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Toyota Rolling Out New Version of Autonomous Car at CES

Platform 3.0 uses 360-degree Lidar system.

by on Jan.04, 2018

Toyota plans to debut its updated autonomous vehicle, Platform 3.0, at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Toyota Research Institute will unveil the latest iteration of its automated driving research vehicle, Platform 3.0, at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

The Japanese automaker has concentrated much of its work on autonomous vehicles within the institute, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is west of Detroit. The most substantial improvement in the new model is the Lidar usage.

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Prior to this, the vehicle’s Luminar Lidar system only scanned 200 yards in front of the car, but now it offers 360-degree coverage, a critical upgrade to move closer to Level 5 autonomy. (more…)

Toyota Poised to Slip to Third in Global Sales for 2017

Volkswagen and Nissan Renault Alliance expected to be first and second.

by on Jan.02, 2018

Toyota is expected to fall to third place in global sales for 2017 behind Volkswagen and Nissan-Renault.

Toyota Motor Corp is headed for a fall of sorts.

The Japanese auto giant is expected to slip to third in worldwide sales of new vehicles, according to an analysis by Japan Times. General Motors, long the world’s largest automaker, is expected to slip into fourth place when all the sales numbers are available later this month.

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Toyota surrendered its position as the as the world’s largest automaker in 2016 as Volkswagen AG, thanks to the German automaker’s strong sales in China and economic recovery in Europe, moved into first place. (more…)

Toyota Creates New Mobility Company in Tokyo

Automaker merges two subsidiaries in Japan.

by on Dec.22, 2017

The Toyota FT-AC Concept could potentially be part of the newly formed mobility company.

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to merge two of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Toyota Fleet Leasing Co. Ltd and Toyota Tokyo Rental & Leasing Co., Ltd into a new entity, Toyota Mobility Service Co. in Japan, starting April 1, 2018.

In addition to aiming to strengthen the existing corporate automobile leasing and rental car businesses, Toyota intends to plan and provide new mobility services in anticipation of the increasing demand for mobility services.

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In its announcement, Toyota was aware of customers’ diversifying needs, which not only includes conventional vehicle ownership, but also the growing need for shared utilization via as car sharing, in which people use things only whenever the service is needed.  (more…)

Toyota Planning to Launch at Least 10 EVs by Early 2020s

Half of Toyota sales will come from electrified vehicles by 2030.

by on Dec.18, 2017

The new battery deal between Toyota and Panasonic will likely play a critical role in the automaker's EV development plans.

Aiming to catch up to competitors like Volkswagen, General Motors and Tesla in the fast-emerging battery-car market Toyota Motor Corp. plans to launch at least 10 electric vehicles by the early 2020s.

Along with the pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, Toyota said Monday that it will offer some of battery-based powertrain technology for every product it offers through both the Toyota and Lexus brands by 2025, with sales of those models – as well as hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles – set to reach 5.5 million annually by 2030.

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“Electrified vehicles, which are effective for economical consumption of fuel and promoting usage of alternative fuels, are indispensable in helping to solve current environmental issues,” Toyota said in a statement Monday morning. “As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero.” (more…)

Toyota Expects Electrified Vehicles Will Make Up Half of Its Global Sales

Automaker planning partnership with Panasonic.

by on Dec.13, 2017

Toyota Pres. Akio Toyoda at the launch of the Lexus LC coupe - which is offered with a hybrid option.

Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda said Wednesday that he expects half of the company’s sales to come from electrified vehicles – including hybrids and plug-based models – by 2030.

Toyoda spoke during a news conference called to announce a partnership with Panasonic to develop new battery technology that would be used for future Toyota products. The emphasis on electrified vehicles underscores a major shift in strategy by Japan’s largest automaker which, until recently, focused on hybrids but steered clear of more advanced plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

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“The auto industry is now facing a major change of the kind that comes once in a hundred years,” said the 61-year-old grandson of Toyota’s founder.

(more…)

Next-Gen Toyota Avalon Debuting at Detroit Auto Show

Automaker readies for second product reveal at NAIAS.

by on Dec.11, 2017

Toyota plans to take the wraps of its next-generation Avalon at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

Toyota Motor Corp. is going to have a full schedule at next month’s North American International Auto Show as the automaker revealed it will have a second major product debut in Detroit.

The Japanese automaker will premiere its all-new 2019 Avalon Monday, Jan. 15, during the 2018 NAIAS. The fifth generation Avalon shares the new platform utilized by the Toyota Camry and will be built at the automaker’s big assembly complex in Georgetown, Kentucky.

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Last week, it was revealed that Lexus plans to unveil a new concept vehicle in Detroit as well. (more…)

Toyota’s Hollis Expects Solid Sales in 2018

Automaker expects new Camry to lead the way to good year.

by on Dec.05, 2017

Toyota executive Jack Hollis told the Automotive Press Association that the company expects U.S. new vehicle sales to exceed 16.5 million in 2018.

Toyota expects 2018 to be another strong year as industry sales once again exceed hit 16.5 million units or better, Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division at Toyota Motor North America, told the Automotive Press Association.

Hollis cited several factors contributing to the continuing strength of car sales in the U.S., including a healthy U.S. economy, continuing job and wage growth, low fuel prices and improvement in consumer confidence.

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“It might not be a record but still good strong pace,” Hollis said during in his speech during the APA meeting in Detroit. (more…)

Toyota Setting up LA Plant to Convert Animal Waste to Clean Hydrogen

California pilot program could keep thousands of zero-emissions cars, trucks fueled up.

by on Nov.30, 2017

Toyota's Doug Murtha talks about the automaker's hydrogen plant during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Animal waste from the farms of California’s fertile Central Valley will soon be used to fuel up a new generation of ultra-clean cars and trucks, Toyota announced Thursday during a news conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

One of the industry’s biggest proponents of fuel-cell vehicles, or FCVs, Toyota hopes the Tri-Gen Project it is setting up at the Port of Long Beach, in suburban Los Angeles, will help overcome the chicken-and-egg problem that has so far limited acceptance of hydrogen power: the lack of a production and distribution network.

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“We believe hydrogen technology has the potential to become the powertrain of the future,” said Doug Murtha, a group vice president for strategic planning with Toyota’s North American operations. Adding the project, which will generate 1.2 tons of hydrogen a day, will be “a key milestone in Toyota’s larger commitment to clean mobility.” (more…)

“Future Toyota Adventure Concept” Hints of New Off-Roader to Come

Toyota FT-AC could fill gap left by demise of FJ Cruiser.

by on Nov.30, 2017

Toyota's new FT-AC Concept debuted in Los Angeles and offers some insight into how the maker may replace the FJ Cruiser.

With utility vehicles now accounting for half of the American automotive market, manufacturers are reluctant to leave any gaps open. This year’s Los Angeles Auto Show is full of new utes plugging empty “white space,” and as the two-day media preview wraps up, Toyota weighs in with its FT-AC concept.

In this case, the Future Toyota Adventure Concept aims to plug a gap left open by the demise of the old FJ Cruiser, and picks up on the earlier FT-4X prototype unleashed at the New York Auto Show last April.

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“FT-AC is a catalyst,” said Jack Hollis, general manager of the Toyota division. “It’s a medium for breaking everyday routine.” (more…)

Toyota Tells Camry Plant Employees to Cut Costs — Now

Cheaper to build Camry in Japan and ship it to U.S.

by on Nov.21, 2017

Employees at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky, plant were told that they needed to find ways to cut costs at the site.

Employees at Toyota’s largest plant in North America were just delivered a message from Japan: cut costs or lose jobs.

The company’s plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, produces the Camry, which is the best-selling sedan in the U.S., was told in a video from the company’s plant manager that currently it is cheaper for Toyota to build the Camry in Japan and ship it to Kentucky than it is to simply build it in Kentucky.

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“I’m not sharing this to scare you, but to heighten your awareness of the current risk we now have,” Wil James, Georgetown’s plant, said in the video dated this month, according to Bloomberg News.  (more…)