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Business trends

Trade row prompts Japanese automakers to boost reliance on Asia

Truck and bus makers are taking steps to fend off Chinese rivals in the region

Toyota Motor's pickup trucks are selling well in Thailand. (Photo by Nozomu Ogawa)

TOKYO -- As the trade war triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump shakes Japanese automakers, their decisions on seeking stronger revenue sources in Southeast Asian countries and other parts of the region will have a major influence on their earnings -- and the future of the industry.

Toyota Motor announced on Aug. 3 that up to 25% of U.S. tariffs on imported cars and autoparts will add $6,000 per unit on average. That would be about 20% of Toyota's average selling price in the U.S. The automaker may need to drastically change its strategy depending on the development of U.S. policy.

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