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First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

A European spin on a popular Korean compact.

by on Aug.08, 2012

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT.

After scoring a hit with its latest compact sedan, the Elantra, Hyundai is aiming to broaden the nameplate’s appeal with two spin-offs, the Elantra Turbo and the even sportier Elantra GT.

The maker has good reason to want to expand the line-up, considering Elantra’s success in the U.S. market.  The base car won the coveted North American Car of the Year award, last January, and Hyundai has ever since been struggling to meet demand. If anything, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT could put the model in even shorter supply.

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The GT is more than just a tarted-up version of the current Hyundai Elantra sedan. It features a distinctive hatchback body originally developed for Europe, where it is sold as the i30.  The version we’ll get here is largely the same motorists can buy in London or Berlin – though Hyundai has softened the suspension a bit for American tastes.


Big Job Cuts May Be Coming at Toyota

Automaker not invulnerable to impact of recession

by on Jan.26, 2009

And the new champion of the world...

Sales crown doesn't ensure job security.

Toyota might have toppled GM as the global sales king, but the Japanese are not in the mood for celebrating. According to the Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Toyota will probably lay off more than 1,000 employees in Great Britain and North America, as sales continue to tumble in those two key markets.

Although Toyota Motor Corp has overtaken GM as the world’s leading automaker, the Japanese giant has to focus on the problems of the moment. Though it originally seemed to sidestep the collapsing American auto market, marketing czar Don Esmond recently told, “We are not immune.”

And so, with sales declines pushing beyond 30 percent, in recent months, Toyota has no choice but to cut. The automaker has traditionally tried to find ways to keep its workforce busy during its few, brief production “adjustments.” But this time, the numbers may need to be permanently adjusted, and layoffs may be required, according to Nikkei and other sources.

The Japanese newspaper suggested that Toyota would make a decision soon about the workforce to be laid off, based on information from a source within the company.

Since Toyota is temporarily closing plants, its suppliers, both in North America and in Japan, are facing the impact, as well.