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Toyota trolls for techies along Tokyo's Nambu Line amid Silicon Valley's tense rivalry

The Japan Times

When it comes to recruiting tech talent, Toyota Motor Corp. is anything but subtle. The Japanese automaker recently launched a marketing campaign targeting information technology specialists and software engineers along Tokyo's suburban Nambu railway line, where the research centers of Japan's signature tech giants are clustered. "We want engineers from Nambu Line area more than from Silicon Valley," declares one poster at Mukaigawara Station, where one of the exits is designated exclusively for NEC Corp. employees. Toyota's talent raid is unusual in a country where lifetime employment is still the norm at many big companies. "It's very unique for a Japanese company as well-known as Toyota to blatantly target specific talent markets or companies with direct advertising in regional locations like this," said Casey Abel, managing director at recruiter HCCR K.K. based in Tokyo.

Toyota recalls air bags in U.S. and Japan that may not inflate properly

The Japan Times

DETROIT – Toyota is recalling 191,000 cars in North America and Japan because the air bags may not inflate properly in a crash. The recall covers certain 2003 through 2008 Corolla compact sedans and 2005 through 2008 Matrix hatchbacks. Toyota says the front passenger air bags in the cars were installed in prior recalls to replace dangerous Takata air bags. But in high temperatures, the replacement bags may not unfold as designed, increasing the risk of injury in a crash. Toyota wouldn't say if anyone has been hurt due to the problem.

Elon Musk wants to make supersonic vertical-takeoff electric jet but says his 'head would explode'

The Independent - Tech

Elon Musk has said he wants Tesla to make a supersonic vertical-takeoff-and-landing electric jet, but that his head "would definitely explode" if he were to commit to the project. In an interview with Recode, the Tesla founder revealed he had been thinking about the design for what he called the "VTOL jet" for nearly a decade. Mr Musk's discussion of the plane comes two years after he told an audience he was "tempted" to build an electric jet that would revolutionise the air transport industry by cutting costs and potentially ditching the need for huge runways. Elon Musk says tweet which cost him $20m was'worth it' Tesla share price surges as firm delivers its biggest profits ever Elon Musk posts bizarre bitcoin tweet about cryptocurrency scams Elon Musk says tweet which cost him $20m was'worth it' The 47-year-old also touted the impact of the Tesla Semi, a new type of electric semi-trailer lorry, and the company's Roadster sports vehicle. "Semis are in constant use and use a tremendous amount of fuel, so the Tesla Semi, I think, can have a huge effect," Mr Musk said.

Electronics firms from Japan and beyond expand business in self-driving and EV technology

The Japan Times

Electronics firms and other non-automotive companies are eager to expand their businesses in the auto sector, where innovations are seen as essential amid the growing need for autonomous and electric vehicles. At the Tokyo Motor Show, open to the public from Friday to Nov. 4, many electronics firms including Hitachi Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Panasonic Corp. are showcasing their products and services. Such companies are trying to take advantage of their experience and knowledge to manufacture motors, inverters and sensors that will become indispensable to assemble autonomous and electric cars. More than 50 percent of vehicles will be fully or partly powered by electricity by 2040, according to an estimate by the International Energy Agency. Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd., an automotive unit of Hitachi group, produces motors and inverters for electric vehicles as well as electronic control units for advanced driving assistance systems.

Takata logs second year of red ink, expects return to profit

U.S. News

Takata Corp., the Japanese auto-parts maker behind a massive air-bag recall, is expecting a return to profit for the fiscal year through March 2017, although it just agreed to do more recalls. Tokyo-based Takata reported a 13 billion yen ( 120 million) loss Wednesday for the fiscal year that ended in March -- the second straight year of red ink. It had originally forecast a profit, but revised that to a loss earlier this week. It racked up a 29.6 billion yen loss the previous fiscal year. What lies ahead for Takata is largely unclear because automakers handling the recalls -- which includes many major automakers around the world, such as Honda Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and BMW, will bill Takata.