Two top executives at Denso Corp. – Japan’s largest auto-parts maker in terms of revenue – have agreed to plead guilty to charges of price-fixing in transactions for electronic automobile parts sold to Toyota, and have also chosen to cooperate with the investigators, this revealed by the United States Justice Department on Tuesday. This settlement adds the two executives to 14 more from 9 different companies who have pleaded guilty to a variety of price-fixing charges for transactions selling car parts to different automakers.
Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., usually on competing ends in Japan’s automaking industry, announced on Monday that they have started manufacturing a mini-vehicle jointly developed by both companies set to hit the Japanese market on June 6. The two carmakers currently take up around 10 percent of Japan’s minivehicle market. This joint venture is part of an effort to double that market-share total to around 20 percent.
Japanese automakers Nissan announced quarter profits that jumped 46 percent from last year’s numbers on the back of stronger sales and a favorable exchange rate. The ideal trade environment offset a sales decline in the Chinese market due to a continuing territorial dispute.
Subaru's Japanese parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., has revealed plans to make an investment of 400 million dollars in order to expand its only U.S. production plant in Indiana. This move will allow an increase in yearly production by around 100,000 units, as well as see the Japanese automaker start manufacturing its popular Impreza sedan outside its borders for the first time by 2016.
Japanese auto giants Toyota marked a quarterly profit that has more than doubled from the same period last year. On the wake of wise cost cutting moves and better sales, the newly reinstated top carmakers in the world marked a 313.9 billion yen (3.2 billion US dollars) profit from January to March 2013, more than doubling the company’s income from the same period last year.
Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder of Japanese automobile manufacturing giant Toyota Motor Corp., will be one of the four drivers of the Toyota team taking part of the grueling Nurburgring 24-hour race this year, a company spokesman revealed on Wednesday. Toyoda, who is currently president of the Japanese carmakers, has a well-known love for motor sports and has competed in the world-renowned endurance race in Germany before.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are electric cars that are fueled by hydrogen – and the oxygen in the air – to power their electric motors and are much more efficient than hybrids or battery electric vehicles, and they also emit almost no pollutants at all. Currently, there are very few, if any at all, FCEVs available commercially. But that will change soon, as major carmakers – specifically in Japan – are targeting to make FCEVs available to the public by 2015.
Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor Corp. is teaming up with global software leader Microsoft to put up an Internet service that would enable cars to link with home computers, smartphones, and the Internet. The Japanese car maker is looking into ways for cars to take advantage of the digital age, and help drivers to find tourist spots, connect to social network platforms, and even learn about new car models.
Navigation systems that include a TV feature are quite popular in Japan. Usually an add-on that goes on the backseat for usual North American or European cars, Japanese car parts retailers have been selling devices with this feature since 1997 despite the obvious dangers. A lot of Japanese drivers enjoy the feature, but accident counts – while they don't immediately cause concern – are rising and putting a dilemma in the hands of police officers who have to watch out for instances caused by this uniquely Japanese car feature.
This year’s Shanghai auto show display spaces were filled with numerous models of hybrid and electric cars – which maybe is a sign that the global auto market is moving in that general direction. It may also be a loud signal to China to consider greener automobile solutions, what with the massive clouds of smog that covered the cities these past few months. But Honda Motor Co. CEO Takanobu Ito believes that the Chinese market might not be quite into hybrid cars yet.