Subaru And Honda Set All-time Single-month Sales Records In August

Subaru and Honda set all-time single-month sales records in August

While the U.S. and Japan continue to hash out the details for a new trade deal, American customers showed just how much they love Japanese automobiles. Both Honda America and Subaru of America exceeded expectations in August and set all-time sales records for units moved in a single month. The booming business was led, in part, by the Honda CR-V and Subaru Crosstrek, both of which posted their best sales months ever.  For Subaru, August 2019 marked the best sales month in company history and a claimed 93 straight months of yearly, month-over-month growth. Subaru sold 70,039 vehicles, which beats the December 2018 record of 64,541 vehicles. Top sellers were the Outback (17,110), the Forester (17,076), and the Crosstrek (15,860). The Ascent notably saw a 72.8 percent increase in sales compared to August 2018 with 7,319 sold.  Honda America, which includes Honda and Acura, sold 173,993 total vehicles, 158,804 of which were Hondas. That's up from 147,903 total sales in August 2018. Honda achieved these numbers with strong sales across its lineup, despite the less consumer interest in sedans in general. In August 2019, Honda sold 44,235 CR-Vs (the most ever in a single month) 14,381 Pilots, 10,190 Odysseys, 34,808 Civics, and 30,558 Accords. Acura's SUVs continue to be the company's best-sellers with 5,976 MDXs sold and 5,459 RDXs moved. 

Abe: Time To Debate Constitutional Amendments

Abe: Time to debate constitutional amendments

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed his resolve to revise Japan's Constitution during a visit to the grave of his father, former foreign minister Shintaro Abe.

Abe spoke to reporters while visiting the grave in Yamaguchi Prefecture, which is his constituency, on Tuesday.

2020 Toyota Supra Clocks Official Lap Time At Buttonwillow: It's Fast

2020 Toyota Supra clocks official lap time at Buttonwillow: It's fast

After months of speculation, internet debate and nothing to go on but estimated Nürburgring lap times, it's official. The 2020 Toyota Supra is fast.  Mike Chang, co-founder of Evasive Motorsports, wrangled the brand spanking new Toyota sports car and Formula Drift champion Daijiro "Dai" Yoshihara, and brought them both to Buttonwillow Raceway in central California. With the drifter behind the wheel, the Supra clocked a 1:58.92 on the circuit's clockwise 13 configuration, the variant most hallowed by time attack fans. For context, a sub 2-minute lap time at Buttonwillow is considered very quick for a production car. The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) track record at Buttonwillow for a Spec Miata stands at 2:05.02. According to Fastestlaps.com, a 997 Porsche 911 GT3 ran a 2:01.50 on the circuit and a 997 Porsche 911 GT2 put down a 1:59.70. For those who prefer the English section of the SATs, that would mean the 2020 Toyota Supra is a full two seconds-plus quicker than the former naturally aspirated model and nearly a second faster than the turbocharged one.  Granted, we don't know the conditions for the two Porsche lap times and those are now two generations ago for Stuttgart, but for a Toyota starting with a base price of $50,920, that's a heady dose of bang-for-buck performance.  To be one of the first, if not the first 2020 Toyota Supra to ever set an official lap time, Los Angeles-based tuning shop Evasive Motorsports worked with Yume Sports, another speed shop based in Vancouver, Canada. Turns out, our neighbors to the north received deliveries of the new Toyota sports car before the U.S. did, and the Canadians had a vehicle ordered and shipped directly to Evasive Motorsports' garage in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.  In the time attack community, Evasive is a titan. Their shop turns out full track builds and have previously held three class records at time attack events. The new Supra is their latest project car, having literally been pulled off its transport at 8 p.m. this past Monday. The following morning, at dawn Tuesday, Chang drove the fresh-from-the-factory Toyota up to Buttonwillow with Yoshihara to serve as test pilot. In addition to drifting, Yoshihara has a considerable amount of circuit experience. He currently competes in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series and has also driven in Super Taikyu, a Japanese GT-spec racing series, 25 Hours of Thunderhill, among others.   "The new Toyota Supra was a lot faster than I expected," said Yoshihara. "I knew the car handled well from driving it before, but it's surprisingly very neutral when pushed to its limits. Power, steering, braking, and cornering are all super balanced. And for a modern car with all of the electronics, the Supra has really good feedback, you can tell what the car is going to do. It's a true driver's car."  Now that Evasive Motorsports has a base lap time for comparison, its real work begins.   "The first stage of the Supra build will be mostly bolt-ons," said Mike Chang. " Titanium exhaust, bucket seats and forged aluminum wheels will replace the factory units, saving weight. Adjustable coilovers suspension and sway bars will allow us to dial in handling, and a few aero modifications will help improve grip. Combine all of that with an ECU tune for more horsepower, and we should get the car to break into the 1:54s."    For the final bit of context, a 991 Porsche 911 GT3 RS ran a 1:54.50. The waitlist for an Evasive-spec 2020 Toyota Supra starts behind me. 

Emperor Naruhito Addresses Public For First Time

Emperor Naruhito addresses public for first time

Japanese Emperor Naruhito has addressed the public for the first time since ascending the throne on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of people gathered to celebrate the Imperial succession. Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, and other adult members of the Imperial family appeared together on the balcony of the Imperial Palace.

How Enthronement Schedule Is Different This Time

How enthronement schedule is different this time

The ceremonies marking Crown Prince Naruhito's enthronement will be different from the ones his father experienced when he took the throne.

A big change this time is that two key ceremonies will happen this fall -- the same year as the enthronement.
Last time, both were staged nearly two years later because the succession occurred when Emperor Showa died.
The country was in a period of mourning and officials needed time to prepare for the ceremonies.

Carlos Ghosn Granted Bail For Second Time

Carlos Ghosn granted bail for second time

A Tokyo court has granted bail for the second time to former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn. The 65-year-old was detained for a second time earlier this month. Prosecutors then charged him with aggravated breach of trust.

The court set Ghosn's bail at about 4 and a half million dollars. That's on top of the 9 million dollars he paid the last time he was released on bail.

Ghosn Granted Bail For Second Time

Ghosn granted bail for second time

The Tokyo District Court has granted bail for the second time to former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Ghosn was released on March 6 after spending 108 days in detention. He posted bail of about 9 million dollars but was arrested again on April 4.

Pilot Apparently Had No Time To Eject Before Crash

Pilot apparently had no time to eject before crash

The pilot of an F-35A fighter jet that crashed into the sea off northern Japan on Tuesday apparently had no time to eject before the crash.

Air Self-Defense Force officials say the F-35A stealth fighter is equipped with an emergency system that ejects pilots from the cockpit and allows them to parachute.

Carlos Ghosn Arrested For Fourth Time

Carlos Ghosn arrested for fourth time

Tokyo prosecutors have arrested former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn for a fourth time on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust. It is rare for prosecutors in Japan to arrest someone who has been released on bail.
Ghosn is reportedly denying all charges.

Prosecutors say Ghosn directed a part of Nissan's funds to a dealership in Oman operated by his acquaintance. The payments were made from 2015 through last year. He is suspected of causing Nissan to lose about 5 million dollars as a result of this transaction.

Ghosn Arrested For Fourth Time

Ghosn arrested for fourth time

Tokyo prosecutors have arrested former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn for a fourth time on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust. It is rare for prosecutors in Japan to arrest someone who has been released on bail.

Prosecutors say Ghosn directed a part of Nissan's funds to a dealership in Oman operated by his acquaintance. The payments were made from 2015 through last year. He is suspected of causing Nissan to lose about 5 million dollars as a result of this transaction.