Roger Schreffler


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

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.
Mitsubishi Puts Aging Plant on Tech’s Cutting Edge
The Okazaki plant produces Outlander, Outlander plug-in hybrid and RVR midsized CUVs . The RVR is sold in Europe as the ASX. More than 90% of output is exported, with Europe accounting for more than half of the total.
More Vehicles, Including Diesel-Powered, on Japanese Roads
An estimated 33.7% of cars in operation in 2014, or 20.2 million, had displacements of 0.66L.
Japanese Automakers Report Record 6-Month Output 
Production gains by Mazda, Suzuki and Subaru maker Fuji offset declines by Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi.
Indonesia 6-Month Sales Down; Philippines, Taiwan Up 
Softening domestic demand in Indonesia prompted the Association of Indonesia Automotive Industries to lower its 2015 sales forecast to 1.1 million units from 1.2 million earlier in the year.
Japanese Automakers’ Output Hits 6-Year High in 2014 
An industry group says automakers exported 1,662,160 units to North America, down 11.9%, while exports to Europe and Asia rose 4.9% and 3.7%, respectively.
Japan New-Vehicle Sales Slip 11% in First-Half 2015 
All of the leading domestic brands – Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Daihatsu and Nissan – reported declines during the period. The biggest 6-month backslide from like-2014 was by low-volume manufacturer Mitsubishi, down 27.0%.
Report Forecasts Robust Hybrid Growth While EVs Lag 
The Roland Berger consultancy calls its 2025 forecast optimistic, meaning hybrid sales growth in the U.S. and Europe will depend on strict emissions and fuel-economy regulations and large investments in battery-recharging infrastructure.
Japan Import Sales Backslide 1.0% in First-Half 2015 
Mercedes-Benz was the best-selling import brand with sales of 32,680 units, up 19.1% from first-half 2014. Volkswagen was next with 29,666, down 16.5%, followed by BMW at 22,674, up 0.9%.


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