Ford has long been at the forefront of the currency debate, claiming currency manipulation when the yen went to levels that nearly killed the Japanese auto industry, and shouting “currency manipulation” now that the yen is back to normal levels. Now, Ford itself experiences the devastating effects of changing exchange rates: Ford is shutting down all its manufacturing operations in Australia. The reason: A strong Australian dollar. Says Reuters: (Read More…)
Of course, Carlos Ghosn did not miss this opportunity to talk about his most favorite topic: The value of the yen. As last Friday, the CEO of Renault and Nissan still does not want to hear talk of a low yen. Ghosn says the Japanese currency “is coming back to normal levels,” and as far as Ghosn is concerned, the yen still has some ways to go. Even if this freaks-out the CEO of Ford. (Read More…)
Jac Nasser, the former head of Ford, is warning that Australia’s car industry has passed the point of no return, and expects to see it die within the next few years.
The retreating yen allowed Honda and Mazda to report bigger profits for the last quarter of their April to March fiscal year. Now the two are faced with a new problem, one that will also be shared by its Japanese peers: Higher costs of badly needed foreign investments. (Read More…)
A weak yen and a slew of new models has Mazda within sight of profitability. With Mazda heavily dependent on exports, the yen’s 16 percent decrease in value relative to the U.S. dollar could not have come at a better time for Mazda, as it readies a whole slate of new products for sale.
Honda is hoping that the next-generation Fit subcompact will see its volume nearly triple, going from 64,000 units per year to 200,000 by 2016.
The strong yen is putting a major crimp on auto maker profits, and now, Japan’s auto lobby is asking the government to do something about it.
Isuzu is joining the “let’s flee Japan and the rising yen” bandwagon, and their latest venture involves assembling export-bound trucks in Saudi Arabia.
Subaru’s failed relationship with China hasn’t burdened Subaru with too much baggage; the automaker is already moving on, planning to expand its Indiana plant to build more Legacy and Outback models.
With the closure of Japan’s last operating nuclear power plant hitting the news over the weekend, people asked me what that means for Japan’s auto industry. My answer: Nothing. The shutdown of the first nukes on March 11 a year ago was much more dangerous than the long scheduled downing of the last. Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn sees a much bigger danger: the power of the yen. The high yen at the currency exchange. And higher yen numbers on the electricity bill. (Read More…)
Today, Nissan had invited distinguished guests, from the Governor of Kanagawa province all the way to the chief of the local fire department, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Nissan Technical Center. Nissan’s main R&D hub is a city of 9,500, nestled into the foothills of Mount Fuji and surrounded by hills that keep it away from prying eyes. To get there, you must drive through a tunnel. Let’s see what we find here … (Read More…)
Everybody is talking about how much the Euro is losing against the dollar. At closer look, it is not alarming. Even during normal times I have seen lower Euro rates than the current $1.27. But wait until you look at the Euro from a Japanese perspective. (Like the one I have at the moment, sitting in a pittoresk cabin half way up Mount Fuji that could use better heat.) The anemic euro might discourage people like me from coming to Japan. What it really does is discourage Japanese automakers from exporting to Europe. A lot has been said about the strength of the Yen against the dollar. It’s nothing compared to the Euro. Against the Euro, the yen turned into Godzilla. This has Japanese automakers extremely worried. They don’t really know what to do about it. (Read More…)
It looks like Carlos Ghosn is tired of talking about the inaction of the Japanese government with regards to the killer yen. He told his people to start packing. The Nikkei [sub] reports today that Nissan will stop making in Japan newly developed cars for export from Japan. New cars will be produced at overseas plants.
“Under current foreign exchange rates, there can be no shipments from Japan of totally new projects,” Nissan’s COO Toshiyuki Shiga said. According to the report, anything with a new chassis that is intended for foreign markets will begin its life in those foreign markets. Says The Nikkei: (Read More…)
For quite some time, Carlos Ghosn had been the booh-leader against the strong Japanese yen. At the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show, he launched into his so far strongest worded tirade against the “abnormal” yen. He told the Japanese government to learn from the Swiss, and to basically peg the yen to another currency. (Read More…)