Archive for the ‘Toyota’ Category

First Drive: 2019 Toyota Avalon

New model enjoys upgraded interior, and a hybrid option.

by on Apr.23, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Avalon XLE is the automaker's fifth-generation of its flagship model.

Big passenger cars have seemingly gone out of style perhaps for good.

After all Toyota admits the average age for the buyers of its full-size sedan, the Toyota Avalon, is 64, hardly the age of trend setters in our youth-oriented culture.

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But with the fifth-generation Avalon, which is about to reach Toyota show rooms across the country, the Japanese auto giant thinks it has found a way to bring some younger buyers with an all-new vehicle that offers more style, more power, more comfort and more features. (more…)

Japanese Surge Reveals Broader Jump in Auto Imports

Rising numbers from Japan, Mexico, Korea, China challenge Trump 

by on Apr.20, 2018

Demand for the latest version of Nissan's Rogue has contributed to an increase in imports from Japan.

When Toyota and Mazda open a new assembly plant in Alabama in 2021, it will become the latest in a growing array of automotive plants Japanese manufacturers have set up in the U.S. since the mid-1980s – yet despite investing billions in their American operations, Japanese manufacturers have also been increasing exports to the U.S. from their home market factories.

The number of Japanese-made vehicles imported into the U.S. rose almost 10% during the first quarter of 2018. And Japan wasn’t alone.  Auto imports, as a whole have actually been on the rise, whether from Korea, Europe or Mexico, the latter country shipping about 7.5% more vehicles to the U.S. in March than the year before – despite Pres. Donald Trump’s high-profile push to bring more auto production back to the States.

Trade News!

“Japan sends us million and millions of cars, and we tax them virtually not at all. And we don’t send so much product because we have trade barriers and lots of other things,” the president complained during a news conference this week while standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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Toyota Continues to Count on Cars

Last year's Camry gets support from new Avalon, Corolla hatchback.

by on Apr.18, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is the latest sign that the future is bright for cars at Toyota.

Unlike some of its major rivals, Toyota isn’t ready to give up on the passenger car market. If anything they are getting new models ready that are expected to build on the company strong position in car side of the business, Toyota officials said this week as they showed off two new models during a press preview in Southern California this week.

“We’re still very, very bullish on the passenger cars,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of marketing for the Toyota Division during the preview, which highlighted the 2019 Toyota Avalon and 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. The Avalon goes on sales later this spring and the Corolla hatchback will appear later this year.

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Last week, General Motors announced it was takings its big passenger-car plant in Lordstown, Ohio, down to one shift at the end of June because of the falling demand for compact cars. (more…)

Toyota, Lexus Adding V2X Tech to Vehicles Starting 2021

Brands hope to accelerate development of technology.

by on Apr.16, 2018

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, said the company plans to equip Toyota and Lexus vehicles with V2X tech in 2021.

Though some vehicles already utilize V2X communication, Toyota and Lexus plan to advance the technology further by introducing it into their lineups beginning in 2021 and rolling out across their portfolios by the mid-2020s.

The company announced today that its Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) systems will use the technology to talk to other vehicles (V2V) and infrastructure (V2I) in hopes of cutting down on collisions, injuries and fatalities.

Industry News!

“By allowing vehicles’ intelligent systems to collaborate more broadly and effectively through DSRC technology, we can help drivers realize a future with zero fatalities from crashes, better traffic flow and less congestion,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), in a statement. (more…)

All-New Lexus ES Bound for Beijing Motor Show

New model meant to "radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers."

by on Apr.11, 2018

Lexus is pushing even further with the "spindle grille" design on the next ES sedan.

We’ve barely gotten past the New York Auto Show but halfway around the world, automakers are getting ready for the season’s next big event. That includes Lexus, which has dropped a partial teaser of what appears to be the next generation ES model.

While many folks think of the ES as a fairly base-level vehicle, Lexus clearly has more upscale ambitions for a model whose name, after all, is short for “Executive Sedan.” And while Toyota’s luxury brand isn’t saying much about what it will be showing in China, it appears buyers have something to look forward to.

Product News!

The new ES, Lexus hints, “aims to radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers all over the world.” That may explain why the brand saved the new model for Beijing where luxury buyers have, indeed, become some of the world’s most demanding.

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Trump Trade Disputes Put Automakers in Crosshairs

U.S. auto buyers could face substantially higher prices; industry profits could tumble.

by on Apr.04, 2018

President Donald Trump could be hearing rumbles from the auto industry over his trade policies.

Wall Street investors aren’t the only ones growing worried about Pres. Donald Trump’s increasingly aggressive actions on international trade. Finding themselves in the crosshairs of a potential trade war, automakers are also sounding the alarm.

“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S.,” the president tweeted this week, ahead of announcing $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese-made goods. The move quickly was mirrored by tariffs announced by China.

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The tit-for-tat trade battle could lead to serious problems for a number of industries, including aerospace, agriculture and chip manufacturers – as well as the auto industry. Carmakers are also fretting over the president’s increasingly confrontational tone over NAFTA, trade with Europe and new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

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Toyota, Subaru Set to Replace Sports Car

No timetable for new versions of BRZ and 86.

by on Apr.04, 2018

Toyota and Subaru are working on a replacement for the sports car each sells, in this case, the Toyota 86.

Toyota and Subaru have started development of a replacement for the two-seat sports car that both companies produce jointly and currently sell under different names.

The Japan Times reported the two automakers have agreed to extend their collaboration to produce replacements for the current versions of the Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ.

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The two companies expect to launch the new models of the compact rear-wheel-drive sports car in 2021 with improved performance, according to The Japan Times, which cited sources familiar with the project. (more…)

Luxury Plug-Ins Shift Emphasis on Performance

Emphasis shifts from mileage.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The production Aviator's fastest powertrain package will pair a turbo-six with electric drive.

When the first hybrids came to market nearly two decades ago, the emphasis was on mileage, the original Honda Insight delivering as much as 70 miles per gallon, albeit at the expense of what might be described as the fun-to-drive factor.

That approach carried over as more advanced, battery-based models came to market – and as luxury brands started to plug in with vehicles like the Cadillac ELR. Based on the Mainstream Chevrolet Volt, Caddy’s first plug-in hybrid was lavishly equipped but took almost 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60.

Performance News!

A visit to this year’s New York Auto Show will reveal a wide array of PHEVs, and among mass market brands, like Chevy, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, fuel economy is still the primary target. But it’s another matter entirely among luxury brands, such as BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. There’s no question they’re also using battery power to boost mileage, but they’re also putting a premium on performance.

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NY Auto Show’s Dozen Best

Our favorites from an extensive assortment of cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The turnstiles are spinning at the Javits Convention Center and for good reason. The 2018 New York International Auto Show is winning raves as the year’s most significant North American event, with dozens of significant debuts.

This year’s NAIAS covered plenty of ground: from long-range electric vehicles to high-powered performance cars – even some high-performance electric vehicles. Followers of automotive design will have plenty to talk about, too. The show underscores all the dramatic changes sweeping through the auto industry, even on the retail side, as more manufacturers announce new subscription programs.

Auto Show News!

Whether you’re heading down to the show or simply trying to check out from a distance the most significant, intriguing and unusual cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts on display, here’s a handy guide to our dozen favorites.

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RAV4 Remake Could Be Toyota’s Biggest Intro in Years

SUV now outsells sedan mainstay Camry.

by on Mar.28, 2018

The new 2019 Toyota RAV4 gets an exterior makeover that injects passion into the design.

You don’t mess with success, goes the old adage. But there’s an alternative way of looking at things: no risk is the biggest risk of all. Or, so goes the long-time mantra at Toyota.

Which is right? We’ll likely learn in the months ahead as buyers get a look at the all-new Toyota RAV4 that’s making its debut this week at the New York International Auto Show. These days, few vehicles are more important to the Japanese giant, booming sales of SUVs propelling the RAV4 at an explosive pace. Last year, it surged past the Camry to become Toyota’s best-selling model and it was fourth overall in the U.S. market, behind only three full-size domestic pickups.

Pushing the Envelope!

At a time when the overall U.S. market has been sliding, demand for the original “cute ute” rose 15% last year, topping 400,000, an almost unseen number anymore. So, any mistakes with the new model and you can just imagine the impact on the bottom line – and careers. (more…)

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