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Toyota Sees Slowdown in Growth – But Still Strong Year for U.S. Auto Market

Automaker hopes to finish repairs, end safety-related stop-sale in coming weeks.

by on Feb.06, 2014

Toyota Vice President Bob Carter is focusing on the expected surge in demand for new vehicles this year.

The recovery of the U.S. auto market is likely to slow in 2014 – but Toyota Vice President Bob Carter said he’s focusing on the half-full view of the glass, noting that the coming year will still bring another surge in demand, marking the first time since the 1930s that American automotive sales increased for five consecutive years.

Carter, who oversees the Japanese giant’s U.S. automotive operations, offered a generally upbeat assessment of the status of both the car business and Toyota itself during an appearance marking the opening of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Among other things, Carter said repairs have begun on more than 30,000 Toyota vehicles that were pulled from sale last month due to a defect in their seat heaters. They should be back on sale in a matter of weeks, he explained.

We'll Keep You Behind the Wheel!

Exactly what 2014 will bring is a matter of some debate – especially after the industry’s lackluster performance in January that saw a number of key makers, General Motors and Ford, lose ground. Toyota posted a 7.2% dip, year-over-year. That was a disappointment for those who hoped to see the market maintain the pace of 2013 when sales jumped by more than 1 million units, to 15.6 million, the best tally since before the recession. (more…)

First Look: 2011 Toyota Avalon

Safety a hot topic with launch of new full-size sedan.

by on Feb.10, 2010

Toyota put the emphasis on product, at the Chicago Auto Show, with the launch of the 2011 Avalon.

While Toyota may be struggling to damage control in the wake of its ongoing safety problems, the auto industry is nonetheless a business based around product, stressed the automaker’s Group Vice President Bob Carter, as he pulled the wraps off the newest version of the Japanese maker’s full-size sedan.

The 2011 Toyota Avalon is the first major entry since a series of safety issues enveloped Toyota, last month.  And, significantly, the first point Toyota officials made about the sedan is that it will be equipped with an all-new throttle designed to prevent problems with sticky accelerator pedals.

Safety, in general, was a key part of the maker’s presentation, during the 2010 Chicago Auto Show media preview.  Carter also noted the 2011 Avalon will be equipped with the newest version of Toyota’s new STAR safety system, which includes such features as traction and stability control.  The sedan also boasts 7 airbags.

Product, Product and Product!

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our vehicles and our customers,” declared Carter, who spent a fair part of the news conference trying to shore up the maker’s foundering quality and safety image.

(more…)