Posts Tagged ‘Akio Toyoda’

Toyota Set to Reveal Electrification Strategy at 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Hybrids expected to remain key, even with new EVs in the works.

by on Sep.19, 2017

Akio Toyoda at the launch of the Toyota Prius V.

Toyota, the automaker credited with creating the world’s first mainstream gas-electric hybrid, plans to reveal its corporate electrification strategy at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.

Though it set in motion the push to battery power with the 1997 debut of the original Prius hybrid, Toyota has been slow to embrace more advanced forms of electrification, with only one plug-in model, the Prius Prime, currently in its line-up. But with governments around the world tightening emissions and mileage mandates – and even considering outright bans on the internal combustion engine, Toyota is expected to outline plans to add dozens of new hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric, or BEV, models to its line-up over the next decade.

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But don’t expect to see the Japanese giant abandon the time-tested internal combustion engine, Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda cautioned during a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. “EVs are in focus at the moment,” he said, “but customers and the market will ultimately decide which powertrains will be successful.”

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Toyota Turns Up the Heat With New GR Line of Performance Models

Gazoo Racing takes on seven models, including Prius Prime plug-in.

by on Sep.19, 2017

Toyota unveils the new GR performance line-up.

Hoping to pump a little more “passion” into the brand, Toyota is pushing for more extreme designs and, now, adding a series of new performance models.

The Japanese automaker’s Gazoo Racing unit is starting out with seven models in its new GR series, with even the Prius Prime plug-in getting a performance boost. But one model was notably absent during a Tokyo debut: the reborn Toyota Supra that is expected to make its return debut during next month’s Tokyo Motor Show.

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The debut of the new line-up comes as President Akio Toyoda continues his push to improve the “passion” quotient for both the Toyota and Lexus brands, the luxury division recently adding the new LC500 sports coupe to its line-up while also adopting a much more aggressive design for the flagship LS sedan. The Toyota brand recently adopted a much more sporty look for its top-selling Camry model.

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Toyota Pairing Up with Mazda on EV Project, $1.6b US Car Plant

Mazda to issue new shares as Toyota set to take 5% equity stake.

by on Aug.04, 2017

Toyota President Akio Toyota and his Mazda counterpart Masamichi Kogai announce their alliance.

On the same day Toyota Motor Corp. announced a 6% jump in net earnings, the Japanese automaker confirmed it will take an equity stake in Mazda Motor Corp. on a venture that will lead them to jointly develop and produce electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, the two carmakers confirmed they will also set up a new, $1.6 billion assembly plant in the United States that will create up to 4,000 new jobs. Toyota already operates a broad network of factories in the U.S., but Mazda hasn’t operated a plant there since exiting a long-running joint venture with Ford Motor Co. several years ago.

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“The greatest fruit of our partnership with Mazda is that we have found a new partner who truly loves cars,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda. “It has also sparked Toyota’s competitive spirit, increasing our sense of not wanting to be bested by Mazda.”

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Toyota RAV4 SUV Outsells Camry Sedan

Maker facing tough task of getting buyers what they want.

by on May.18, 2017

The Toyota RAV4 outsold the best-selling sedan in the U.S. last month: the Toyota Camry.

The shift in consumer preferences from cars, specifically sedans, to trucks and utility vehicles has been an ongoing story for years, although it’s been at the fore since precipitous drop in gas prices a few years back.

Trucks and utes are outselling cars at a rate approaching 60/40 after crossing the 50/50 mark a few years back. Now, automakers are trying to figure out how to handle the growth of ute sales that are driving the new ratio.

Sales News!

In fact, so pronounced is the move that America’s best-selling car for the past 15 years, the Toyota Camry, is now being outsold by the new RAV4. In April, the Japanese automaker sold 329 more units of the little ute than the family sedan. It was the second time this year that it has happened. (more…)

Toyota’s Earnings Take 21% Tumble

But CEO says company’s cars are no longer “boring.”

by on May.10, 2017

Toyota's earnings are down again, but at least its cars are less "boring," said CEO Toyoda.

For a second year in a row, Toyota saw its profits tumble, this time by nearly 21%, largely driven by the high cost of propping up demand in a slowing U.S. market.

Earnings were also hammered by unfavorable exchange rates, company officials noted during a media briefing on Wednesday, though at $16.1 billion, or 1.83 trillion yen, Toyota still managed to out-earn its biggest rivals, including General Motors and Volkswagen.

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But that wasn’t enough to satisfy CEO Akio Toyoda, especially in light of the decline Toyota experienced in the previous fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. “In the sporting world, two years of falling profit would be considered a losing streak, and I hate losing,” he told reporters and analysts.

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Toyota Earnings Slip; Company Cuts Forecast

Strong yen, production problems, sliding margins take a toll.

by on Aug.04, 2016

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda faces pressure to cut costs even as the maker invests in new products.

Snagged by a strong yen, tepid sales and supplier problems, Toyota Motor Corp. delivered a weak profit for the latest quarter, the Japanese giant also warning that the current fiscal year could be its weakest in nearly half a decade.

Toyota, whose global sales slipped behind rival Volkswagen AG for the first half of this year, said it earned $5.1 billion for the April-June quarter, the first in its new fiscal year. That was a decline of 14.5%. Operating earnings, meanwhile, were off 15%, to $5.9 billion.

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By the Numbers!

Net revenues also declined 5.7%, to $60.9 billion, despite a modest 1% increase in global vehicle sales. The maker sold 2.53 million cars, trucks and crossovers for the quarter, but that number was short of expectations due to a series of natural and man-made disasters that impacted production in Toyota’s home market plants.

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Lexus Set to Reveal Hybrid Version of New LC 500 Coupe

New Multi Stage Hybrid System to boost performance factor.

by on Feb.15, 2016

Lexus will reveal the new LC 500h at the Geneva Motor Show early next month.

When Lexus unveiled the new LC 500 coupe at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month Toyota President Akio Toyoda said it was a preview of the brand’s future direction, with an emphasis on “passion and distinction.”

The new coupe’s 467-horsepower certainly fits that bill, but how about the Lexus LC 500h set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month? It likely wouldn’t if Lexus were simply offering up another mileage miser. But it’s hinting that this hybrid will be another matter entirely.

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In a teaser release, Lexus promises the new Multi State Hybrid System debuting in the LC 500h will deliver “enhanced driving pleasure, more performance, and greater efficiency” than the current gas-electric technology used by the Lexus line – which is little more than a glorified version of what Toyota offers in the Prius model.

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Toyota Quarterly Earnings Top $5.4 Billion

Net income jumps 5% despite flat sales.

by on Feb.05, 2016

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda unveils the new Lexus LC 500 at last month's Detroit Auto Show.

Toyota managed to pull together a 5% jump in net profits for the third quarter of its fiscal year, despite a tepid global economy and relatively flat sales.

The automaker announced it made 627.9 billion yen, or $5.4 billion, during the October-December period, up from 600 billion yen the year before. Quarterly sales and revenues were up a more modest 2.4%, to $62.7 billion. A weak yen played in Toyota’s favor.

By the Numbers!

The news came two days after rival General Motors reported record earnings of $9.7 billion – for the full fiscal year. Meanwhile, he world’s second-largest automaker, Volkswagen AG, said on Friday it would delay issuing its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings as it struggles to account for the impact of its ongoing diesel emissions cheating scandal.

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Toyota Investing $1 Bil in US Artificial Intelligence Center

Technology could help make driving safer but also assist the disabled at home.

by on Nov.06, 2015

The Toyota FCV Plus cconcept is the sort of futuristic vehicle that could make use of AI breakthroughs.

Toyota will invest $1 billion to set up a new U.S. artificial intelligence and robotics research center over the next five years, the maker announced in Tokyo on Friday.

The new Toyota Research Institute Inc. will have offices in both Silicon Valley and Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota and a grandson of the automaker’s founder. The facility will focus not only on ways to make driving safer but also on technology that can improve the lives of the elderly and disabled.

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A key target will be to “improve safety by continuously decreasing the likelihood that a car will be involved in an accident,” explained Dr. Gill Pratt, the CEO of the new venture. It also aims to “make driving accessible to everyone, regardless of ability,” while also applying technology “to indoor environments for the support of seniors.”

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Former Toyota PR Chief Hamp Released By Japanese Prosecutors

Exec had been held 20 days without charges for alleged drug abuse.

by on Jul.08, 2015

Julie Hamp joined Toyota in 2012 and was named head of global communications in April.

After 20 days in a Tokyo jail, former Toyota Motor Corp. global communications chief Julie Hamp was released by Japanese prosecutors Wednesday without being charged for allegedly importing the narcotic painkiller oxycodone without official permission.

While the 55-year-old New York native will not have to face trial – something that could have led to up to 10 years in prison – she was forced to resign from a position that made her not only one of the most prominent foreigners in the Japanese business world but the highest-ranking woman in a traditionally closed society.

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That has raised questions about whether her detention and well-publicized raids on three Toyota offices had anything to do with her gender and nationality. Clearly, from statements made by government officials, Hamp was held up as an example.

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