Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 347, August 1998

Issue Index

American Companies in Japan


Two of the launch customers for BOEING CO.'s 777-300 widebody plane — ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS CO., LTD. and JAPAN AIRLINES CO., LTD. — have taken delivery of their aircraft. Both airlines will use the planes on domestic routes. ANA configured its 777-300 to carry 477 people, including 18 in first-class "superseats" and the rest in economy class. JAL's version can handle 470 passengers, with 18 also in superseats. ANA has eight more 777-300s on order; JAL is awaiting delivery of four more. The latest Boeing widebody, which is powered by engines from the Pratt & Whitney division of UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP., carries 20 percent more passengers than the 777-200. Both Japanese airlines also are major customers for that plane. ANA has taken delivery of 12 and has eight more on order, while JAL has five 777-200s in service and will add five more.

No longer can TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. dealers be faulted for not handling products built by the U.S. Big Three automotive makers. CHRYSLER JAPAN SALES LTD. signed up HAKODATE TOYOPET CO., LTD. as its main dealer for the southern half of Hokkaido. The independent Toyota dealer, located in Hakodate, will form a company to open an exclusive Chrysler showroom and service center in September. CHRYSLER CORP. sales in Japan have tumbled this year, in part because HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD. no longer sells its Jeep vehicles.

An airbag deployment sensor developed by ADVANCED SAFETY CONCEPTS, INC. has been licensed to NICHIMEN CORP. for use in Japan by automotive manufacturers. The sensor relies on capacitance to detect a person's position in an airbag-equipped vehicle. That information minimizes the possibility of injury when the airbag deploys. ASCI's product also is less expensive to produce in volume than sensors using infrared ray or ultrasound technology. As part of the deal, Nichimen acquired a stake of under 10 percent in the Santa Fe, New Mexico sensor specialist.

An exchange rate of ¥141=$1.00 was used in this report.

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