Roger Schreffler


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

Shifting Exchange Rates Foretell Japan-Korea Auto Makers’ Fortunes
A Goldman Sachs report predicts Japanese auto makers will see 50% growth in operating profits for the fiscal year beginning in April, while Korea’s leading brands are expected to report an average 2% decline.
Nissan to Play Bigger Role in Southeast Asian Markets 
The auto maker, a relative latecomer to the region, hopes to boost its market share to 15% in fiscal 2016 when its Power 88 business plan is fully implemented. Nissan’s fiscal-2011 share was about 10%.
Mazda High on Skyactiv Powertrain Potential
President Takashi Yamanouchi predicts Skyactiv models will account for more than 30% of Mazda’s global sales in second-half fiscal 2013, followed by 50% in fiscal 2014 and 80% in fiscal 2015.
Bridgestone Tire Comes Full Circle 25 Years After Buying Firestone in 1988
Bridgestone closed the Firestone deal in March 1998, beating out its European rivals. The makeup of the global tire industry would never be the same, as one by one competitors followed with their own acquisitions and mergers.
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.
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