Naomi Tajitsu to camera

Corporate news

Nissan bets on new Ariya electric SUV to symbolize its revamp, but sales plans modest

TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co on Wednesday unveiled the Ariya - an electric SUV and its first all-new global model in five years - hoping it will symbolize its road to recovery after more than a year of scandal and a precipitous decline into earnings losses. But initial sales plans for the Ariya are modest, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, an indication that the vehicle will do little to lift Nissan’s bottom line.

Japan wants manufacturing back from China, but breaking up supply chains is hard to do

TOKYO (Reuters) - When Japanese firm Iris Ohyama agreed in April to begin producing much-needed face masks in Japan, it marked a win for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who wants to bring manufacturing back from China. Spooked by coronavirus-induced factory shutdowns in China, Abe’s government has earmarked $2 billion to help companies shift production home. The policy, part of a massive stimulus package to cope with the pandemic, has even been termed by some bureaucrats as a matter of national security.

Economic news

How to cool housing hot spots, Down-Under style

WELLINGTON/SYDNEY, May 21 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand are looking outside traditional monetary policy to do the same thing -- cool red-hot housing markets in their biggest cites without hurting borrowers, banks and their economies -- but they are following different paths. The success, or not, of these experiments could prove critical to the outlook for interest rates in both countries, while offering a guide to other rich nations on how to manage housing booms when the broader economy still needs support.

Financial market news

Politics, general news

Aging Japan: Built for young families, minicars attract a huge following among elderly drivers

TOKYO (Reuters) - When Honda Motor Co launched the latest version of its N-Box a year ago, it promoted features on the pint-sized minicar such as error-detecting pedals, automatic emergency braking and moveable seats, part of a push to market the vehicle to young families. But a drastically different demographic has made the N-Box the country’s best-selling passenger vehicle: roughly half the owners of the most recent model are 50 or older.

Up, up, and away: NZ drone makers target Hollywood

RAGLAN, New Zealand (Reuters) - Deep in New Zealand’s dairying heartland, drone maker Aeronavics tests aircraft designed to corner the fast-growing emerging market for unmanned aerial vehicles in the film and television business. The developer of drones used in the production of “Dr. Who” and the “Twilight” films is one of a stable of New Zealand firms that are using the country’s reputation for innovation in the film industry to stake out claims to what is expected to be a drone boom in Hollywood.

From scratchy blankets to luxury suits, NZ wool goes up-market to survive

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Italian luxury textiles house Loro Piana recently made its annual trip down under to select two bales of the finest merino wool, one from New Zealand and the other from Australia, for its premier line of suits, which sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Loro Piana’s fabrics are a far cry from the scratchy sweaters and blankets made decades ago in the heyday of New Zealand wool, as the world’s second-biggest exporter after Australia goes upmarket to resuscitate an industry in decline since the 1980s.