Tag: Tokyo

By on January 28, 2013

 

Yesterday, I took you on a visit to Tokyo, to the Japan Classic Car Association’s New Year Meeting, and on a tour of imported cars in Japan. If you believe the propaganda, there aren’t any imported cars in Japan. But it is not true.

The history of car imports to Japan is a history of Yanase, Japan’s premiere car importer. Yanase was founded in 1915 as an importer of Buicks and Cadillacs to Japan. One of his big customers was the Imperial Navy which “had nothing but Buicks,” as Jiro Yanase told a reporter. The Japanese Navy also put Yanase nearly out of business, in December of 1941.

During the war, Yanase kept the Buick and Cadillac signs up to attract service business. After the war, Yanase became GM’s sole importer to Japan. Soon, he became the world’s go-to man for car imports to Japan.

(Read More…)

By on January 27, 2013

Today, I was in Odaiba, the man-made island in Tokyo Bay. The island is known for its futuristic buildings. Today, it was home of the Japan Classic Car Association’s New Year Meeting. It celebrates the imported car. During the next days, I will show you the nicer ones. We start with the Americans, and a Dodge.

(Read More…)

By on January 12, 2013

It’s been a lost in translation situation, but from what I could develop here at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the oddly shaped and oddly named 555TES Minute-S is a “three-wheel compact commuter” powered by a Yamaha 250-cc engine coupled to a Toyota Aqua hybrid drive. Here it is in motion: (Read More…)

By on January 12, 2013

 

Tokyo Auto Salon HUMMER

The Tokyo Auto Salon  is not just a preserve of doe-eyed kawaii girls, and a host of hachi-roku. It also proves that you can’t kill the HUMMER. (Read More…)

By on January 11, 2013

This is a short preview of our customary feature where we celebrate the hard working product specialists at major auto shows.
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By on January 11, 2013

This innocent white car will lead major news outlets astray. It already does. Shown at 2UX3J, or rather the Lexus booth, this LFA roadster concept makes blogs of all stripes, from Jalopnik to our sister publication Autoguide, fantasize about an impending launch in 2014. I am sorry, they have all been misled. (Read More…)

By on January 11, 2013

The upscale Lexus brand and the car-kichi people that frequent the Tokyo Auto Salon usually go together like tailcoats and a Dirty Rotten Imbecils concert. As in not. This year, the Lexus booth is a major attraction, despite the fact that many people, including me, had to be told that Lexus is at the show. They are there under (a black) cover and under a false name. The designers of the Lexus booth pulled-off a whimsical and humorous concept, from the design of the all-black-on-bare-concrete booth to the choice of cars on display. It starts with the name on the booth. It says 2UX3J. But it’s Lexus.
(Read More…)

By on June 22, 2011

A beaming and relaxed Carlos Ghosn dispensed a little insider knowledge tonight in Tokyo and let (surely not involuntarily) slip that there will be “significantly higher numbers tomorrow” when Nissan announces its predictions for the current fiscal year. (Read More…)

By on February 4, 2009

An overview of what happened in other parts of the world while you were in bed. TTAC provides round-the-clock coverage of everything that has wheels. Or has its wheels coming off. WAS is being filed from Tokyo this week.

India‘s car sales up: Just like neighbor China, India reports rising cars sales for January. Most car companies registered positive sales despite the withdrawal of price rebate schemes, India’s Economic Times reports. Tata Motors continued its negative run, with its passenger vehicle sales declining by 9 percent.

Toyota losses spreading: Toyota’s parts arm Denso and four other Toyota Motor Corp. affiliates are expected to suffer group net losses for the year ending March 31 as the automaker’s drastic output reductions battered businesses along the supply chain, the Nikkei [sub] writes.

Hitachi lowers volume of auto biz: Hitachi considers cutting in half the number of 85 marketing and production sites handling automobile-related equipment, the Nikkei [sub] says. Hitachi group company Clarion has already decided to close a factory in Hitachinaka around the end of 2010 and keep just one domestic factory open. In the US, where Hitachi operates Hitachi Automotive Products (USA) Inc. in the state of Kentucky and three other production bases, two locations may be closed.

Mazda sees red: Mazda expects its first loss in eight years for this fiscal year due to damage sustained from a strong yen and a sharp downturn in consumer sentiment, the Nikkei [sub] reports. The Hiroshima-based company now expects a net loss of ¥13 billion for the current fiscal year through March, compared with its previous forecast for a ¥50 billion profit.

Ford moving to China: Ford Motor Company’s Asia Pacific and Africa region headquarters, will be moving from Bangkok to China, Gasgoo reports. Bangkok will continue to serve as Ford’s ASEAN regional headquarters. In 2004, Volkswagen AG and General Motors relocated their Asia Pacific regional headquarters to China.

Small getting bigger and bigger: Underscoring China’s move from big to small, SAIC-GM-Wuling, a Chinese venture of GM and leading manufacturer of mini-trucks and mini-vans in China, reported all-time high sales of 75,168 units in January, Gasgoo writes. The record sales were largely on the strength of Wuling Sunshine, which remained the best-selling model and saw its sales volume hit 1.4 million units by the end of January 2008.

Not a good start for Deutschland: Germans bought 14.2 percent fewer cars in January 09  than in January 08.  Saab (-60.7 percent), Chrysler (-53 percent), Land Rover (-51.9 percent), Nissan (-51.1 percent), Jaguar (-31 percent), Skoda (-30.7 percent), Mercedes (-30 percent), Porsche (-24.7 percent) and Opel (-22.7 percent) were the big January losers in Germany’s car market, Automobilwoche [sub] reports.  Ford sold 25.9 percent more. Smaller importers such as Hyundai (+50.8 percent), Mazda (+27.2 percent) and Lancia (+13.7 percent) gained. The trend goes from big to small.

Out with a Bangle: After 17 years with BMW, U.S.-born Christopher Bangle resigns as chief designer of the BMW Group. The Bavarians go Dutch with Adrian van Hooydon. According to Reuters, Chris Bangle is “one of the most well-known and controversial people in the auto industry.” Bangle was the object of multiple online petitions calling for his sacking. After his 2002 redesign of the 7 Series sedan, the vehicle was voted one of the 50 worst cars of all times by Time magazine, along with such other infamous models as the 2001 Pontiac Aztek and the 1998 Fiat Multipla.

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