Japan's car exports face new pressure
News On Japan via foxbusiness.com -- Jun 29
Japan's three largest auto makers are signaling plans to shift more production overseas to deal with the strong yen, moves that may mark the end of the country's role as one of the world's biggest auto export hubs.
Toyota Motor Corp., long the country's biggest automotive exporter, will have an underutilized factory in northern France build a version of its Yaris subcompact for the U.S., cutting exports from Japan. It is the only model from any of the Japanese Big Three to be exported from continental Europe to the U.S., reflecting the plunge of the euro versus the yen and dollar.
All three of Japan's biggest auto companies -- Toyota, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. -- have been slowly shifting production abroad over the past decade, reflecting the yen's rise against other currencies and faster growth in overseas markets. Last month, a Honda executive said it is not pushing some exports to the U.S., including its Honda Fit subcompact, because the strong yen has rendered the exports barely profitable.
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