AUTOS

Feb 12
Camper vans people can sleep in are becoming more popular in Japan, with industry organizations saying ownership of camper vans has doubled in the last 10 years. Another boom has arrived that has not been seen since the days of the bubble economy, with sales also increasing. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 11
A tiny Kyoto start-up, which began with twice as many interns as staff and still relies on borrowed factory space, is on course to become the first Japanese carmaker to go public for almost 30 years. (ft.com)
Feb 10
Toyota Motor will begin tests of hydrogen as a power source at production facilities as early as this year, aiming to tame rising carbon dioxide emissions by expanding on its experience as the developer of the first fuel cell car on the market. (Nikkei)
Feb 09
Whoever said that "cats rule and dogs drool?" Subaru brings back the Barkleys with five new amusing car commercials! (rocketnews24.com)
Feb 08
Toyota Motor Corp. suspended on Monday all production at its factories in Japan due to a steel shortage following an explosion in January at a steel plant in central Japan. (Kyodo)
Feb 04
Toyota is killing its Scion brand after years of slumping sales. Beginning in August, 2017 model-year Scion vehicles will be rebadged as Toyotas. (Japan Today)
Feb 01
Toyota Motor Corp. said it will suspend production at all assembly plants in Japan next week in the wake of a steel factory explosion, interrupting the supply of crucial models including the new Prius hybrid. (bloomberg.com)
Jan 30
Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday that it will take full control of minivehicle subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co. on Aug. 1. (Jiji Press)
Jan 27
Toyota Motor Corp. said Jan. 27 that it sold 10.151 million vehicles in 2015, retaining its status as the world's top-selling automaker for the fourth straight year. (Asahi)
Jan 26
Ford Motor is pulling out of Japan and Indonesia, saying that market conditions in each country have made it difficult to grow sales or make sustained profits. (cnbc.com)
Jan 20
Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that the number of orders received for its fully revamped Prius hybrid had reached 100,000 units in the first month of its release. (the-japan-news.com)
Jan 12
Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus is rolling out its highest-performance model since the LFA supercar to burnish its reputation among buyers of prestige luxury autos. (Japan Times)
Jan 09
Toyota Motor Corp.'s Aqua compact hybrid vehicle ranked top in new car sales in Japan for the first time in two years in 2015, industry data showed Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Jan 07
Toyota Motor Corp.'s research and development company, Toyota Research Institute (TRI), said it hired a team of scientists and engineers to help drive research into artificial intelligence and robots. (the-japan-news.com)
Jan 06
Sales of new cars in Japan declined last year, as a tax rise affected sales of mini-vehicles. (NHK)
Jan 04
Honda Motor Co. says a defective air bag made by Takata Corp. was responsible for the death of a driver near Pittsburgh. (Japan Times)
Dec 10
Toyota said Wednesday it expects annual sales of its newly-released fourth generation Prius hybrid to reach as many as 350,000 vehicles despite a big drop in oil prices making traditional gasoline cars cheap to run. (the-japan-news.com)
Dec 09
Mazda Motor Corp's all-new Mazda Roadster (known as MX-5 outside Japan) has been named the 2015-2016 Car of the Year in Japan. (Japan Today)
Dec 03
Nissan Motor Co. has discussed countermeasures against France's efforts to expand its influence over the management of the Japanese automaker's French partner Renault SA, it was learned Tuesday. (The Japan News)
Dec 02
The emissions scandal continued to dog Volkswagen's Japanese performance in November, sending sales of new cars down about 30% compared with a year earlier. (Nikkei)
Dec 01
Honda Motor Co. plans to shake up job terms next fiscal year and lift its retirement age by five years to 65, making the carmaker one of Japan Inc.'s biggest companies to take action in coping with the nation's aging demographics. (Japan Times)
Nov 24
Toyota Motor plans to make its new C-HR compact sport utility vehicle a key global model, aiming to shore up a weak link in its lineup as small SUVs grow more popular. (Nikkei)
Nov 19
Toyota Motor Corp. notified the Japanese transport ministry on Wednesday that it will recall a total of 443,460 vehicles made between September 2006 and August 2013 for free repairs, due to defects in the continuously variable transmission system and other devices. (The Japan News)
Nov 18
Nissan Motor Co. has found that an air bag made by Takata Corp. ruptured abnormally and injured a passenger in a Nissan vehicle last month, the transport ministry said, announcing the first such case in Japan. (Japan Times)
Nov 09
The number of visitors to the 44th Tokyo Motor Show, which ended Sunday, totaled 812,500, down from 902,800 in the previous show in 2013, the organizer of the event, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, said. (Japan Times)
Nov 06
Toyota Motor Corp. on Thursday reported a half-year jump in profits even as car sales declined in most regions, as it moves to cut costs and squeeze more productivity out of its plants worldwide. (The Japan News)
Nov 05
Honda reported a quarterly profit of 127.7 billion yen ($1 billion) Wednesday, up 7% from its revised result from the year before, even as costs of a massive recall related to defective air bags dented the boost from healthy sales. (Japan Today)
Nov 03
A Takata Corp.-made front passenger seat air bag in a Nissan Motor Co. vehicle burst apart violently and injured a passenger in eastern Japan last month, Nissan said Monday. (Jiji Press)
Nov 01
The 44th Tokyo Motor Show opened on Oct. 29. Cars presented by Nissan, Honda and Toyota feature in this video clip taken by the Digital Media Bureau's streaming team. (The Japan News)
Oct 29
The Tokyo Motor Show, featuring state-of-the-art fuel-cell cars as well as driverless vehicles, opened for a media preview on Wednesday. (NHK)
Oct 28
Toyota was the world's top-selling automaker for the first nine months of this year, selling nearly 7.5 million vehicles, and overtaking Volkswagen which was in the No. 1 spot for the half year. (The Japan News)
Oct 28
Honda Motor Co. on Tuesday unveiled new versions of its fuel cell vehicle and NSX sports car at its research center in the town of Haga, Tochigi Prefecture. (The Japan News)
Oct 26
Presidents of major Japanese auto makers drove their companies' epoch-making cars in central Tokyo on Saturday in a parade to promote the motor show starting in the Japanese capital late next week. (Jiji Press)
Oct 24
At least 36 of 230 diesel vehicles made by Germany's Volkswagen AG and privately imported to Japan were found equipped with software designed to cheat emissions tests, transport minister Keiichi Ishii said Friday. (Jiji Press)
Oct 23
Work to create rules for putting self-driving vehicles into practical use is kicking into high gear as progress continues on the development of such vehicles. (The Japan News)
Oct 23
Mazda Motor will exhibit a rotary-engine concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show, fueling hopes for a revival of its signature technology. (Nikkei)
Oct 22
Japanese automakers will unveil prototypes of their world premiere models targeting young people at this year's Tokyo Motor Show, which begins at Tokyo Big Sight with the preview day on Oct. 29. (Jiji Press)
Oct 13
Toyota Motor Corp. released details for its fourth-generation Prius on Oct. 13, promising that improvements in the battery, engine, wind resistance and weight mean better mileage for the world's top-selling hybrid car. (Asahi)
Oct 01
Leading domestic diesel-engine carmaker Mazda Motor Corp. sought to reassure its customers Sept. 29 that it does not engage in emissions shenanigans like rival Volkswagen AG of Germany. (Asahi)
Sep 27
Suzuki Motor Corp. said Saturday it will sell its remaining shares in Volkswagen AG following the breakdown of a tie-up arrangement between the automakers, bringing in an extraordinary profit of about 36.7 billion yen ($304 million). (Kyodo)