Yawn: Nissan delivers steep profit gain


Nissan was last of Japan’s majors to announce quarterly results. It did so to a press corps that was jaded from outsized profit announcements by Honda and Toyota, and that regaled itself with snow shoveling stories. The VERY BIG STORY was that Japan’s capital had an unexpected and unusual foot of the white stuff on Sunday, so what if a car company is a bit more in the black than usual. [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]

Toyota looking at record profits – but what will it do with all the money it makes?

Toyota's new factory plans

Toyota’s new factory plans

While announcing quarterly results, Toyota today gave a glimpse into its mid-term plans. Essentially, they call for marginal growth. If executives of Volkswagen or GM would have been in the Bunkyo bunker conference room, they would by now be at Ginza hostess bars to celebrate their assured triumph over Toyota. Too much celebrating, and they will wake up with a headache and their money in the kimono folds of the Ginza hostesses. [Continue Reading]

Rosy revenues, cloudy outlook: Honda’s quarterlies set the scene for Japanese peers

Today at Aoyama Itchome

Today at Aoyama Itchome

Honda usually is first among Japan’s Big Three automakers to announce quarterly results, and today was no exception to the rule. Honda’s story, told in the ascetical 2nd floor meeting room at Honda HQ in Tokyo, sets the scene for what will play out in the coming days at Toyota, Nissan, and to some degree at Japan’s smaller players: Profits way up due to lower yen, sales up due to the U.S., but held back in China and Southeast Asia, prognosis guarded. [Continue Reading]