Then there were two
Prevailing sentiment in the Japanese media, and to some extent
among the public, is that there are two truly indigenous automobile
manufacturers in Japan: the Toyota group of companies and Honda.
Others have entrenched themselves in global alliances for
much-needed infusions of foreign capital.
Cars and light trucks merge
As light-vehicle segments blur in function and utlility, Japanese
manufacturers are placing body design emphasis on optimum space
utilization and crash safety.
Technologies in development by Japanese companies include lane
keeping, steer by wire, and dynamic stability via hybrid-electric
Engines and electric motors
The Japanese industry is pursuing a high-tech mix of internal
combustion engines, hybrid IC/electric powertrains, and fuel
Proof of performance
As advanced powertrain technologies such as cylinder deactivation,
hybrid-electric drivelines, and fuel-cell propulsion become more
prevalent, independent service providers and OEMs are positioning
themselves to support these trends through greater testing and
engineering service capabilities.
Steel rules the body panel kingdom
The predominant choice for the armor of mass-produced cars and
trucks, steel is not going unchallenged at a time when weight
reduction is more important than ever.
Testing and engineering resources
Independent service providers are continually expanding their
portfolio of technical capabilities to meet the testing and
engineering needs of automotive OEMs and suppliers. AEI editors
review some of the latest service and technologies being offered to