Roger Schreffler


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

Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda See Fiscal-2015 Sales Rise 
Honda showed mixed results in fiscal 2014, with earnings tumbling 13.1% even though sales grew 6.8% to a new high.
Analyst Scorecard Shows Japanese Automakers Humming Along
Favorable exchange rates, growing new-vehicle demand worldwide and some astute management moves play a role in the positive near-term outlook. Weaknesses? There are some, says CLSA’s Chris Richter.
Hyundai Looking for 50% Sales Boost From New Tucson
Hyundai executive Mike O’Brien predicts the new-generation Tucson CUV will help the automaker raise its overall share of the U.S. market to 5% this year, up from 4.4% in 2014.
Yen Falls But Japanese Automakers’ Profits Rise
Years of deep cost-cutting, consolidating platforms, expanding production outside Japan and sharp focus on product planning have lifted the companies out of the depths of the recession triggered in 2008, industry analyst Chris Richter says.
Global Hybrid Leader Toyota’s 2014 Sales Slip 1.0% 
Honda, Mitsubishi, Subaru were among the automakers reporting improved hybrid sales in 2014.
Japanese Automakers’ 2014 Production Best on Record 
The major automakers’ shares of overseas production ranged from 21.7% by Fuji (Subaru) to 80.5% by Nissan.
Asian Auto Sales Growth Expected to Top Global Rate 
Research firm Fourin predicts Asian sales, excluding China and Japan, will grow 4.2% in 2015, while global vehicle demand is seen rising 3.8%.
Tire Demand on Decline in Japan 
JATMA projects a 5.0% drop in OE passenger-tire sales to 35.6 million units, along with 2.0% and 4.0% reductions in light- and heavy-duty OE truck tire demand.
Weak Yen Fuels Strong Year for Japanese Automakers
Domestic sales fell after the national consumption tax was increased April 1, but the decline was offset by brisk demand in North America and the effects of the weaker yen against the dollar, among other pluses.
Toyota Back on Track Toward Record Profits, But Still Work to Do, Analysts Say
After a post-recession earnings plunge, Toyota was able to lower its break-even point markedly, and it reorganized in ways meant to bolster the competitiveness of its products and improve overall quality.
Japanese Government, Industry on Joint Safety Crusade 
World Health Organization statistics show Japan reported 5.2 traffic deaths per 100,000 people in 2010. ITS Japan Chairman and Toyota technical advisor Hiroyuki Watanabe hopes to reduce that to below 2.6 by 2018.
Toyota Remains Unchallenged Global Hybrid Leader
Toyota sold 665,740 hybrids in the year’s first six months, 4.1% ahead of last year's record pace. Honda followed with global sales of 158,696 units, a 105.8% spike, while Hyundai jumped 33% to 27,118.
Korea Output, Domestic Sales Up in First-Half 2014 
Hyundai’s domestic market share through June was 49.0%, followed by Kia, 30.9%; GM Korea, 10.2%; Renault Samsung, 5.2%; and Ssangyong, 4.7%.
Japanese Automakers Boost Exports From Europe 
More than two-thirds of all Japanese-brand models sold in Europe now are produced there, an industry group says. Imports from Japan fell to 371,576 units in 2013, down 8.2% from 401,870 compared with prior-year.
Indonesia Sets SE Asia Sales Pace as Thailand Reels 
Indonesian vehicle sales through June rose to a record 641,511 units, up 6.2% from the first six months of 2013, with the industry calling for full-year deliveries of 1.25 million. In Thailand, first-half 2014 sales plunged 40.5% compared with year-ago.
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