Japanese auto industry

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Toyota Not to Blame in Calif. Crash Death: Court

Fellow driver owes $10M in damages

(Newser) - A key case in Toyota's sudden-acceleration saga has been found in the car maker's favor. A jury found that Toyota wasn't to blame in the death of Noriko Uno, 66, who lost control of her 2006 Camry in a 2009 incident, Bloomberg reports. Toyota opponents held that... More »

Toyota, Honda Recall 3.4M Vehicles in Airbag Failure

Nissan, Mazda are also involved

(Newser) - An airbag issue is prompting Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda to recall some 3.4 million vehicles. Passenger-side airbag inflators are at risk of exploding and blasting out plastic pieces, the AP reports, while a rep for Japanese airbag maker Takata warns Reuters that driver-side airbags may fail to inflate.... More »

Suzuki Pulls Out of US Market

Company turns to India after weak sales in America

(Newser) - Sayonara, Suzuki: The Japanese automaker announced today that it will cease US sales of its cars after its current inventory runs out. The company, which has been selling vehicles in the States since 1985, filed for bankruptcy protection in California as part of the move, reports Bloomberg . Suzuki, which maintained... More »

Japan's Auto Sales Plummet 51%

Quake-prompted parts shortage leads to largest plunge in history

(Newser) - Japan saw auto sales drop 51% in April compared to sales a year earlier, the biggest plunge since record-keeping began in 1968. The earthquake- and tsunami-prompted parts shortage squeezed production and dealers’ supplies; just 108,824 vehicles sold last month. Toyota was the hardest-hit, with sales sinking 68.7% to... More »

Toyota to Recall 270K Cars Over Faulty Engines

High-end models can stall while moving

(Newser) - Toyota is preparing yet another recall, this time because of engine problems with it's top-end sedans. The company says Crown and seven models of Lexus suffer a valve-spring problem that can cause the engine to stall while the vehicle is moving, the AP reports. No official recall has been announced... More »

Toyota Boss Apologizes for Recalls

Says company will announce steps soon on the Prius

(Newser) - Toyota's president apologized today to customers for the massive recalls and safety concerns about his company's cars. “I deeply regret that I caused concern among so many people,” said Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder. "We will do our utmost to regain the trust of our... More »

Toyota Waffles on Prius Brake Recall

Automaker's woes keep mounting; $2B pricetag likely

(Newser) - Toyota has yet to decide whether to issue a recall of Prius hybrids over potential trouble with the car's brakes, but it's just the latest snag to hit the automaker. The company acknowledged yesterday that the brakes can stick briefly in certain circumstances, generally on bumpy or slippery roads, reports... More »

Getting Too Big, Too Fast Was Toyota's Downfall

Company broke its own rules in the race to No. 1

(Newser) - Execs at rival firms used to puzzle over how Toyota could possibly expand so fast while maintaining quality. As the recall crisis continues growing, they know now it couldn't, writes Paul Ingrassia. Toyota sensed weakness among US automakers and opportunity in emerging markets over the last decade and badly overstretched... More »

Cars Replacing Clunkers Are Mostly Japanese

(Newser) - The "cash for clunkers" program might be a boon for car dealers, but for American automakers the news isn't so good—four of the five top-selling cars in the program are Japanese. While the Ford Focus is the No. 1 seller, Toyota and Honda occupy the next four spots.... More »

Big Three See Bumpy Road With 20-Somethings

Demographic key to rebuilding for US automakers

(Newser) - Detroit automakers face a hard road when it comes to Generation Y—consumers aged 22-32 whose business is crucial to securing the firms' futures, BusinessWeek reports. Their boomer parents broke from tradition by shifting to Japanese cars, and Gen Y is following in those footsteps. Detroit “simply must do... More »

Toyota Forecasts First-Ever Annual Loss

$8.6B loss is far worse than anticipated

(Newser) - Toyota forecast a 2009 loss of $8.6 billion, its first annual loss ever and one far deeper than anticipated, Reuters reports. Only last year Toyota posted record profits and climbed past GM to become the world's largest car maker, but the global downturn in the auto industry and a... More »

Nissan Slashing 20,000 Jobs

First Japanese automaker to move production from Japan and soaring yen

(Newser) - Nissan will cut 20,000 jobs worldwide by next year and move production from Japan and its soaring yen, reports the Wall Street Journal. Reeling from a massive $900 million loss last quarter, Nissan also announced it will slash management, seek public assistance and suspend its 5% annual growth goal... More »

Toyota's Losses Will Triple

First loss in seven decades multiplies as market deteriorates

(Newser) - Toyota now expects its full-year operating loss to be three times larger than the $1.6 billion it forecast in December, the New York Times reports. The company expects to lose $5 billion for the fiscal year through March 31 as world automobile demand deteriorates. Toyota, which last year overtook... More »

Japan Throws $16.7B Lifeline

The bailout aims to help smaller business outside of banking or corporate sectors

(Newser) - Following in the footsteps of America and Europe, Japan is offering $16.7 billion to companies threatened by the financial crisis, moving outside the banking sector to take equity stakes in smaller companies that otherwise can't find financing, the Financial Times reports. The 1.5 trillion yen package aims to... More »

Just What Is an 'American' Car?

As automakers expand globally, just what helps US economy most?

(Newser) - Lawmakers hoping to give a boost to the American economy by investing in the auto industry might get as much bang for their buck by sinking money into Honda or Toyota as they would Ford, Chrysler, or General Motors, the Wall Street Journal notes. The auto industry has become too... More »

Mighty Toyota Posts Its First Loss Ever

Even Prius can't overcome flagging demand, soaring yen

(Newser) - Toyota will post a loss for the first time in its history, the victim of plummeting sales and multi-year highs in the value of the yen, the company warned today. The Japanese automaker, which has enjoyed a reputation for profits even in bad times, announced that it would suspend executive... More »

Honda Cuts F1 Racing Team

Attempting to cut costs, Japan's No. 2 carmaker axes racing program

(Newser) - Honda, facing economic drag as the financial crisis sharply curtails demand for automobiles, is withdrawing from Formula 1 racing, at least until global markets turn the corner, the Guardian reports. Honda's CEO once pledged to spend “a trillion yen” to secure an F1 title, but shareholders have pressured the... More »

Nissan Bringing Boxy 'Cube' to US Roads

Nissan unveils new 2009 city car

(Newser) - As embattled US automakers shook their tin cups in Congress, Japan's Nissan unveiled its latest threat to Detroit. The Cube gets more than 30mpg—exact numbers will be out before it hits showrooms next fall—and "is nothing more than a box on wheels," writes Chuck Squatriglia in... More »

Foreign Automakers Could Fill Detroit Vacuum

But gov't risks big job losses if Big Three fail

(Newser) - If Detroit’s “Big Three” do collapse, foreign-owned automakers would be able to pick up the slack, industry experts tell the New York Times. These foreign giants have a big enough US presence to swiftly take over the industry and its supplier network, but the transition would likely be... More »

Detroit Bailout Highlights an Industry That's Moved On

'Big Three' sink while other carmakers swim

(Newser) - The government seems poised to bail out the auto industry, but there are two auto industries, writes Joseph White in the Wall Street Journal. There’s the unionized, drowning Big Three, stuck with ancient product strategies and huge retiree health obligations, and the non-unionized, mostly healthy foreign-owned manufacturers. This second... More »

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