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.