Archive for the ‘Toyota’ Category

Young Buyers May be Ready to Shift Back to Sedans, Claims Nissan

Millennials particularly interested – but will that translate into renewed demand?

by on Jun.20, 2019

Nissan's found significant interest in sedans from millennials, so it's doubling down on its four-door line-up like the Altima.

Conventional wisdom suggests that it’s only a matter of time until SUVs, CUVs, pickups and other light trucks take over the automotive market, but not everyone is convinced the traditional sedan is on its way out.

If anything, Nissan says it is “doubling down on sedans” by expanding its global line-up. The automaker justifies the move by pointing to a new survey conducted for it in the U.S. and 10 other countries by market research firm Edelman Intelligence that found there is still strong interest in sedans among potential buyers, especially among millennials.

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“As some of our competitors walk away from sedans, we’re seizing the opportunity,” said Ivan Espinosa, Nissan’s corporate vice president of global product strategy and planning, adding that future Nissan sedans will put a premium on meeting “the needs of buyers, particularly young people who may be looking to buy their first car.” (more…)

Lexus Adds Advanced Safety Suite Across the Line

Announcement follows addition of new safety features by sibling Toyota brand.

by on Jun.19, 2019

The Lexus LSS+ suite of advanced driver assistance systems becomes standard for 2020.

Toyota’s luxury arm will make its Lexus Safety System+ standard on all future models, the automaker announced on Wednesday, a move it said could prevent many crashes and reduce the severity of others.

The move comes a week after sibling brand Toyota announced it will introduce two all-new safety features on its 2020 line-up, including one system designed to prevent potentially deadly vehicle rollaways.

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The industry, as a whole, has begun integrating new advanced driver assistance systems on more and more vehicles, often as standard features. That is expected to save thousands of lives and prevent even more injuries, according to safety advocates.

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Toyota’s Gazoo Racing Teases Planned Hypercar

Street and track versions under development.

by on Jun.17, 2019

Toyota is in the midst of developing a hypercar for both the track and the road that will race in the 2020/2021 season.

Toyota is bound and determined to prove everything you thought you knew about the company is wrong, especially if that included words like “boring,” and “plain vanilla.” Fresh on the heels of its successful effort at the the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as its revival of the Supra model, the Japanese giant is giving us a hint of the hypercar it is developing for both track and street.

It’s not far away, either, with Toyota promising its most powerful model ever will be “on the grid” during the 2020/2021 World Endurance Championship series.

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“Both road and race car are undergoing design and intensive development at the company’s technical centers in Toyota City, Higashi-Fuji and Cologne,” the automaker said in a release. It has also noted that president Akio Toyoda – the guy who keeps demanding more “passion” from the company – has himself spent some time test driving the as yet-unnamed hypercar. (more…)

Toyota Announces New Features for 2020 Model-Year Line-Up

Safety is focus of new upgrades.

by on Jun.14, 2019

For the 2020 model year, the Toyota plans to offer some upgrades across most of its vehicle line-up.

When Toyota Motor North America rolls out its vehicle line-up for the 2020 model year, they’ll sport two new features: Automatic Engine Shut Off and Automatic Park, as well as have options for a few others.

Starting with 2020 model year vehicles, Toyota will phase in an automatic park system, which is designed to help reduce the risk of roll-away vehicles. The feature will be available in vehicles with an electronic means of shifting and/or applying the parking brake.

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It will automatically shift the vehicle into the “park” position and/or apply the electronic parking brake, in the event the driver exits the vehicle without placing the vehicle in “park,” Toyota officials said. (more…)

Toyota, SoftBank Preparing Launch of Self-Driving Venture

Monet looks compete with other autonomous entities.

by on Jun.12, 2019

Monet Technologies, led by CEO Junichi Miyakawa, will operate the new self-driving joint venture created by Toyota Motor and SoftBank.

Toyota Motor and its partner SoftBank plan to begin operating a self-driving venture, originated by Monet, in Southeast Asia in 2020.

The move would mark a shift for Japan’s third biggest telco as it looks abroad for growth and potentially bring it into competition with portfolio companies of parent SoftBank Group Corp. and its $100 billion Vision Fund, which has invested in major ride-hailing firms around the world.

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Monet, which is developing an on-demand self-driving service platform, is planning to export a basic version of the system, Chief Executive Junichi Miyakawa told Reuters. (more…)

Automakers Push Back on Trump Plan to Relax Mileage Rules

Expected White House plan would trigger legal actions and “untenable” uncertainty, 17 OEs warn.

by on Jun.07, 2019

Pres. Donald Trump thought he would win industry support from industry leaders over CAFE cuts but has seen opposition, instead/

In an unusual move, 17 automakers, including giants General Motors, Ford and Toyota, have sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him not to move ahead on plans to roll back federal fuel economy standards – a move that puts the industry more in line with environmentalists than the anti-regulatory White House.

The Trump Administration has signaled since it was first inaugurated its intention to roll back Obama-era guidelines that would have seen the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard rise to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The administration’s draft plans would freeze the numbers at 2021 model-year levels, or about 37 mpg.

The Last Word!

The proposal has already generated significant opposition from environmental and consumer groups, as well as the State of California which would effectively lose its current right to set standards higher than those established by the federal government. California has played lead in the various legal actions that have been filed to block any rollback even before the original outline of a plan the White House announced was formalized.

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EVs Will Reach Cost Parity with Gas Cars “Sooner than People Think,” says GM’s Reuss

That would be good news for an industry pumping billions into EV development.

by on Jun.07, 2019

GM's Mark Reuss believes that EVs will reach cost parity with gas-powered vehicles sooner than people think they will.

The auto industry is planning to spend in excess of $100 billion over the next decade on the development of electrified vehicles, pure battery-electric models, in particular – so much that even industry giants like Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota are opting to partner with traditional competitors to spread out spending.

One of the concerns is that manufacturers will have to not only put out that money up front but then swallow some of their production costs to keep those battery-cars competitive once they reach market because they will be more expensive to build. That was a warning delivered by a top Toyota official during a briefing in Tokyo on Friday morning.

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But that may not prove nearly as dire a problem as anticipated, General Motors President Mark Reuss said during a conference early this week where he said he sees the cost of a BEV and a comparable gas model will “reach parity a lot sooner than people think.” (more…)

Toyota Speeding up EV Program; Partnering with Subaru on New Platform

Finding enough batteries could pose a problem.

by on Jun.07, 2019

Toyota EVP Shegeki Terashi discusses the automaker's plans to accelerate its BEV program with the media.

Though it was a pioneer in the launch of hybrid technology, Toyota Motor Corp. has long been skeptical of more advanced forms of battery propulsion. But a senior official said today that the largest Japanese automaker now plans to speed up development of plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, or PHEVs and BEVs, so that electrified vehicles account for fully half of its global sales by 2025.

That would be five years ahead of Toyota’s original timetable and reflects the broader industry transition that sees major competitors like Volkswagen and General Motors rapidly accelerating their own electrification efforts.

Beyond the Headlines!

One of the ways Toyota hopes to get there will be through a new partnership with Subaru that will see them working together to develop a new, dedicated BEV platform. (more…)

U.S. New Vehicle Sales Tick Upward in May

Toyota and Fiat Chrysler led monthly sales surge.

by on Jun.03, 2019

Reid Bigland, FCA head of U.S. Sales, reported that the company's Ram division set a new sales record in May.

With Fiat Chrysler and Toyota leading the way, automakers surprised on the upside in May, posting modest sales increases for the month.

FCA, where overall sales increased 2%, reported setting three records in May, led by the Ram brand which notched its 12th consecutive monthly sales record as demand for both light-duty and heavy-duty pickup trucks remained strong.

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It was also the best May ever for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the highest level of May sales for the Dodge Charger in six years. Overall, total sales rose to 218,702 vehicles. Fleet represented 31% of total sales during the month. On a year-to-date basis, fleet accounted for 22% FCA of sales, the automaker reported. (more…)

Auto Stocks Taking a Beating as Industry Prepares for Mexican Tariffs

Domestic, import automakers alike hammered by Trump plan.

by on Jun.03, 2019

GM imports more vehicles from Mexico than any other automakers, including the Chevy Silverado.

It’s a bear market, at least when it comes to automotive stocks, with Pres. Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on Mexican imports set to go into effect a week from today.

Last Friday, the president tweeted that he was prepared to enact a new 5% tariff on Mexican goods in an effort to pressure that country to stem illegal immigration across the southern border. Barring any resolution, Trump said that would continue to climb to 25% by October 1.

Beyond the Headlines!

Nearly a dozen manufacturers would quickly be forced to either raise prices on vehicles imported from Mexico and risk weakening sales, or absorb the tariffs and take a hit to their bottom lines. But even vehicles produced in the U.S. would face tariffs on imported parts and components, such as engines, wiring harnesses and body and interior trim, according to industry analysts.

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