BLOG: Hans Greimel

How Infiniti will move ahead without de Nysschen

Posted 6:55 am U.S. ET, July 11
blogs Hans Greimel is Asia editor for Automotive News.
 
TOKYO -- It’s unsettling when a newly-hired executive bolts for the door after a short stay, without achieving his goals. Dealers and employees at Infiniti understandably may feel some unease following today's news that President Johan de Nysschen is leaving the brand after just two years to take over as president of Cadillac.  To be sure, de Nysschen's unexpe ...
     Continue reading "How Infiniti will move ahead without de Nysschen" » Jul 11, 2014 6:55 am U.S. ET
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In 1 day, Ford blitzes China with 88 stores

Posted 7:22 am U.S. ET, June 23
This must be some kind of record. It speaks to the rampant pace of business in China and the bounding aspirations of Ford Motor Co. there. Over the span of just one day -- June 19 -- Ford opened 88 dealerships in the country, bringing its total to 750 outlets in the world’s biggest auto market. The bulk of those stores are in the up-and-coming lower tier cities tha ...
     Continue reading "In 1 day, Ford blitzes China with 88 stores" » Jun 23, 2014 7:22 am U.S. ET
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In India, torrential rains mean good business

Posted 10:42 am U.S. ET, June 16
TOKYO -- We’ve all seen the stereotypical pictures of peak monsoon season in India: Throngs of people wading waist-deep through cities swamped with muddy water. But this year’s monsoon season, which started this month, the Indian auto industry is worried about slumping sales because there is not enough water. “A bad monsoon would certainly mean some neg ...
     Continue reading "In India, torrential rains mean good business" » Jun 16, 2014 10:42 am U.S. ET
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Hyundai goes 'Gangnam Style' with glitzy global showcase

Posted 12:42 pm U.S. ET, May 16
Hyundai is going “Gangnam Style” with a glitzy new showcase smack in the middle of its hometown’s ritziest neighborhood. The five-floor Hyundai Motorstudio is a gallery-plus-cafe-plus-library-plus-playground-plus-tuning garage aimed at making the South Korea automaker’s “brand experience a culture in itself,” the company says. Its defi ...
     Continue reading "Hyundai goes 'Gangnam Style' with glitzy global showcase" » May 16, 2014 12:42 pm U.S. ET
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Akio's world: When growth is no growth

Posted 3:14 pm U.S. ET, May 9
TOKYO -- Akio Toyoda is the first to admit it. He doesn’t count company growth the same way as other captains of industry -- or Wall Street profit hounds, for that matter. “Growth today has a different meaning for Toyota,” the Toyota Motor Corp. president said this week while announcing record full-year net income and operating profit at the world&rsquo ...
     Continue reading "Akio's world: When growth is no growth" » May 9, 2014 3:14 pm U.S. ET
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Gridlock and chaos on the Beijing auto show floor

Posted 7:30 am U.S. ET, April 21
BEIJING -- The Beijing auto show is renowned for being a full-contact sport of sorts. Walking the aisles, nay, even trying to enter the venue, can be a survival-of-the-fittest tussle. The noise is deafening, the crowds downright oppressive and the logistics of getting to the site a Sisyphean nightmare. So it was with near disbelief that I had to walk only 20 minutes past ...
     Continue reading "Gridlock and chaos on the Beijing auto show floor" » Apr 21, 2014 7:30 am U.S. ET
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A rare misfire for Subaru with new Levorg wagon?

Posted 10:39 am U.S. ET, April 17
TOKYO -- Subaru, one of the hottest brands in the United States, may have chalked up a rare misfire with its newest nameplate -- a small wagon dubbed the Levorg. And I’m not just talking about the car’s tortured nomenclature. The direct-injection turbocharged sports tourer goes on sale in Japan in May. But advance orders of the Levorg have missed the company ...
     Continue reading "A rare misfire for Subaru with new Levorg wagon?" » Apr 17, 2014 10:39 am U.S. ET
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Why it might be OK for GM to mirror Toyota on recall decisions

Posted 2:01 pm U.S. ET, March 18
TOKYO -- On Monday it seemed as though GM’s ignition switch recall wouldn’t plumb the depths of Toyota’s unintended-acceleration debacle back in 2010. Yet mere hours after I wrote an analysis to that effect, GM’s path took an eerily similar turn. Until then, GM’s recalls hadn’t spread across the company’s lineup to other problems ...
     Continue reading "Why it might be OK for GM to mirror Toyota on recall decisions" » Mar 18, 2014 2:01 pm U.S. ET
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A Lexus van for high rollers? Dealer makes a case

Posted 7:11 am U.S. ET, March 12
TOKYO -- Speculation never ends about what new segment Lexus might tap into next: seven-passenger SUVs, entry-level compacts, a new top-end super sports car a la LFA. Now add one more to the rumor pile: a one-box van. That’s right, a Lexus van with sliding rear doors. That, at least, is the request from one of the biggest Toyota-Lexus dealers in Japan. He says dea ...
     Continue reading "A Lexus van for high rollers? Dealer makes a case " » Mar 12, 2014 7:11 am U.S. ET
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In Mexico, drug lords throw just-in-time Japanese off schedule

Posted 6:44 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 28
SALAMANCA, Mexico -- To the abhorrence of assembled Japanese executives and journalists, the inauguration of Mazda Motor Corp.'s assembly plant in Mexico last week started nearly an hour-and-a-half late, as dignitaries squirmed in the heat under an outdoor tent.Yet, when the ceremony finally began, the local governor asserted -- with no hint of irony -- that the Japanese a ...
     Continue reading "In Mexico, drug lords throw just-in-time Japanese off schedule" » Feb 28, 2014 6:44 pm U.S. ET
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Why Honda's Insight is no longer a good Fit

Posted 8:07 am U.S. ET, Feb. 17
TOKYO -- Honda is pulling the plug on the Insight and CR-Z hybrids in Europe. Could a similar kill-off happen Stateside?Dropping them would pare the brand of its biggest deadwood. Each sold fewer than 5,000 units in the United States last year.And that seems to be the primary motivation behind last week's announcement to stop selling the models in Europe, where volume has ...
     Continue reading "Why Honda's Insight is no longer a good Fit" » Feb 17, 2014 8:07 am U.S. ET
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French automakers beat U.S. rivals back to Iran

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 14
TOKYO — Sanctions have barely been eased on Iran and the Detroit 3 are being beaten back to the market by French rivals. It's not surprising: Washington still keeps U.S. businesses and individuals shackled by stricter trade restrictions.Chalk it up as a case of geopolitical stalemate handicapping U.S. automakers in an age where winning emerging markets -- or in this ...
     Continue reading "French automakers beat U.S. rivals back to Iran" » Feb 14, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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French automakers beat U.S. rivals back to Iran

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 14
Sanctions have barely been eased on Iran and the Detroit 3 are being beaten back to the market by French rivals. It's not surprising: Washington still keeps U.S. businesses and individuals shackled by stricter trade restrictions.Chalk it up as a case of geopolitical stalemate handicapping U.S. automakers in an age where winning emerging markets – or in this case, re- ...
     Continue reading "French automakers beat U.S. rivals back to Iran" » Feb 14, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Behind the wheel of Nissan's taxi of tomorrow

Posted 11:26 am U.S. ET, Jan. 31
YOKOSUKA, Japan -- If you've ever been on a harrowing New York taxi ride, you know speed and maneuverability are key. To the drivers at least.They push their people movers to the max on mad dashes to Kennedy airport and in impromptu Broadway drag races, darting around slower traffic.So when I recently climbed behind the wheel of New York's next-generation "taxi of tomorrow ...
     Continue reading "Behind the wheel of Nissan's taxi of tomorrow" » Jan 31, 2014 11:26 am U.S. ET
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Nissan's 2 big holes to plug with rival Honda

Posted 2:22 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 29
TOKYO -- The numbers are in, and Nissan Motor Co. kept its hold as Japan's No. 2 automaker in 2013, holding a wide margin over third-place Honda Motor Co.Nissan beat Honda's global sales by some 800,000 vehicles. And CEO Carlos Ghosn's carmaker edged its Japanese rival in almost every major market worldwide.But there were two glaring exceptions: the United States and Japan ...
     Continue reading "Nissan's 2 big holes to plug with rival Honda" » Jan 29, 2014 2:22 pm U.S. ET
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Asia flexes status as production powerhouse

Posted 2:00 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 27
TOKYO -- Where will the bulk of the world's cars be assembled this year?More than a third of the global total will be manufactured in Asia -- and we're not talking about Japan. The developing Asia-Pacific region, which includes China, India, Thailand and Indonesia, will churn out a whopping 30.21 million cars in 2014, according to a new Autofacts forecast by consultancy Pw ...
     Continue reading "Asia flexes status as production powerhouse" » Jan 27, 2014 2:00 pm U.S. ET
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In Korea, free trade still not balanced trade

Posted 12:07 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 10
TOKYO -- Import car sales in South Korea rocketed 20 percent higher in 2013 to an all-time high. Proof that the U.S. free-trade pact is finally paying off for Detroit? Think again.True enough: Imported car sales soared to a record 156,497 vehicles last year in that import-averse market from a previous record of 130,858 vehicles in 2012, according to the Korea Automobile Im ...
     Continue reading "In Korea, free trade still not balanced trade" » Jan 10, 2014 12:07 pm U.S. ET
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No car? No problem for Lexus ad spot

Posted 11:47 am U.S. ET, Dec. 12
TOKYO -- It’s not quite the “Rocks and Trees” show-no-car advertising campaign that Infiniti used, controversially, to launch itself in the United States in 1989.But Lexus’ new “Swarm” TV spot comes close.The car makes only a fleeting cameo at the very end of a 1-minute romp that is a cross between Star Wars and “Flight of the Bumb ...
     Continue reading "No car? No problem for Lexus ad spot" » Dec 12, 2013 11:47 am U.S. ET
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A guide to the models, and models, of the Tokyo show

Posted 10:08 am U.S. ET, Nov. 22
TOKYO -- Are you familiar with the official guide to the models on display at the Tokyo Motor Show? It gives the dimensions, name, model "year" and location of each "exhibit."And it's packed with eye-catching glossy color photos.But the models splayed across its pages have two legs, long hair and are wedged into pink miro-miniskirts or white hotpants. The key spec here is ...
     Continue reading "A guide to the models, and models, of the Tokyo show" » Nov 22, 2013 10:08 am U.S. ET
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After 4 tough years, the buzz is back in Tokyo

Posted 10:30 am U.S. ET, Nov. 20
TOKYO -- The buzz was back at the opening press day of the Tokyo Motor Show.And the rekindled interest is welcome relief for the beleaguered biennial show.It has slogged through two best-forgotten performances since 2009. That year's show was torpedoed by the global financial crisis, and the 2011 event was overshadowed by that year's killer earthquake-tsunami and lingering ...
     Continue reading "After 4 tough years, the buzz is back in Tokyo" » Nov 20, 2013 10:30 am U.S. ET
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In the pink with Hustler in Tokyo

Posted 2:59 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 20
TOKYO -- The Tokyo Motor Show is a traditional launchpad for bizarre car names.Remember the Daihatsu Naked Be-Pal? Well, this year is no exception, though perhaps not as wanton as the golden years of Japan's economic bubble.For starters, consider the Subaru Levorg. The car looks fine; it's a compact wagon tourer with a downsized 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. But the name? ...
     Continue reading "In the pink with Hustler in Tokyo" » Nov 20, 2013 2:59 pm U.S. ET
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Japan frets as U.S. budget impasse spoils profit outlook

Posted 3:20 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 10
TOKYO -- Japan's carmakers are nervously watching Washington's budget battle and debt debate, because they could end up big losers in an extended shutdown or default.How so?Japan's brands were just starting to coast on comfortable yen-dollar exchange rates, after a four-year slog through record highs that torpedoed profits.Now, the congressional impasse is unraveling all t ...
     Continue reading "Japan frets as U.S. budget impasse spoils profit outlook" » Oct 10, 2013 3:20 pm U.S. ET
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Downside of Abenomics hits Japan's automakers

Posted 8:19 am U.S. ET, Oct. 4
TOKYO -- Abenomics, the pet name for Japan's economic revival, has worked magic on the yen, boosting the country's carmakers.But now the other shoe is about to fall: Tax hikes.This week Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he will raise Japan's sales tax to 8 percent, from 5 percent, in April. The move will likely further depress an already moribund domestic auto market.Annual a ...
     Continue reading "Downside of Abenomics hits Japan's automakers" » Oct 4, 2013 8:19 am U.S. ET
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Despite leaky nuke plant, Japan Inc. snags Olympics

Posted 1:29 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 10
TOKYO -- Japan subdued international anxiety about the perpetually leaking Fukushima nuclear plant -- just 150 miles northeast of Tokyo -- to snag the 2020 Summer Olympics.The coup already is being hailed as a big win for Japan Inc. and, by extension, the country's automakers -- chief among them Toyota Motor Corp., a major sponsor of Tokyo's bid for the games.Honda Motor C ...
     Continue reading "Despite leaky nuke plant, Japan Inc. snags Olympics" » Sep 10, 2013 1:29 pm U.S. ET
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Why a North Korean car plant faces grim realities

Posted 12:08 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 4
 TOKYO -- Which of these recent North Korea headlines is made up?Supreme leader Kim Jong Un executes ex-girlfriend by firing squad in front of relatives over self-made porn video.Former NBA star Dennis Rodman lands in North Korea to visit his “friend,” dictator Kim Jong Un, and form a basketball league.Chinese carmaker FAW -- a joint venture partner of GM, ...
     Continue reading "Why a North Korean car plant faces grim realities" » Sep 4, 2013 12:08 pm U.S. ET
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