Japanese auto industry

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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 »

Honda Profits Jump 8% on Fuel-Efficient Lineup

The gas tank is half empty, as the company cuts global outlook

(Newser) - Honda announced an 8.1% gain in net profit yesterday for the quarter ending June 30, riding demand for its fuel-efficient models and beating analysts’ estimates, the Wall Street Journal reports. Honda has been hurt less by falling demand than rivals Toyota and Nissan because it's the least invested in... More »

Toyota Will Make Prius in US

Swap at SUV plant shows how fast industry is adjusting to fuel costs, demand

(Newser) - Toyota plans to start producing its super-popular Prius hybrid in the US, Wired reports. With inventories overwhelmed by demand, the firm will move production lines to a Mississippi plant intended to produce SUVs. The factory won’t make its first Prius until 2010, but with no sign of abating gas... More »

Japan's Big 3 Move Into New Markets

Carmakers building plants in India, Africa, and Russia as traditional markets slow

(Newser) - Japan’s automakers, traditionally focused on North America and near-home markets, are expanding aggressively into new territories as opportunities shift to Africa, India, and the former Soviet Union, reports the New York Times. One analyst said 76% of the global growth of the Big Three—Toyota, Honda, and Nissan—in... More »

What's Hot? Some Guzzlers Among the Sippers

Sales of hulking vehicles held up by rich, families

(Newser) - Soaring gas prices have predictably driven sales of gas-sipping vehicles such as Honda’s Fit and Toyota’s Scion xB, which have seen increases of 64% and 59% respectively, reports the Wall Street Journal. But guzzlers such as Toyota's Sequoia and Tundra are also selling surprisingly well (29% and 8.... More »

Honda Sells 60 Millionth Super Cub

Little cycle the best-selling motorized vehicle ever

(Newser) - Honda’s Super Cub motorcycle may look mundane, but it's also the best-selling motorized vehicle in history, Wired reports. In fact, Honda recently sold its 60 millionth. The Cub first put Honda on the map by making motorcycles safe for suburbanites. But the ultra-dependable little bike isn’t available in... More »

Japanese Automakers See Bumpy Road Ahead

Honda's profits down 86%, Mitsubishi's off 37%—and forecasts call for more of same

(Newser) - A strong yen is hurting Japan's automakers, the Wall Street Journal reports, with Honda and Mitsubishi announcing big declines in profits today and forecasting tough times ahead. Honda saw an 86% decline in profits for the quarter ended March 31; Mitsubishi's were down 37%. Mazda bucked the trend, with a... More »

Toyota Overtakes GM in Q1

US giant's worldwide sales off 0.6% as overseas growth mitigates domestic dip

(Newser) - GM’s vehicle sales fell 0.6% in the first quarter, helping Toyota, on 2.7% growth, take the global sales lead, the Wall Street Journal reports. Toyota sold 2.41 million vehicles worldwide to 2.25 million for the American giant, which was hurt badly by a 10.2%... More »

Looking for a Real Recession? Try Japan

Once-booming economy stumbles, yet people are 'indifferent'

(Newser) - While economists squabble over a possible US recession, Japan has quietly slipped into one. The country’s postwar riches have all but vanished, the Washington Post reports, as its GDP tumbles from fourth to twentieth among the world’s countries and its share of the world’s economy dips from... More »

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