Japan

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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HANS GREIMEL

Lexus RC media test drive canceled in Japan -- for lack of interest

12:08 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 6, 2014
Well, this is embarrassing. For Toyota as well as Japan's so-called automotive press corps. Toyota notified journalists last week that a long-scheduled new-car test-drive event was scrubbed -- for lack of interest....
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Mazda, Fuji Heavy post big quarterly profit gains on weak yen

6:49 am U.S. ET | Oct. 31, 2014
Mazda Motor and Subaru's parent company Fuji Heavy Industries today posted rosy second-quarter profit growth as a weak yen made their exports more lucrative....
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Mitsubishi's net rises 8 percent as U.S. sales soar

3:28 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 29, 2014
Mitsubishi Motors said net income rose 8 percent in the latest quarter, aided by results in North America....
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HANS GREIMEL

New Subaru marketing could foreshadow upmarket push

10:24 am U.S. ET | Oct. 28, 2014
If you liked the quality of Subaru cars before, you're going to love the “new” quality the brand aspires to. That's the marketing meme Subaru is cultivating in Japan under a “New Subaru Quality” push aiming to move its image upmarket....
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Infotainment glitches haunt automakers in Consumer Reports' reliability survey

12:45 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
Infotainment hiccups nagged the industry in the Consumer Reports 2014 Annual Auto Reliability Survey, while problems with the Q50 caused Infiniti's ranking to plummet....
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HANS GREIMEL

Japanese automakers drive UK car industry's rebound

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 24, 2014
The UK's car industry is staging a big comeback. And it's mostly due to some not-so English names: Nissan, Toyota and Honda....
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Honda, after 5th Fit recall, appoints first quality czar; top execs take pay cut

6:28 am U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014
In an unprecedented move, Honda, announcing its fifth Fit recall in 12 months, appointed a quality czar to clamp down on problems. Senior executives will also take pay cuts for three months to take responsibility for the recall-plagued car....
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Toyota executive backs Takata’s handling of airbag crisis

6:39 am U.S. ET | Oct. 22, 2014
A top Toyota executive offered support for how airbag maker Takata is handling a safety crisis affecting millions of vehicles, days after expanding its own recalls for the second time in four months....
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China's 'aggressive' EV ambitions to drive demand for aluminum

6:23 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2014
China's drive to build electric cars is likely to set up a greater-than-forecast surge in demand for aluminum, according to Novelis, the world's biggest supplier to automakers of aluminum sheets....
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Jeep first U.S. brand to crack Top 10 in Japan's Car of Year Award

9:51 am U.S. ET | Oct. 16, 2014
Jeep has made history by becoming the first brand from the United States to crack the top 10 in this country's Car of the Year Award. The honor came down this week for the Jeep Cherokee, which was tapped as one of the 10 Best Cars for 2014-15. It was a first for any American nameplate....
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Former Showa exec indicted in U.S. price-fixing probe

12:07 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 16, 2014
A former executive of Japanese auto parts supplier Showa has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Cincinnati on a charge of conspiring to fix the prices of parts sold to American Honda and others....
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Hitachi Automotive readies new autonomous driving technology

10:57 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
Hitachi Automotive Systems is readying a suite of new autonomous driving technologies, including a no-hands self-parking function it plans to market in 2016. The systems, unveiled last week at the supplier’s proving ground in northern Japan, entail precrash braking, advanced adaptive cruise control and vehicle stability control for electric vehicles....
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HANS GREIMEL

Crash recorder video craze hits Japan

11:45 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2014
Count Japan as the latest entrant to the dash cam craze. Across the country, drivers are uploading and swapping video footage taken through their vehicle crash data recorders....
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