Japan

Subaru scraps plan to shift Crosstrek production to U.S., report says

7:50 am U.S. ET | Dec. 25, 2014
Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru brand cars and SUVs, has scrapped a plan to shift production of the new XV Crosstrek to its plant in the United States and will instead make the SUV in Japan, a source familiar with the company's production plans told Reuters....
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Japan's laws, attitude help recalls work better

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 21, 2014
In Japan, automakers achieve recall rates that automakers in North America could only dream of....
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Takata airbag crisis may spur maintenance changes in Japan

8:54 am U.S. ET | Dec. 18, 2014
Takata's airbag crisis could spur changes to how car owners maintain their vehicles, with Japan’s automakers discussing whether drivers should regularly replace the chemicals used to inflate the safety devices....
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Takata tightens screws on suppliers as airbag crisis mounts, report says

8:05 am U.S. ET | Dec. 14, 2014
Takata has begun enforcing tighter quality controls on a group of parts suppliers as the auto safety equipment maker boosts production to replace millions of air bags recalled for a potentially deadly defect, people familiar with the situation told Reuters....
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Honda planning worldwide recall for Takata airbags, Ito says

5:53 am U.S. ET | Dec. 9, 2014
Honda President Takanobu Ito said his company is planning to launch a worldwide investigative airbag recall, just days after extending a similar callback in the United States. Ito also expressed frustration with the response of Japanese airbag supplier Takata, but said Honda will offer support if Takata tips into financial difficulties....
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Toyota overhauls supply chain to aid r&d efforts

6:30 am U.S. ET | Dec. 9, 2014
Toyota is overhauling its Toyota Group supplier network to better support its next generation product platform and develop advanced active safety technologies....
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Toyota widens airbag recalls to China, Japan

Dec. 4, 2014 13:07 CET
Toyota has widened a U.S. recall of its vehicles linked to defective airbags made by Takata to include some of the same models in China and Japan, after one of the devices ruptured in a car at a scrapyard in its home country....
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Toyota widens airbag recalls after Japan scrapyard rupture

6:55 am U.S. ET | Dec. 4, 2014
Toyota Motor widened a recall of its vehicles linked to defective airbags to include some of the same models in Japan and China, after one of the devices ruptured in a car at a scrapyard in its home country....
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Takata chief called to explain airbag crisis to Japan's industry ministry, report says

10:08 am U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
Japan's powerful industry ministry has summoned Shigehisa Takada, chairman and CEO of Takata, to explain what the company is doing to resolve a crisis over potentially deadly airbags, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters....
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Bob Thomas, former U.S. boss of Nissan, dies at 69

7:09 am U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
Bob Thomas, who led Nissan's United States sales operations in the 1990s before joining AutoNation and Edmunds, has died in Hawaii. Thomas died November 23 after a brief illness, according to friends and former colleagues. He was 69....
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Takata Mexico airbag plant inspection finds safety shortcomings

6:37 am U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
Takata, the airbag supplier at the center of a recall crisis, was told by Mexico’s government to take 171 measures to improve health and safety at a plant tasked with making millions of replacement air bags....
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Airbag explosion in scrapyard has Japan weighing more recalls

6:12 am U.S. ET | Dec. 2, 2014
Japan’s investigation into dangerous airbags is leading to a remote scrapyard in the central Gifu prefecture, where the explosion of a car model not included in current recalls suggests automakers may have to yet again expand their safety campaigns....
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Inside Takata, tantrums, but little sense of crisis over airbag recalls

10:17 am U.S. ET | Nov. 30, 2014
Shigehisa Takada, the third-generation head of Takata, shows little sense of the crisis engulfing the Japanese airbag maker at the center of one of the auto industry's biggest safety recalls, say people who have met him recently....
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Takata recalls could shake trust in Japan auto industry, minister warns

10:34 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 27, 2014
Takata's safety crisis linked to five fatal auto accidents threatens to shake confidence in Japanese manufacturing and the country's auto industry, the nation's transport minister warned....
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Secretive Lexus LFA workshop now makes Toyota Mirai fuel cell sedan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 27, 2014
Toyota has struggled until now to fill the void at the secretive workshop in Japan where the Lexus LFA was assembled ever since the last $375,000 sports car rolled off a line in December 2012....
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Takata airbag rupture in Japan signals more automaker recalls

6:36 am U.S. ET | Nov. 26, 2014
Japan's transportation ministry said a Takata airbag ruptured in a model not covered by existing recalls, suggesting automakers may have to expand safety campaigns to replace the devices linked to five deaths....
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EDITORIAL

Global companies should abide by the same rules

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 24, 2014
Of all forms of price fixing, the practice of suppliers pre-arranging high and low bids on various contracts to share the business is distinctly Japanese. Nominally, it fits a national culture that values consensus and avoids conflict....
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PHILIP NUSSEL

Automakers can stop supplier price-fixing now, but will they?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 22, 2014
Auto supplier price-fixing is a global criminal epidemic that stifles fair competition, inflates the cost of components for automakers, erodes investor confidence and rips off the customer. The auto industry can make it all stop right now, but will they?...
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HANS GREIMEL

Japan's fugitive execs have called DOJ's bluff

9:56 am U.S. ET | Nov. 21, 2014
Are the fugitive Japanese businessmen indicted for alleged price fixing calling the U.S. government's bluff?...
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DAVE GUILFORD

Ghosn sets the record straight on price-fixing conspiracy

12:53 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 20, 2014
In our package of stories on supplier price-fixing published Monday, one report said Carlos Ghosn inadvertently created the bid-rigging tradition. It was an intriguing scenario. But Carlos Ghosn begs to differ....
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Confessions of a price fixer

6:00 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 16, 2014
As one after another Japanese auto supplier gets snagged for price fixing, it is the unwritten rule, say insiders and lawyers, that middle managers sometimes take the fall for superiors and get rewarded for not airing the company's dirty laundry in public court. This is one such story....
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Supplier upheaval fueled price fixing

6:00 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 16, 2014
To hear auto industry insiders in Japan, the country's problems with bid rigging began to spiral in the early 2000s. Or, more specifically, with the arrival of Carlos Ghosn, the cost-cutting CEO who parachuted into a nearly bankrupt Nissan Motor Co. and blew up the carmaker's ossified supplier network....
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SLICING THE PIE

At 'bid meetings,' suppliers aimed to maintain one another's market share

6:00 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 16, 2014
When Japanese auto suppliers schemed to fix prices, it was as much about protecting market share as pumping up profits, an industry insider said. In textbook Japanese fashion, in which consensus rule trumped individual agendas, rival companies agreed to protect the status quo, lest someone was pushed out altogether....
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Takata's chairman a no-show as airbag crisis endangers dynasty

11:06 am U.S. ET | Nov. 11, 2014
Takata Chairman Shigehisa Takada’s failure to come forward and address an airbag crisis ensnaring the world’s biggest automakers risks shaking investor confidence in the 81-year-old manufacturer’s prospects....
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Want to test drive the Lexus RC? Anyone?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014
Well, this is embarrassing. For Toyota, as well as Japan's so-called automotive press corps. Toyota notified journalists this month that a long-scheduled new-car test-drive event was scrubbed -- for lack of interest....
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