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Posts Tagged ‘toyota news’

Scion Aims to Regain Youthful Allure

Flood of new products promised.

by on Jan.23, 2015

The Scion tC Release Series 9.

Scion is turning to an old idea in its bid for young drivers, giving its tC Coupe a two-tone paint job based on a popular custom car show concept.

Originally aimed at youthful “influencers” who would draw buyers into showrooms for parent Toyota’s products, Scion has lost a lot of its early momentum in recent years, recent models like the micro-sized iQ and second-generation xB falling flat in the marketplace. Despite speculation Toyota might give up on the Scion brand-within-a-brand, the Japanese maker has no intention of pulling the plug and is, instead, promising to roll out an assortment of edgy new models that it hopes will recapture Scion’s original energy.

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“We’re committed to Scion,” declared Bob Carter, head of Toyota’s U.S. auto operations, during a speech at an industry confab in San Francisco this week. The sub-brand remains “a test bed for Millennials,” and a significant part of Toyota’s broader strategy.

It sees Scion as a critical bridge to help it gain new buyers for the Toyota brand which has long been dependent on now-aging Baby Boomers.

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Toyota Breaks Ground on Texas Headquarters

Maker expects flood of employees to visit as part of moving decision.

by on Jan.22, 2015

Toyota Motor North America Chief Executive Officer Jim Lentz speaks at the groundbreaking of the company's new headquarters in Plano, Texas.

Toyota broke ground on its new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, as it moves ahead with it plans to relocate its key corporate offices from Southern California to the Dallas Metroplex.

As part of the move, Toyota expects 10,000 employees and their families to visit Dallas during the next few months as they decide whether to move or stay in Southern California. Personnel experts expect roughly 40% of the Toyota employees in California, where the company had sunk deep roots, will elect to remain in California for personal reasons.

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The Toyota project is also offering a major boost to the Texas economy, which is reeling as oil prices collapse due to an over-supply of oil around the world. Oil prices have fallen 55% since last summer after Toyota announced plans to shift its North American headquarters to Dallas. (more…)

Japan Investing Big in Hydrogen Power

Setting up network of refueling stations before 2020 Olympics.

by on Jan.22, 2015

Toyota Mirai, the maker's hydrogen fuel cell car, represents its future rather than electric vehicles.

As part of its broader shift away from nuclear power, Japan is turning towards hydrogen, a lightweight gas some proponents like to call the fuel of the future.

The government has approved an investment of 45.2 billion yen, or $385 million, to set up a network of hydrogen refueling stations that will be in place in time for the 2020 Olympics in the capital city of Tokyo. The money also will provide subsidies for the development of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

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“It’s time to introduce a hydrogen era,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters after test driving the new Toyota Mirai. (more…)

Toyota Takes Top Sales Spot in 2014

VW, GM look to make up ground and grab lead in 2015.

by on Jan.21, 2015

Toyota is the world's biggest selling automaker in 2014 with 10.23 million vehicles sold around the world.

The contest to see which automaker is king of the global sales mountain ended today with Toyota declared the winner with 10.23 million vehicles sold in 2014.

Volkswagen, which is attempting to capture the crown by 2018, came in second with 10.14 million units sold: a 4% increase over 2013. General Motors, which had held the title for decades, is third place with 9.92 million, which is a 2% jump.

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However, Toyota’s time atop the mountain is likely to end in 2015. The automaker predicted its global sales will drop in 2015 to 10.15 million units. While that may seem like an opportunity for VW to slide into the top spot this year, its U.S. sales have been sluggish. (more…)

Toyota Teases Radically New RND Concept

“Changing the face of motoring within weeks.”

by on Jan.21, 2015

Toyota's the latest maker to tease a new vehicle, in this case, the RND Concept. It will be unveiled next week in Great Britain.

In today’s world of increasingly confusing alphabet soup automotive nameplates, it’s a challenge to try to remember which is which – and what those letters stand for. In the case of the new RND Concept car Toyota is teasing, it appears the first two letters may mean “radically new.”

A production version of the RND also could have a radical impact on the auto industry as a whole, Toyota suggesting that we will see it “changing the face of motoring within weeks.”

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Toyota has been on a push to pump more “passion” into the brand, as CEO Akio Toyoda likes to say. And that’s mean more expressive styling for mainstream models like the midsize Camry, as well as more power and improve handling across the board. (more…)

Toyota “Staying the Course” Towards 54.5 MPG CAFE Target

“Eventually,” says auto chief Carter, $4 gas “will come back.”

by on Jan.14, 2015

Toyota's Bob Carter said Americans need to be prepared for a return to $4 gas in the future.

Enjoy cheap gas while you can, says Bob Carter, the head of U.S. automotive operations for Toyota. Like all good things, it “eventually” will come to an end.

The collapse of gas prices was the talk of the North American International Auto Show during this week’s media previews, and senior industry officials universally said that this unexpected shift has both its benefits and challenges.

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Consumers have more money to spend, but they’re also asking for the sort of big, powerful vehicles that could make it difficult to meet the upcoming, 54.5-mile per gallon Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards that will take effect in 2025. (more…)

Toyota Maintains Post Atop Midsize Mountain with Tacoma

New truck ready to withstand new challengers.

by on Jan.13, 2015

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma is looking to remain at the top of the midsize truck market in the future. Photo credit: Len Katz

General Motors put the leader in the midsize truck segment – Toyota – on notice when it introduced it’s two entries into the segment earlier this year, but Toyota responded by reminding the competition that they’re leader of the pack with the new 2016 Tacoma introduced today in Detroit.

Not only did the automaker reassert itself as the segment leader, it’s creating some more buzz that might bring some additional players into the midsize arena. However, until then, the maker is content to create a truck to meet the needs of active drivers on a variety of tamed and untamed surfaces, the suspension was fine-tuned to help deliver a smoother on-road ride, while making it even more capable off-road.

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The new Tacoma will be powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and an all-new, segment-first 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 equipped with Toyota’s D-4S technology, featuring both direct and port fuel injection. (more…)

Toyota Reveals New Tacoma

Beefier, likely better equipped. But is a V-6 in the offing?

by on Jan.08, 2015

Toyota offers a first official look at the next-gen Tacoma pickup ahead of its Detroit launch next week.

With the North American International Auto Show approaching fast, Toyota has released the first full, official images of the next-generation Tacoma pickup. But the maker is maintaining silence when it comes to specific details about the next-generation midsize truck, despite speculation it will add a new, more powerful V-6 to the powertrain line-up.

That might make sense considering the new competition from General Motors, which is offering both a fuel-efficient four, as well as a V-6, for buyers of its new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon models – with a diesel set to come later this year.

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Long the midsize pickup segment leader, Toyota is facing a potentially serious challenge from GM, while Nissan and Honda are also developing updated models that could chip away at the Tacoma’s long-running lead.

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Toyota Giving Away 1,000s of Fuel Cell Patents

Japanese maker betting it can spur market for hydrogen power.

by on Jan.06, 2015

The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will go on sale in the U.S. by mid-2015.

In an unusual – but not entirely unprecedented – move, Toyota officials announced they will give free access to nearly 6,000 different patents covering advanced fuel cell technology to the company’s competitors.

The announcement, made during a news conference at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, comes as Toyota begins production of its new Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Though the Japanese giant was an early pioneer in the use of hybrid powertrain technology it has largely turned its corporate back on more advanced electric vehicles, betting that hydrogen provides a better way to meet the need for zero-emissions vehicles.

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“We think (hydrogen) will solve a lot of problems associated with electric vehicles,” such as limited range and long recharging times, said Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations for Toyota Motor Sales USA.

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Toyota’s China Dealers May Cut Ties as Sales Fail to Hit Target

Maker likely to fall short of 1.1 million sales as dealers lose money.

by on Jan.02, 2015

Japanese car sales in China plunged -- and a Toyota dealership was even burned -- during protests over a diplomatic dispute.

Slowing automotive sales and perhaps some lingering resentment toward Japan may cost Toyota as much as 10% of its dealer network in China because they aren’t making any money.

When all the numbers are totaled, Toyota, Japan’s largest automaker, expects to fall short of its goal of selling 1.1 million units in China due to a faster-than-anticipated economic slowdown and resulting price war in the local auto market.

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IHS Automotive pegs 2014 sales at 1.09 million and the near future isn’t shaping up to be any better as Toyota is likely to sell just slightly more than 1 million vehicles in 2015, two company executives told Reuters. (more…)