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Global EV shift pushes Japan's midsize auto suppliers to adapt

More players focus on e-axles, related components to meet changing industry

A car is assembled at a Mazda Motor factory in Japan. Suppliers of all stripes are investing more heavily in EV-related components. (Photo by Ryotaro Yamada)

TOKYO -- Japan's midsize auto suppliers are investing in new talent and production lines in response to surging global demand for electric vehicles, following in the footsteps of leading players such as Nidec.

Suppliers that have long relied on production tied to internal combustion engine vehicles are reshaping operations to serve an industry embracing electrification. Many of their efforts focus on e-axles -- a critical component for EVs consisting of a motor, inverter and gearbox.

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