Subaru has decided not to open a joint venture factory in China with Chery, even if the Chinese government gave it permission. The Japanese brand looked at the numbers and decided that it would have to double its sales just to maintain the same profits from exporting from Japan. Growth in the Chinese market may also be slowing.
The government in Tokyo, Japan, is embarking on an aggressive plan to put 6,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and have 35 hydrogen refueling station in the city in time for the Olympic games there in 2020. It's working with Toyota and Honda to hopefully make the goal a reality.
Subaru had plans to build the Crosstrek here in the US, but Reuters reports that the company has changed its mind and will build the little crossover Scooby in Japan, in the same Gunma Prefecture factory where the Impreza, BRZ and Levorg are built.
When it comes to Toyotas, some models (like the Mark X sedan and Harrier crossover) never make it out of Japan. And for the 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon, two of Toyota's domestic tuning divisions have made them even more enticing.
Honda may not compete with the likes of the expanding Fiat 500 and contracting Mini families in the North American or European markets, but back home in Japan it has a whole series of retro hatchbacks, grouped together as part of its N series. And now there is one more.
Subaru Tecnica International, better known by its initials, STI, has finally unveiled its work at tuning the Forester into a higher performance machine. Unfortunately while tweaks to the suspension and styling are plentiful, it's not clear how much acceleration is going to improve from just a few minor upgrades to the powertrain.
The US Department of Justice has been on a campaign over the past few years to crack down on price fixing in the auto industry, especially from Japanese parts suppliers. In the agency's most recent count, it has indicted 46 people with 26 guilty pleas and raised over $2.4 billion in fines from 31 companies, including nine at once in 2013. Unfortunately, about 20 of these men remain fugitives from the DoJ and catching them might be very difficult.
Sports cars don't come more bizarre than the ungainly Mitsuoka Orochi. We thought we were rid of the puckered-face, Toyota-powered Japanese oddity when Mitsuoka revealed the Final Edition earlier this year, but it seems the Orochi has a little more left to give of its awkwardness, as you can see from this latest Evangelion edition.
Japan has given the world so much to enthuse over. We're not sure the Toyota Aygo is necessarily one of them as much as, say, the Scion FR-S or Lexus LFA (especially since it's actually made in Europe), but for many Nipponophiles, the centuries-old artistic discipline of Manga certainly is. And now the two have come together in this two-and-a-half-minute animated short.
The problems plaguing automotive supplier Takata this year for its faulty airbag inflators are starting to take their toll. Not only do an estimated 7.8 million vehicles need repairs, but it's facing an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A recent report also alleges that hidden attempts to fix the problem date back to as early as 2004. With all of this turmoil you might expect Takata's chairman, Shigehisa Takada, to be righting the ship, but the man is no where
It's been eighteen years since we last saw the Legend nameplate in Acura showrooms here in the US, but in Japan it's still very much alive as Honda's flagship sedan. And now the Japanese automaker has revealed the latest generation.
It's a good thing senior editor Seyth Miersma doesn't live in Japan, or he wouldn't have been able to snap a photo like the one you see here, of a fresh-off-the-line Lexus RC F on hand at a first drive for media. That's because Toyota's Japanese arm has outright canceled its RC press launch. Sure, we've heard about events being delayed, but canceled? That's rare. Even worse is the reason: according to Automotive News, the event was nixed due to lack of interest. Wow.
There's something bizarrely fascinating about Japanese car culture, especially around Tokyo. The metropolis packs people tightly together in a way that would seem to make owning any car tough. And yet, there's still enough enthusiasm around anything with an engine to support everything from wildly tuned bosozoku rides with exhaust pipes reaching toward the sky to seriously fast Porsche and Lamborghini models.
A few months back we reported on a dealership owner in Japan who was petitioning Toyota to make a luxury van. The problem, he reasoned, was that he couldn't take as many friends, colleagues and clients around with him in his Lexus LS, and his Toyota Alphard van wasn't luxurious enough. Well, it seems like he wasn't alone, and Toyota has listened.
Generally, the best policy in life is to admit when you're wrong and just accept the consequences. However, that attitude generally seems to be a bit less common in the world of business – at least without some government or legal prodding. So, it's especially surprising to learn that top Honda executives in Japan are taking a pay cut for the next three months following the fifth recall of the Fit Hybrid (pictured above) in the last 12 months.