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Japanese automakers wrestle with price-hike dilemma

With costs rising, how long can Toyota, others put off domestic increases?

A Camry sedan at Toyota's showroom in Nagoya. Japan's automakers are grappling with sharp rises in raw material prices. (Photo by Yuki Nakao) 

TOKYO -- Japan's biggest automakers have yet to resolve a dilemma: Raise prices to offset soaring raw material costs, or keep them steady and hope the weak yen will help keep their earnings intact?

A weak currency generally provides a tailwind for the likes of Toyota, Nissan and Honda. But the war in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions have been pushing up the cost of everything from steel, to aluminum, to lithium over the past several months. Global consumer confidence, meanwhile, has been shaken by the war and inflation fears.

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