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  • Working from home

    March 5th 2019

    Ian Henry looks at how Japan’s OEMs are faring in their native land as they intensify supply to their own domestic market

  • Expanding and restructuring

    September 12th 2018

    As the move to electrified and autonomous vehicles accelerates, Toyota is expanding in both technology areas and restructuring its operations. Ian Henry reports

  • Toyota announces executive changes

    November 28th 2017

    Japan – The moves are part of a revision of the company’s organisational structure which will be implemented next year in a bid to strengthen cooperation between different business divisions and to boost innovation. Appointments at Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will be effective from January 1, 2018…

  • Toyota responds to Kobe quality issues

    October 19th 2017

    Japan – The vehicle-maker said it had examined data provided by Kobe Steel, which has admitted quality violations in aluminium and copper products, and “confirmed that the materials satisfy applicable statutory standards, and our own internal standard, for key safety and durability requirements for vehicles”. However, Toyota emphasised that its investigation was ongoing and that it was working to identify the impact of non-aluminium products…

  • Mazda Hofu starts making new CX-5

    October 17th 2017

    Japan – Plant 2 in Yamaguchi Prefecture has joined Hiroshima Plant and other facilities in China and Malaysia as a producer of the new model. Mazda said this will enable it to “flexibly and rapidly” meet growing global demand for crossovers…

  • Kobe investigates quality violations

    October 11th 2017

    Metal producer Kobe Steel has admitted delivering aluminium and copper products in the past year which did not meet specifications agreed with customers, leaving Japanese car manufacturers concerned about the impact on their own output. Kobe is conducting internal quality and government-ordered safety checks, but has already stated that affected products account for about 4% of its shipments of aluminium and copper parts, plus aluminium castings and forgings…

  • Honda to shake up domestic operations

    October 4th 2017

    Japan – The OEM is to end production at Sayama Automobile Plant as part of a plan to “evolve” its Japanese manufacturing activities, which will also involve the establishment of a “function” to develop production technologies that will be rolled out worldwide. Furthermore, the vehicle-maker stated its intention to acquire the Yokkaichi Factory of Yachiyo Industry…

  • Troubled times

    September 5th 2017

    Threats from the US to tear up free-trade agreements and impose tariffs on imported vehicles is causing fear in the export-dependent manufacturing strongholds of Japan and Korea. The two countries already face difficulties within their established (and costly) manufacturing bases, but the threat from the belligerent, protectionist President Donald Trump to put up barriers to one of their biggest markets adds a new element of concern as they try to fill capacity in factories which have already been weakened by their policy of expanding production overseas…

  • Toyota cuts paint line size at Tsutsumi

    March 28th 2017

    Japan – The vehicle-maker says it has reduced the size of the equipment by 40% and the CO2 emissions by 32%, “while maintaining high quality levels” for Prius production. The achievement was recognised in March, when Toyota won the Okochi Memorial Prize for the first time in 16 years…

  • Tanaka heads up Mazda R&D in Europe

    September 21st 2016

    Germany – Matsuhiro Tanaka is the new Vice President of Mazda’s European Research & Development Centre, based at Oberursel, Germany