Roger Schreffler

Correspondent
WardsAuto

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

Articles by Roger Schreffler
Battery Experts Seek Lower Costs, Better Technology
Research analyst Cosmin Laslau notes EV maker Tesla delivered 4,900 Model S sedans and Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones worldwide in first-quarter 2013. But in terms of Li-ion battery capacity, the Model S consumed 50% more than the iPhone.
Southeast Asian Automakers Report Mixed 2013 Results 
Sales reached record levels in Indonesia and Malaysia and the Philippines but fell 7% in Thailand, the region’s biggest market.
Toyota Strengthens Grip on Japan EV, Hybrid Market
Toyota delivered 1,280,235 electric and hybrid-electric vehicles last year, up 5% from 2012 and good for an 83% share of the domestic market.
Retooled Lineup Key to Mitsubishi Business Plan
The New Stage 2016 plan sets ambitious earnings, sales and production goals for fiscal 2016. They include record earnings of ¥135 billion on sales of ¥2.6 trillion, both up more than 40% from fiscal 2012, and more than 1.4 million builds.
Exports to U.S. Drive Japanese Auto Industry Growth 
Japanese exports to Europe were down 10%, while shipments to the U.S. and Asia were relatively flat.
Transmission Maker Aisin AI Shifts Into High Gear 
In addition to Toyota, Subaru and Lexus, Aisin AI supplies Mazda and Mitsubishi in Japan and PSA Peugeot Citroen, General Motors and Lotus overseas. The supplier is developing a new 6-speed transmission for the Porsche 911 sports coupe.
Import Sales Rise in Japan in 2013 
American auto makers sold 13,037 units, with Jeep and Ford again the brand leaders accounting for two out of three of the U.S. imports sold.
JATCO Developing Low-Cost Automatic Transmission 
At the Tokyo auto show in November, JATCO unveiled what could be the base model for the new gearbox. An executive declines to say if the transmission will have three or four forward speeds.
Fuel Cells, Plug-in Hybrids Fueled Buzz at Tokyo Show 
Honda hopes to reduce the price of its next-generation FCEV’s price to ¥4 million, a goal dating back to 2005, but the target date has been pushed back from 2020 to 2025.
Human Factor a Plus in Vehicle Safety, BMW Exec Says 
“The human being is fantastic sensor and analyzer,” Klaus Kompass says. “He is probably the best we have today at analyzing a complete situation with the blink of an eye. We don’t have technical systems that can do that” yet.
Japanese, South Korean Hybrids, EVs Near Sales Record 
Electric vehicles accounted for 3% of the Japan-Korea sales total, while plug-in hybrids represented 2%.
Futuristic EV Heads List of Nissan’s Tokyo Debuts
The BladeGlider EV concept, powered by a pair of in-wheel electric motors, is a prototype of an upcoming production vehicle, the automaker says.
Fuel-Cell Vehicle Heads Toyota Tokyo Debuts
The FCV Concept is a successor to the FCV-R that was unveiled at the Tokyo show two years ago.
Tokyo to See Mitsubishi Hybrids, Subaru CUV, Lexus Sport Coupe
Mitsubishi plug-ins take center stage, while Lexus shows a near-production-ready RC with both conventional and hybrid powertrains.
Suzuki, Daihatsu Take Center Stage at Tokyo Show
Suzuki's biggest star will be the 4-wheel-drive Crosshiker. Powered by a 1.3L gasoline engine, the car weighs just 1,780 lbs.
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