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Why Japan Is Holding Back as the World Rushes Toward Electric Cars

TOKYO — Just over a decade ago, Nissan became the first automaker to offer a mass-produced car that ran on batteries alone. That hatchback, the Leaf, has been a smash hit, at least by electric car standards, with more than 500,000 sold by the end of last year.But as the trail that Nissan blazed becomes increasingly crowded, Japan’s mighty auto industry is in danger of being left behind. While governments and automakers worldwide are staking out bold pledges to transition to electric-only vehicles, Japanese car companies and regulators are hedging their bets.Japan dominates the global market for the current …

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British Auto Industry Risks Slow Decline After Brexit

“Therein lies a flashing yellow light,” Mr. Palmer said. “If they’re not tooling up the next-generation E.V. in Sunderland, and everything is going electric, that’s a concern.”Britain was once one of the world’s leading auto producers, its glamour epitomized by Rolls-Royce, Bentley and James Bond’s weaponized Aston Martin. But auto production peaked in 1972 and has been pretty much downhill since. Brands like Rover, Austin-Healey or Sunbeam, widely admired but only intermittently profitable, disappeared. MG, once known for two-seat sports cars, belongs to SAIC, a Chinese automaker that uses the brand name for a line …

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Lack of Tiny Parts Disrupts Auto Factories Worldwide

The semiconductor shortage came out of left field, hitting the industry at a perilous moment. Sales have plunged worldwide. In Europe, for example, they were down 25 percent in 2020.This is all happening while automakers are trying to navigate a shift in basic technology from internal combustion engines to batteries, which has subjected them to new competition from Tesla, the California company that has become the most valuable automaker in the world by far, and emerging Chinese manufacturers like Nio.Exactly how long the shortage will last is unclear. It can take 20 to 25 weeks from the time new orders are placed …

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