Honda

The central Mexican region known as El Bajío is known as the nation’s colonial heartland, its grain belt and a hotbed of fervent Catholicism. Now Japanese auto production can be added to the list.

While Barack Obama and the Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto were talking in Mexico City about jobs, Honda was announcing the creation of 1,500 of them in an $470m transmission plant to be built in Celaya in El Bajío. Read more

The territorial dispute between China and Japan has already given business a jolt between the two nations, especially car sales.

On Thursday, three of the big Japanese carmakers released numbers showing how the spat has hurt production. The numbers are grim, but could have been grimmer. Read more

Car dealers in any society are pretty much at the bottom of the pile when it comes to public trust. Ironically in China – where consumers are hyper-distrustful of all merchants at the best of times – car dealers have not been around long enough to become the particular object of public disdain they are in the west. They still have that to look forward to.

So there may not be much public sympathy for complaints from auto dealers that they are carrying too much inventory as the Chinese car market pulls out of a traditionally slow first quarter and ramps up for the usually busy spring and summer sales seasons. Read more