expanding production capacity at its Lafayette, Indiana assembly plant, which currently builds the Outback, Legacy and Tribeca as well as the Toyota Camry.
Subaru’s Indiana plant currently has an annual maximum capacity of 310,000 units, but the automaker is expecting to far exceed that figure this year, with year-to-date sales of 299,788 units through November (not including Camry) – an increase of almost 30 percent over 2011. The report indicates that Subaru could expand the plant to add as many 50,000 additional units to the plant, likely in the form of either the Forester or Impreza.
Subaru mulling expanding Indiana plant for Forester, Impreza originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Dec 2012 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan took quite the toll on the automotive industry in that nation. Not content to lean on that tragedy as excuse for slagging sales, the Japanese automakers are planning on a major production expansion in North America. The aim is to reclaim the market share lost from the Tsunami-based dip, and overcome a dollar/yen exchange rate that makes exporting to America unprofitable.
Following the Tsunami, Japanese automakers ramped up production in their North American facilities to compensate, but according to Automotive News, Nissan, Honda and others have all reported plans for still-further increased production in the year ahead. As part of this ramp-up, Mazda will open a facility in Salamnca, Mexico before March of 2014. Part of that increase in output is 50,000 units of a Toyota-badged compact car, which Mazda will produce.
Other Mexican production facilities opening include a Honda plant, which will open in Spring 2014 in Celaya, and a Nissan plant, set to open later this year in Aguascalientes. Nissan also said that it will need another plant in North America within the next five years. According to Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn, the company aims to raise its stake in the US market from 8 percent to 10, and adding production will help achieve that goal. Even Mitsubishi is aiming to boost production at its Normal, Illinois plant. Production of the Outlander Sport is currently at 50,000, which Mitsubishi wants to raise to 70,000.
All of these moves come in reaction to growing demand for Japanese cars, as well as the yen’s growing value versus the American dollar. Such a disparity hurts Japanese automakers’ ability to make a profit from exporting vehicles. As a result, moving production to the US and Mexico have become the best viable option.
Japanese automakers ramping production for renewed American sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Nov 2012 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Automotive News reports Toyota saw a sizable jump in third-quarter North American sales and has adjusted its global forecast accordingly. All told, the Japanese automaker sold 598,000 units in North America during the last quarter, marking an increase of 45 percent over the same time period last year. As a result, operating profit in the region also increased to $807.1 million, though Toyota also credits much of that figure to additional output. The company stepped up North American production by 42 percent in the third quarter.
Last year at this time, the automaker was still reeling from the earthquake and tsunami disasters that struck Japan that March, and with its supply lines crippled, Toyota was forced to cut back production.
Like other Japanese automakers, Toyota has seen its sales in China plummet. Sales in the region fell off by some 49 percent in September compared to the same month a year prior due to anti-Japanese protests in the country.
Toyota sales surge by 45% in Q3, global forecast raised originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Nov 2012 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Electric-vehicle drivers are bracing for a battle that could make Obama-Romney look like the Tennessee Waltz.
The various automakers behind two incompatible plug-in standards for electric vehicle fast-charging stations are championing their own system as the better of the two just as global EV sales are expected to rise during the next few years. With more cars, more people will be looking for stations that can recharge their vehicles in a matter of minutes, Automotive News reports.
As regular readers will likely know, Japanese automakers like Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi are supporting the CHAdeMO standard, which was launched in 2010 and is used in 1,500 stations worldwide (all but 200 are in Japan). US and European automakers like BMW, General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen are instead standing behind the so-called SAE Combo standard, which was first demonstrated in May and is expected to debut by the end of the year. Combo supporters tout their standard as superior because, unlike CHAdeMO, it allows for one port to charge at both Level 2 and DC fast charge. CHAdeMO requires two different plugs. Earlier this month, SAE International finalized its so-called J1772 technical standards for Combo chargers.
The problem, as you might suspect, is that two competing systems, “could be another roadblock to the introduction of electric vehicles, increasing consumer resistance. A scattering of incompatible charging stations compounds range anxiety with plug anxiety,” writes Automotive News. In other words, this is exactly not what plug-in vehicles need
In May, a GM executive publicly called for a CHAdeMO embargo, while CHAdeMO supporters have called Combo “the plug without cars,” since no vehicles have been produced that are compatible with that standard.
This could get interesting.
Why SAE Combo vs. CHAdeMO battle could be a big problem originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 19:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Official: Ford tumbles to second worst in Consumer Reports reliability survey, list dominated by Japanese [w/video]
It’s no secret that MyFord Touch has had its share of problems since being introduced, but the most recent reliability survey from Consumer Reports shows just how much this infotainment system has affected Ford. Just two years ago, the automaker was in the top 10 for reliability, but since then, it has tumbled to the penultimate spot just above dead-last Jaguar. In addition to MyFord Touch, CR also attributes a handful of new products that have had issues right out of the gate.
Compiled from 1.2 million subscriber surveys, this year’s auto reliability survey heavily favors Japanese automakers with eight of the 10 spots hailing from Japan. Toyota products grabbed the top three spots (Scion, Toyota and Lexus – in that order) with Mazda, Subaru, Honda and Acura filling the next four spots. The only non-Asian automaker cracking the top 10 was Audi at number eight.
Audi climbed a total of 18 spots from last year, and Cadillac and GMC round out this year’s top gainers breaking into the top 15. Helping Cadillac’s upward movement, the CTS Coupe was named the most reliable domestic car. Lincoln, Volvo and Chrysler join Ford on this year’s biggest loser list.
Scroll down to see where some of the other brands rank for reliability this year.
Ford tumbles to second worst in Consumer Reports reliability survey, list dominated by Japanese [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Oct 2012 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T is considering trimming its 2012 group-wide production plan by about 2 percent because of a drop in sales in China after a territorial row, a Japanese newspaper reported, but the company denied it had altered its target.
Asia’s top automaker may cut its calendar-year production forecast for 10.05 million vehicles by around 200,000 vehicles, the Mid-Japan Economist newspaper said on its website on Thursday, without citing sources. The regional daily is based in central Japan, where Toyota’s headquarters is located.
“The figure cited in the report is not based on anything announced by us, and at this time there are no changes to the figures we presented earlier,” said Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada.
Shares in Toyota had risen 1.8 percent as of 0204 GMT to 3,115 yen, outperforming the Nikkei (.N225) index, which was up 1.26 percent.
Tetsuro Ii, the Chief Executive Officer of Commons Asset Management, said the shares rose because of a favorable dollar-yen exchange rate, and that investors do not see a big dent in the firm’s profits from the possible production cut.
“Because Toyota is very aware of the global slowdown at the moment, they’re trying hard to control their inventory and so they tend to put out very conservative estimates,” he said.
The yen, which has been trading recently in the 78-yen range against the dollar, weakened to about 79.1 yen in morning trade. A strong yen makes it more expensive for Japanese automakers to export cars from Japan.
Toyota’s original production target, which includes output at Daihatsu Motor 7262.T and Hino Motors 7205.T, would make Toyota the first automaker to produce more than 10 million vehicles in a year.
Showroom traffic and sales across China have plunged at Japanese car makers since mid-September when violent protests and calls for boycotts of Japanese products broke out in China over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea.
Toyota and its two local Chinese partners saw sales drop 48.9 percent in September from a year earlier to 44,100 vehicles.
A source previously told Reuters that Toyota’s production cutbacks in China were likely to extend through November, a move that would almost certainly put the company’s goal of selling 1 million cars in China this year out of reach.
Toyota, whose sales in China accounted for about 12 percent of its total global vehicle sales in 2011, is less exposed to the world’s biggest auto market than rivals Nissan Motor Co 7201.T and Honda Motor Co 7267.T.
Analysts have said that Japanese automakers could see a dent in sales in China for months. Takaki Nakanishi, an auto analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Tokyo, said that the impact could last three months in an optimistic scenario and up to six months in a pessimistic scenario.
Toyota has forecast group-wide global sales of 9.76 million vehicles in calendar year 2012. The automaker is set to announce its July-to-September earnings results on November 5.
(Reporting and writing by Yoko Kubota, James Topham, Mayumi Negishi and Sophie Knight; Editing by Michael Watson and Ken Wills)
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