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Toyota to resume limited production in Japan

Workers walk between newly-assembled Prius vehicles near Toyota's plant in Toyota, central Japan, in this February 9, 2010 file photo. (Reuters/Yuriko Nakao/Files)

Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. said Friday that they will resume production at all factories in Japan from mid-to-late April, joining Honda Motor Co. in an industry-wide move indicating a month-long parts shortage may be abating.

But Japan’s Big Three auto makers all say their output at home still will be only at half of normal volumes. Get the full story »

March auto sales gains riding in small cars

Most major automakers raced past expectations for U.S. sales in March as buyers flocked to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars in response to rising gasoline prices at the pump. Get the full story »

Consumers better off buying Japanese cars now

If you’re in the market for a new car, but especially if you’re looking at a fuel-efficient Japanese model, experts say you’re better off buying now because prices will only get higher in coming weeks as the effects of the earthquake in Japan and the unrest in Libya and the Middle East start to be felt. Get the full story »

Quinn to carmakers: State’s ready for electric cars

Standing in front of a fast-charging station at the Chicago Auto Show, Gov. Pat Quinn called on automakers to bring electric vehicles to the state in light of charging infrastructure planned for the Chicago area.

“We’re going to have electric vehicles galore in the state of Illinois,” he said. “We want to be the nation’s capital for electric vehicles.”

In announcing that Chicago has signed a contract to have 280 charging stations installed in the area, Quinn said the infrastructure will go a long way toward making the state’s environmental goals a reality. Get the full story »

Volt misses Top 10 in ranking of ‘green’ cars

The Chevrolet Volt didn’t rank as one of the 10 “greenest” cars in America, coming at no. 13, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s annual list.

The fully electric Nissan Leaf ranked second among all 2011 model year cars on the list. First place went to the compressed natural gas powered Honda Civic GX. Get the full story »

UAW turns up effort to organize transplants

United Auto Workers President Bob King dialed up the rhetoric this week in his campaign to organize foreign-owned auto plants based in the U.S.

Speaking at the first day of the UAW’s legislative conference in Washington, D.C., King vowed to step up the union’s effort to organize the transplants owned by companies including Toyota, Honda and Nissan and said the union’s future depended on expanding its membership. Get the full story »

Nissan sales surge 28% in December

Nissan Motor Co. reported a 28 percent increase in U.S. auto sales for December, growth that outpaced the broader industry, as car and truck sales each notched large gains.

Japan’s second-biggest car maker by worldwide sales volume after Toyota Motor Corp. reported it sold 93,730 vehicles during the month, up from 73,404 a year earlier and 31 percent more than November. Car sales grew 26 percent, while truck sales were up 32 percent. Get the full story »

Nissan, Mitsubishi strengthen ties in Japan

Nissan Motor Co.  and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.  said Tuesday that they will supply more models to each other and explore  jointly developing vehicles as they look to spark sales in the sagging Japanese market and to meet increasing demand in emerging markets.

The two Japanese carmakers said that Nissan will provide a light van and upper-end sedans to Mitsubishi Motors to broaden its lineup in the domestic market, while Mitsubishi will provide a sport-utility vehicle model to Nissan to enhance its growing SUV segment in the Middle East. Get the full story »

Nissan sees electric car envy in criticism of the Leaf

(Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

From The International Herald Tribune | Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn says criticism of the company’s Leaf car is due to electric car envy. “They don’t have one, so it’s not a surprise,” Mr. Ghosn said in an interview this week at Nissan headquarters. “People who are challenged by innovation are going to fight it in the beginning,” he said. “Get ready to see a lot of converts.”

Nissan Leaf to get equivalent of 99 mpg

The Nissan Leaf, a 100 percent electric car is test driven at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. (AP/Damian Dovarganes, file)

Nissan’s new electric car, the Leaf, will get the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, based on government testing.

Nissan says the Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel efficiency window sticker will estimate that the electric car will get the equivalent of 106 mpg in city driving and 92 mpg on the highway. Get the full story »

Chevy to sell Volt in Chicago by mid-2012

Expect the Chevrolet Volt to be available in the Chicago area by mid-2012, when General Motors rolls out its extended range electric car across the country. Get the full story »

Nissan aims for 500K electric cars by 2013

The chief executive of Nissan Motor Co. says the automaker’s alliance with Renault could produce 500,000 electric vehicles a year globally by 2013. Get the full story »

Nissan recalling 600K Frontiers, Xterras, Sentras

Nissan Motor Co. says it is recalling more than 600,000 vehicles in North and South America and Africa due to steering or battery cable problems. Get the full story »

Nissan recalls 2 million vehicles worldwide

Nissan is recalling 2.14 million vehicles worldwide including the popular March and Mycra subcompacts for an ignition problem that may stall the engine — its third-largest recall ever.

Power says electric cars just don’t have the spark

A well-known auto industry forecasting firm on Wednesday suggested that the heavily promoted battery-powered vehicles about to appear  are headed for a much slower takeoff then some auto makers and industry analysts expect.

In a new study, J.D. Power & Associates said sales of electric cars are likely to remain low for  several years and won’t make up more than a small slice of the global market even 10 years down the road. Get the full story »