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Posts Tagged ‘Japanese automaker’

Mazda6 Gets Makeover for 2016

Mazda shows off refreshed flagship sedan in LA.

by on Nov.19, 2014

The 2016 Mazda6 gets a refresh for the first time in four years. The sedan gets an updated front grille, headlamps and new signature wing design.

Mazda’s been making news lately with the Miata as well as its all-new CX-3 small sport-ute, but lost in the shuffle is a quiet, but much-needed refresh of its flagship sedan, the Mazda6.

Introduced in 2012, the new 6 builds on its “KODO” design that came with the car’s introduction. This updated look for the exterior starts with a new front grille and “signature wing design” with new LED headlamps that the industry has been shifting to for several years now. The redo aims to give the new 6 a “deeper, stronger design expression,” according to the automaker.

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The look is accented with 19-inch aluminum wheels with high-gloss paint that adopts a darker color that emphasizes the brightness and greater depth of its metallic look. The line-up of nine body colors includes the newly developed Sonic Silver Metallic and Titanium Flash Mica, which was first introduced on Mazda3. (more…)

Honda, Acura Putting Foot on the Gas with New Plans

New structure provides focus for each brand.

by on Mar.10, 2014

Newly named Acura General Manager Mike Accavitti also retains his title as senior vice president of Honda North America. He will oversee the sales and marketing activities for Acura in North America.

The murky plans to split up Honda and Acura to strengthen the division’s luxury brand in North America became clear with the announcement today of Honda North America’s plan to form a Honda Division and an Acura Division.

The plan calls for a realignment of the company’s sales and marketing organization into the divisions instead of being aligned by function as it had previously. The move follows in the steps of the recent establishment of the Acura Business Planning Office, which is designed to give Acura a more independent path from Honda.

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“The goal is to accelerate the already strong sales growth of both the Honda and Acura brands through a more cohesive strategy that we think will bring even greater focus to the unique needs of our Honda and Acura customers,” said John Mendel, executive vice president, Auto Sales, during a conference call today. (more…)

BMW, Toyota Pledge to Make Two Sports Cars

Pair also teaming to develop fuel cell and lightweight technologies.

by on Dec.31, 2013

Could the partnership between Toyota and BMW mean the rumored return of the Supra might be a reality?

Could it be another merger of equals? Well, not on the scale seen previously, but BMW is confirming that it plans to work with Toyota to produce a pair of sports cars and share in the development of fuel cells and lightweight technologies.

“We have agreed on a joint architecture for a sports car. What is important is that there will be two different vehicles that are authentic to the two brands,” BMW’s development chief Herbert Diess told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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The two companies inked a deal in 2012 to work together in four areas: joint development of a fuel-cell system, joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, collaboration on powertrain electrification and joint research and development on lightweight technologies. (more…)

Subaru Fights Legacy of Staid Styling with New Concept

Show car provides glimpse into future design of sedan.

by on Nov.21, 2013

Subaru is looking generate some excitement about the Legacy with the concept it recently introduced.

Subaru celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Legacy sedan by unveiling a new Legacy “concept” vehicle that, as expected, distances the stalwart from its sedate styling of the past, but is also closer to production than pure concept.

Tomohiko Ikeda, executive vice president of product development at Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industry, said that the concept “demonstrated the future” of where the Legacy sedan will be going.

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It was a sentiment later seconded by Michael McHale, Subaru’s chief spokesman, described the aggressive new design as “indicative” of the styling expected of next generation Legacy. (more…)

Toyota’s Lentz Maps out Company’s Future in U.S.

Japanese maker relying on technology, design to strengthen sales.

by on Oct.16, 2013

Toyota's Jim Lentz says Toyota's version of autonomous vehicles will improve driver's ability, not take over the entire process.

When the future finally gets here and we’re all driving, or riding in, autonomous cars, the Toyota badge may not be on the side of your ride, according to Jim Lentz, Toyota North America CEO.

The Japanese carmakers’ plans for autonomous vehicles fall more into the realm of helping drivers improve their skills rather than allowing drivers to sit back and read the paper while the vehicle does the work.

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“We view autonomous cars a little differently than some others. We really see it as a co-pilot type car, not as a self-driving car,” Lentz, the first American to head Toyota’s vast operations in the NAFTA region, told the Associated Press. “A car that can really enhance the reflexes and the ability of a driver to continue to drive. That’s why I’m excited about those cars. As we look at boomers and they start to retire, the ability to have cars that can enhance their capabilities, it’s going to allow them to drive much longer.” (more…)

Screaming Hot Subaru

Japanese niche maker’s stock jumps 500% in barely 18 months.

by on Aug.12, 2013

Subaru has caught the eye of investors as its stock price has risen 500% in 18 months.

Little Subaru has turned into a big deal as far as investors are concerned.

After squeaking out an increase in sales during even the worst years of the Great Recession, the stock market seems convinced the automotive arm of Fuji Heavy Industries has even bigger opportunities ahead, with Fuji shares increasing fivefold since the beginning of 2012.

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But while the maker’s President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga says Subaru is “at a major turning point,” he is also sounding a note of caution for those who think the maker might now shift its focus from niche products like the Forester crossover and WRX hot hatch to become a true mainstream manufacturer. (more…)