Automotive Consolidation – Asian Influence

Ashvin Chotai of Intelligence Automotive Asia and I have just given a seminar at Chatham House in London on the outlook for automotive M&A activity in Asia and outbound from Asia. Although activity has dropped (90 deals in 2007, 30 in 2008), companies are still picking up some of the opportunities thrown up by the […]

Domestic Challenges for Japan's Automotive Industry

The blog name “Tsurezuregusa” is the title of a Japanese book written in the form of jottings and notes of the thoughts of a retired courtier in the 14th century. Donald Keene translated this as “Essays in Idleness”. From my long absence you may deduce either an excess or a lack of idleness. This month […]

Petrol Tax

Here’s an interesting demonstration of how things in Japan often follow a different logic from elsewhere. In the oil shock years of the 70’s, Japan imposed a temporary petrol tax to discourage excess consumption. Subsequently, throughout the (almost) uninterrupted rule of the LDP, the ruling governments forgot to repeal the “temporary” tax despite the fall […]

Hot August

It has been a sweltering summer with record temperature highs, especially around Nagoya and Tokyo. Measures to reduce electricity use are in place to try to ensure supply at peak demand times. It’s not only the weather that’s been challenging though. The elections sent a strong message of dissatisfaction to the majority Liberal-Democtratic Party (LDP) […]