Roger Schreffler


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

Toyota Leads Hybrid Market to Record Sales in 2016
Toyota fielded the top-selling hybrids in 2016, led by the Prius with 356,560 units, followed by the Prius C and its Japanese derivative, the Aqua (194,390); RAV4 hybrid (98,780); Auris (93,983); and Yaris (87,223).
Schaeffler Stakes Claim to Automotive’s Leading Edges
“We see a stepwise advance into autonomous cars, fleet cars, city cars, “'robo-taxis” and the like,” says Peter Gutzmer, Schaeffler’s chief technology officer. “Why? These vehicles can afford the additional cost.”
Imports Into Japan Up in 2016; Mercedes Leads Way
Japan Automobile Importers Assn. Chairman Peter Kronschnabl attributes imports’ recovery to automakers putting greater emphasis on new propulsion and driver-assistance technologies.
Hyundai Guardedly Optimistic on Genesis; Ioniq U.S. Sales to Begin
In a partial year of sale last year, Hyundai sold 6,166 Genesis G80 sedans and 782 G90s in the U.S.
Toyota Doubles Engineers for Lexus LS 1
The increased amount of safety tech in the car is why it has more than 100 electronic control units, compared with 75 in the current LS, chief engineer Toshio Asahi says.
European OEMs Downsizing, Going Electric
Hybrids, excluding plug-ins, marginally grew to 1.5% in 2015, or an estimated 175,200 units, from 1.4%, or 205,500 one year earlier, according to an annual report on the EU market.
Shift to CVT Gearboxes Coming Up on 30th Anniversary 1
Other automakers and suppliers have followed Nissan’s lead, first with CVTs and then with dual-clutch transmissions and higher-gear automatics.
Nissan CEO Ghosn Reviving Embattled Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko tells WardsAuto areas of potential collaboration include Nissan taking advantage of Mitsubishi’s Southeast Asian production base and Mitsubishi adopting Nissan’s development of autonomous-driving technologies.
Japanese Automakers Predict Fiscal-2016 Sales Off 8%
The industry group’s sales report links the projected sales decline in part to Mitsubishi’s mileage-cheating scandal which surfaced in April and led to the automaker suspending production of 0.66L minicars for itself and Nissan.
Toyota’s Powertrain Strategy Extending Beyond Hybrids
To date, the Japanese automaker, the world’s leader in gas-electric hybrids, has introduced three new engines with forced induction – two gasoline and one diesel – on 11 Toyota and Lexus cars.
Makers of High-End Autos Hungry for Carbon Fiber
Toray Industries, which has been supplying carbon fiber to the auto industry for nearly 20 years, anticipates demand for the material will double or even triple to between 10,000 and 15,000 metric tons by 2020, up from 5,000 t at present.
Japanese Suppliers’ Outlook Dims
Since January, the Japanese currency rose nearly 20% against the U.S. dollar, cutting into profit margins on exports to North America, still one of the largest markets for cars built in Japan.
Fuel-Cell Vehicles Don’t Add Up, Analyst Says 13
The cost of the technology, the energy required to produce the fuel and the resulting well-to-wheel emissions make FCVs less than green, concludes a Hong Kong-based investment firm.
Southeast Asian First-Half 2016 Sales Show 2% Uptick
The market held steady despite the effects of an economic slowdown in Indonesia linked to a contraction of the Chinese economy along with lingering effects of political instability in Thailand.
Global Hybrid Sales Alive and Well, Toyota Says
Driving Toyota’s growth was the overseas market, which rose 26% on the strength of new entries including the RAV4 Hybrid in North America and Europe and the Levin and Corolla hybrids in China.

Feb 22, 2018

2018 Wards 10 Best Engines Ceremony

Today, WardsAuto begins posting videos from the 2018 Wards 10 Best Engines celebration, held during the North American International Auto Show. In this segment, editors Drew Winter and Tom Murphy kick off the event. Beginning tomorrow, videos with each winning automaker's acceptance speech will begin posting, one daily, in alphabetical order....More


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