Roger Schreffler


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

Mitsubishi Back on Track to Reach Near-Record Earnings for 2012 
Osamu Masuko assumed the presidency in June 2005 after DaimlerChrysler withdrew its equity holdings and management team. He inherited an auto maker that had run up losses of nearly ¥225.4 billion in the two previous fiscal years.
Feisty Subaru Boosting U.S. Production Capacity
President and CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga says that despite “exceedingly difficult” exchange rates, U.S. earnings have increased because the auto maker has improved its product mix.
Global Expansion, Fuel Efficiency Focus of Japan’s Truck Makers 
Isuzu among manufacturers growing overseas, with plans to launch production in China, India and Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia Auto Industry Enjoying Production Boom 1
Driving demand are the relatively strong economies of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, with each country’s gross domestic product up more than 5%.
Toyota Key Supplier Aisin Seiki Sets Goals for Global Growth 
A new business plan, called Vision 2020, sets a sales target of ¥3.3 trillion, with business outside Japan growing to 50% from an estimated 40% today. Most of the growth will be seen in China, India, Brazil and Indonesia.
Japanese Auto Makers Report on Sustainability Measures
Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda all say they are building on existing technology and developing new hardware to make their vehicles more environmentally friendly and safer.
Japan’s Big Three Driving to Grow Asian Powertrain Output 
Toyota, which has installed some 1 million units of engine capacity in China, intends to raise local content to upwards of 95%. A similar capacity expansion by the auto maker’s main automatic transmission supplier, Aisin, is in the works.
Foreign Auto Makers Making More Headway in Japan 
Full-year sales are on track to exceed 290,000 units, although the end of government subsidies for small, fuel-efficient vehicles in July could trim that figure to 275,000.
JAMA Report Details Impact of Japan Earthquake, Pace of Recovery 
Vehicle production declined to 8.4 million units in 2011, but the recovery was well under way two months after the natural disaster.
Power Surge: Japanese, Korean EV, Hybrid Sales Jump
Industry leader Toyota sells 18 hybrid models, including six introduced in fiscal 2011, and plans to launch two lelectric-vehicle models this year.
JATCO Eyes Global Expansion, Faces Down Strong Yen
The Japan-based supplier is targeting a 40% increase in transmission sales by fiscal 2016 to 7 million units, meaning more capacity will be needed.
Quake Changes Little in Toyota’s Supply-Chain Strategy
The auto maker experienced more difficulties than most, because of the size and complexity of its vehicle lineup. But most options considered to reduce its exposure to future natural disasters proved neither cost-effective nor practical.
Kanto Says Plant Throughput Nearly Perfect
Suppliers positioned inside the plant provide door trim, steering wheels, seats, headliners and fuel tanks. To date, output has topped 1.4 million units.
Battery Suppliers, OEs Convinced of EV Market’s Future
Battery-pack costs are declining and more capacity is on the way, as industry players predict continued market growth through 2020.
Mazda Design Breakthrough May Give Rotary New Life
Improvements in sealing and other changes have Mazda looking at the rotary again, including for potential extended-range hybrids, a top engineer tells WardsAuto.
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