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Toyota Cleans California Air Using Eco-Friendly Billboards

Maker's zero-emissions Mirai is a "vehicle of change."

by on Mar.23, 2017

The Toyota Mirai eco-billboard campaign will help clear the air from April 3–May 28. This is one of 37 billboards in the Los Angeles area.

The tables are turning in Los Angeles these days when it comes to smog. For decades, the City of Angels has battled a daily haze that comes with the crushing number of cars on its congested freeways.

However, many automakers are now producing vehicles with lower emissions, and no emissions in the case of the Toyota Mirai fuel cell-powered sedan. Toyota is now not only leading with what powers its vehicles, but also advertising the air clean.

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The Japanese maker is showing off its new zero-emissions vehicle with series of 37 eco-billboards in L.A. and San Francisco coated in a smog-reducing layer of titanium dioxide catalyst. (more…)

Toyota Bringing Mutt-and-Jeff Intros to NY Auto Show

Pairing updated Sienna, Yaris models.

by on Mar.22, 2017

Toyota updates the Yaris for 2018.

Toyota will be going to extremes at the upcoming New York International Auto Show, unveiling updates to both its smallest entry into the U.S. market, as well as one of its biggest.

The update to the Toyota Sienna comes at a critical time, as the Japanese maker’s people-mover faces tough competition from two key competitors: the well-reviewed Chrysler Pacifica and the popular Honda Odyssey, both of which have undergone complete makeovers in the last year.

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The Toyota Yaris, meanwhile, is playing in a segment that has lost significant momentum over the last several years as cheap gas has helped shift the U.S. market away from small passenger cars to larger crossovers and SUVs.


Toyota Eyes Building Auto Plant in Saudi Arabia

Saudi government wants to diversify its economy.

by on Mar.15, 2017

Toyota is exploring the feasibility of helping Saudi Arabia build an auto plant in the country.

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to conduct a joint survey with the Saudi Arabian government to explore the feasibility of building vehicles in Saudi Arabia, according to a report in Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest newspaper.

To move away from being an oil-dependent economy, Saudi Arabia is aiming to diversify and nurture its industries, including manufacturing. It is particularly keen to attract the automobile industry, the paper reported.

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The automobile market in Saudi Arabia has grown steadily in recent years, with the number of car sales reaching about 880,000 units in 2015, making it larger than the markets in well-developed automotive cultures, such as Argentina and Thailand. (more…)

Lexus to Add UX Concept to Line-Up

A large flagship ute may follow, has learned.

by on Mar.14, 2017

The styling renaissance continues at Lexus with the debut of the UX Concept, although its likely it won't be a "concept" much longer.

Adapting to a rapidly shifting automotive environment, Lexus is reportedly set to transform the UX concept vehicle into its latest production SUV.

First revealed at the Paris Motor Show last September, the UX would join the best-selling RX, the full-size LX, and the relatively new NX in Lexus showrooms. But it could be just one of several new crossovers coming from the Japanese luxury brand, with Lexus also looking at a possible flagship model that would serve as a complement to the LS sedan.

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“We are doing (the UX), Lexus Executive Vice President Yoshihiro Sawa told Australia’s Motoring magazine. “It’s not so far away.” (more…)

Toyota Reveals Its Newest Autonomous Research Vehicle

A smart car designed to get smarter.

by on Mar.03, 2017

Toyota's new autonomous research vehicle is quickly adapting to driver behaviors and other stimuli.

Toyota’s newest autonomous research vehicle is expected to learn from its mistakes, adapting to both individual driver behavior and unexpected situations it will likely encounter in real-world driving.

Based on the current Lexus LS 600hL second-generation research model making its debut at the Toyota Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, today is the first developed entirely in-house by the Japanese automaker.

The Last Word!

The Gen-2 research vehicle help Toyota take two different approaches to the challenges of self-driving automobiles. That includes both driver assistance technology meant to help a human always drive at their best level, as well as fully autonomous technology that could, eventually, allow a vehicle to operate with no human behind the wheel at any time or place. (more…)

Toyota Puts North American HQ on the Market

Automaker delayed sale to allow employees to move to Texas.

by on Mar.03, 2017

Toyota has finally put its former Torrance, California headquarters building up for sale.

Toyota has officially put its North American headquarters campus in Torrance, California, up for sale, company officials have confirmed.

Hundreds of Toyota employees have already left Torrance for the new headquarters campus that the Japanese automaker is building in Plano, Texas, north of Dallas.

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Toyota announced its plans to leave Torrance for Texas back in 2014 but held up putting the company’s buildings in Southern California up or sale. The delay stemmed from the fact the company didn’t want potential buyers, tramping through the property while the work spaces were still occupied by Toyota employees, noted Scott Vazin, Toyota North America vice president of communications. (more…)

Toyota Shifting Bet from Conventional Hybrids to Plug-Ins

Japanese giant recalls all of its new Mirai hydrogen cars.

by on Feb.15, 2017

The Toyota Prius Prime added a plug this time around, helping the automaker take advantage of the growing trend toward plug-ins.

Toyota, the company that gave the world its first mainstream gasoline-electric vehicle, says it now expects plug-ins to gain traction faster than conventional hybrids.

The revelation by the man known as the “father of the Prius” is the latest in a series of ongoing shifts in Toyota’s approach to green technologies. Long wary of lithium-ion technology, the Japanese maker is putting more emphasis on more advanced battery vehicles, including both plug-ins and pure battery-electric models. It also appears to be growing more cautious about hydrogen power.

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“Mr. Toyoda himself is leading the charge toward more electrification for the company,” said Brian Bolain, U.S. Lexus brand chief. (more…)

Three New Toyota Models Let “Families on the Go Rough it in Style”

Chicago Auto Show debut for RAV4 Adventure, Tundra and Sequoia TRD

by on Feb.09, 2017

Toyota's picked up on the idea that truck and ute buyers like to customize their vehicles a bit. The new Sequoia TRD offers that chance.

This story includes updated information.

This year’s Chicago Auto Show is all about new niche products, and Toyota has a gaggle of them to show off: rugged yet lavishly equipped versions of three of its popular light truck lines.

The RAV4 Adventure and TRD versions of the Sequoia sport-utility vehicle and Tundra pickup are all aimed at families who want to “rough it in style,” the automaker explains. They all feature improvements in off-road capabilities and performance, as well as design tweaks meant to give them a sportier and more rugged appearance.

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That’s in keeping with what other manufacturers are bringing to this year’s Chicago Auto Show. There are more products than ever for American car buyers to choose from, but automakers also are offering more niche variants, whether sporty, upscale or just distinctive in styling. (more…)

Toyota, Suzuki Teaming Up

Will partner on R&D, parts; and target emerging markets.

by on Feb.06, 2017

Suzuki underwent a major management shake-up in 2016 after it admitted rigging mpg numbers.

Japan’s largest automaker is teaming up with one of the country’s smaller car manufacturers as part of a plan to develop new technologies, cut parts costs and boost sales in emerging markets.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. on Monday confirmed widespread expectations that they would form a new alliance. But, at least for now, there are no plans for a capital tie-up between the two manufacturers.

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“Toyota and Suzuki have agreed to work toward the early realization of a business partnership,” the two said in a joint statement, issued on the same day Toyota reported a sharp decline in earnings during its fiscal third quarter.


Toyota Earnings Tumble on Weak Yen

“No immediate plan” to shift production from Japan to U.S.

by on Feb.06, 2017

Strong demand for light trucks like the RAV4 propped up Toyota's sales in the U.S.

A strong yen translated into weaker earnings for Toyota Motor Corp. during the fiscal third quarter, with the impact likely to continue in the months to come, the company anticipating a 26% decline in its net profit for the year ending March 31.

Separately, Toyota officials told reporters that despite comments by CEO Akio Toyoda last month that the automaker will add more jobs in the U.S., there are “no immediate plans” to curb production at Toyota’s factories in Japan which produce about 3 million vehicles annually, many of them bound for America.

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Toyota’s earnings could have slipped even further had it not engaged in aggressive cost-cutting, Managing Officer Tetsuya Otake told reporters during a conference call. Nonetheless, the problem will continue, he said, noting, “We’ve revised our full-year yen forecast to 107 yen to the U.S. dollar from 103 yen, which is the biggest contributing factor to our profit forecast revision.”