Ford is scared


Last week, a freshly minted Ford CEO Mark Fields paid an inaugural visit to Capitol Hill, and he arrived singing a familiar tune. He blasted the nasty Nips for currency manipulation. Fields “urged lawmakers to take a tough line with Japan in ongoing trade talks as part of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said the DetN. To rile against alleged Japanese currency manipulation appears to be part of the job description of any Ford exec. In February, Ford Americas president Joe Hinrichs “took Japan and specifically Toyota to task for benefiting unfairly from currency manipulation,” wrote Automotive News. A year ago, it fell to then Ford CEO Alan Mulally to “chide Japan for currency manipulation.” Take one look at the chart above, and you begin to understand Ford’s obsession with Japan and specifically Toyota.

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Japanese automakers: The currency party is over

Honda - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

A year ago, Ford execs all the way to Mulally riled against a weaker yen, saying it gives Japanese automakers an unfair advantage. Indeed, when the abnormally strong yen came back to acceptable levels later in the year, profits of Japanese automakers surged. That party appears to be over. Yesterday, Nissan reported no appreciable currency effects on its earnings. Today, Honda reported same. [Continue Reading]

Sold for cash and left for dead, Mazda and Mitsubishi return to profitability

About $100, but buys much less


Last year, the Japanese yen returned to barely normal from vastly overrated (those who call the Japanese currency “undervalued” are invited to Tokyo to see how far those allegedly cheap yen go – taking the subway to the press conference and back costs $10). No one was more relieved about this than Japan’s second-tier automakers. With most of their production still in Japan, companies like Mazda or Mitsubishi suffered the most from the obscenely high currency. Now suddenly, it is possible again to make a profit by making cars at home. For the first nine months of its fiscal, Mazda booked an operating income of 124.6 billion yen ($1.23 billion), up 534%. Mitsubishi Motors delivered operating income of 55.4 billion yen ($548 million) in the same period, an increase of 135%. [Continue Reading]

Automotive News to Detroit: Stop whining about the weak yen

About $100, but buys much less

Execs of Detroit automakers opened their digital copy of Automotive News today, only to be told that they “need to stop whining about the weak yen.” If Automotive News says that, then it really is time to stop whining. [Continue Reading]