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There has been a lot of news of Japanese auto companies and new/planned fuel efficient autos since last Friday. Below I've summarized these developments.

Bloomberg: Honda Plans Low-Emission Diesel to Compete in Fuel Efficiency

    Honda (NYSE:HMC) plans to introduce 2009 four-cylinder diesel car

    ♦ 30% better fuel economy than equiv. gasoline model
    ♦ Meets U.S. EPA and stricter Calif. state diesel exhaust rules
    ♦ YTD-August diesel autos = 3.6% of 11.4 million autos sold in U.S.
    ♦ J.D. Power & Assoc. estimates diesel auto sales will total 9% in U.S. by 2010

    Plans to introduce FCX fuel-cell powered sports car within 3 years

    ♦ Honda president Takeo Fukui: "Fuel-cell vehicles will be the ultimate green vehicle. There's no doubt about that."
    ♦ New FCX to weigh 180kgs (396lbs) less than current FCX test version used by U.S. and Japan govt. agencies Nissan to sell own hybrid car in 2010

    Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) plans to limit 2002 licensing deal with Toyota to Altima hybrid due in U.S. next year

    ♦ CEO C. Ghosn remains skeptical of hybrids, esp. re. business model of lower margins despite higher sales price
    ♦ Altima hybrid due next year 'merely a necessity to clear California's average fuel economy regulations'
    ♦ Hybrids remain a niche product -- largest market = U.S., market share < 2% of new auto sales

WSJ: EYES ON THE ROAD: Toyota Sends Quiet Message, Seeking Alpha WSJ Summary: Toyota: Like a 'Grizzly Bear Chasing Its Detroit Rivals Through the Woods'

    Toyota (NYSE:TM) to introduce high-tech luxury hybrid sedan

    ♦ New Lexus LS460 receives warm reception; media buzz about automated parallel parking feature
    ♦ More high-tech and higher priced LS600H hybrid due next spring
    ♦ Lexus annual sales target of 400,000 in '06, approaching 500,000 in '07, vs. BMW ~600,000 1H06

Japan Big-3 Auto: Toyota (TM), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) and Honda (HMC) 1-year comparison chart:

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Disclosure: I do not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.

Source: Japan's Big-3 Auto to Further Expand Fuel Efficiency