The high tech transformation of the auto sector is accelerating. Competitive success requires swift identification of the latest ideas and technologies from around the globe. A spectrum of technology strategies can provide a firm with a window on strategic technologies. The most cost-effective approach is the systematic monitoring of publicly available literature.Contrary to conventional folkore, there is a wealth of publicly available information in Japan on automotive technology. Sources include trade fairs, patents, trade publications, business newspapers, government reports and corporate journals. Key information sources are described. American awareness of Japanese research efforts is seriously deficient.