Roger Schreffler

Roger
Schreffler
Correspondent,
WardsAuto

Roger keeps tabs on the Japanese auto industry, specializing in coverage of manufacturing and advanced technology.

Articles
Lexus Planning to Sell 6,600 LC Coupes Annually, Conquest Other Makes
Unveiled in its production sheet metal at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January, the Lexus LC 500 “will be a pretty spectacular car for the money,” a Lexus executive says.
Japanese Automakers Set New Production Mark in 2015 
Overseas output is up sharply from 2007, when Japan still accounted for nearly half of the vehicles produced. Last year, it was responsible for only about a third.
Aisin Ambitions on Display Along With Products at NAIAS 
The Japanese supplier eyes growth in five technology areas. Its North American operations are expected to play a key role.
Jatco CVT Software Takes on ‘Smoothness Problem’
Jatco engineer Haruhisa Nakano estimates 70% of CVTs supplied to Nissan, the supplier’s biggest customer, will feature so-called D-step shift in the next two to three years.
Mercedes Tops VW as Top-Selling Japanese Import 
Despite the year-over-year decline, sales slowed at a lower rate than domestically built cars, which are on track to show an 8.9% drop when full-year results are announced later this month.
European LV Emissions Down, Fuel Efficiency Up
BMW, Mercedes and Audi all achieved 45 mpg in 2014, while Peugeot and Renault improved to 53.5 mpg and 52 mpg, respectively. BMW showed the biggest improvement over 2004, 34%, followed by Mercedes (32%) and Peugeot (28%).
Honda Powertrain Overhaul Targets Weight, Emissions
“China will adopt some of the world’s most stringent regulations in terms of fuel economy,” Honda automotive R&D chief Keiji Ohtsu says. “In 2025, we don’t expect to be able to sell conventional internal-combustion engines, meaning we will be selling mostly hybrids including plug-in types.”
Shades of Green in Spotlight at Tokyo Auto Show
The new Honda FCX Clarity has a range of 435 miles and takes three minutes to refuel, while Nissan’s new Leaf can run 175 miles on a single charge, up from the current model’s 142.
Toyota Sees Even Split Between Prius Batteries
Production will be divided evenly between Li-ion and the NiMH batteries Toyota has used nearly exclusively until now. Sales of cars with the two battery types will be further split 50-50 in North America and Japan.
Japan Steps Up Engine Downsizing Pace
Toyota, Honda, Nissan, plus Japan’s smaller automakers, have a number of new smaller-displacement yet powerful engines on the way.
Suzuki Sets Path for Growth in Europe, Asia
Globally, Suzuki will introduce 20 new models over the next five years including five 0.66L minis, six A-segment cars and nine B- and C-segment models including SUVs.
Japan to Keep Focus on Fuel Economy, Safety Tech, JAMA Chief Says
The auto industry will need to substantially increase the market share for advanced-technology vehicles in Japan, if it hopes to achieve future carbon-dioxide emissions targets, Honda’s Fumihiko Ike says.
Tokyo Auto Show Spotlight Dimmed Only Slightly
The Tokyo show has become less significant than those in Frankfurt, Geneva, Detroit and Los Angeles. Still, as the home market for Toyota, Nissan and Honda, it affords them a chance to bedazzle with their latest technologies.
PSA, Toyota Lead Way as European Cars Get Cleaner
A report by Transport & Environment says the European auto industry as a whole reduced CO2 emissions 2.6% to 123.4 g/km last year from 126.8 g/km in 2013.
Japanese, Korean First-Half Hybrid Sales in Reverse 
Still ranking as the world’s leaders, Japanese and Korean brands registered a 10% year-on-year decline in hybrid sales between January and June to an estimated 805,000 units. Hybrid production in Japan alone declined 29% to 550,181 units.
Insights

Feb 12, 2016
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