Toyota may return to F1 under Lexus banner

Toyota may return to F1 under Lexus banner

April 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Lexus , Toyota A new report in from the website Club Lexus claims to have insider knowledge about a return to Formula One racing by Toyota , this time under the auspices of the Lexus brand. Toyota competed in F1 from 2002 through the 2009 season. That final year saw the team return competitive, if inconsistent results, but the larger economic woes in the automotive market made a decision to pull the plug relatively easy at the time. Now, citing recent interviews with Toyota executives and insider sources, Club Lexus says that the move to re-enter F1 for the 2014 season is “all but finalized.” The choice to go with the Lexus nameplate over Toyota makes some sense, too, considering the success that rival Infiniti has had in recent years through its partnership with Red Bull Racing. Further, the emerging Lexus identity as a performance car builder, with a strong background in hybrid vehicles, could help the F1 move resonate with buyers. A few technological factors and formula changes within F1 offer some credence to the Lexus rumor, too. F1 will increase the available capacity of KERS from 60kW to 120kW, a change that theoretically benefits the hybrid-savvy Toyota. What’s more, 2014 will see a switch from the current 2.4-liter V8 engines to 1.6-liter turbocharged V6s. A Lexus team that goes racing in 2014 will be on a level playing field with the rest of the grid then, with all teams adjusting to and continuing to develop the new engines. Toyota may return to F1 under Lexus banner originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Apr 2013 08:43:00 EST.

March 2013 Sales Conference Call Notes

April 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter and Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Jeff Bracken review March 2013 sales.

J.D. Power/NADA 2013 Automotive Forum – Bob Carter

March 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Toyota Motor Sales Senior Vice President Bob Carter speaks at the NADA Automotive Forum about the economy and auto industry, and Toyota's stronger focus on customers and communities.

Ford, Toyota clean up in Best Car For The Money Awards

Ford, Toyota clean up in Best Car For The Money Awards

February 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Etc. , Acura , BMW , Buick , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Subaru , Toyota The U.S. News Best Cars for the Money Awards picks winners by looking at the average transaction price, five-year total cost of ownership, the regard a car has from the automotive press, reliability figures from J.D. Power and Associates and safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety . The result, according to the magazine, is “the best combination of critical acclaim and long-term value.” Ford nabbed six of the 21 categories that received awards this year, the Focus , Fusion , Fusion Hybrid , Taurus , Escape and Edge getting trophies. Toyota and its Lexus and Scion sub-brands took another five, the Tacoma and Tundra owning the two categories given to pickup trucks. The other ten awards were split between Honda with three, Buick with two, and one each for Subaru , BMW , Hyundai , Chevrolet and Mazda . Follow the link to see all the winners and read about why they were chosen. Ford, Toyota clean up in Best Car For The Money Awards originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Feb 2013 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Toyota Receives the 2011 SAE Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award

January 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Ann Arbor, Mich. (Jan. 30, 2013) – Toyota Technical Center (TTC), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc. (TEMA) announced today that the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has selected TTC – Robert Smith, author, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Shigeki Hayashi, Yuichi Kitagawa and Tsuyoshi Yasuki, co-authors, as the recipients of the 2011 SAE Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award.

Subprime financing on the rise in new car sales, leasing too

Subprime financing on the rise in new car sales, leasing too

December 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Ford , Mitsubishi , Toyota , Volvo , Earnings/Financials We all remember the financial crisis that began several years back. At its core was a splurge of subprime lending for housing loans. The housing bubble burst, triggering a collapse of the mortgage-backed securities market. Apparently, those types of loans still exist in the automotive industry, and the market share for these types of “nonprime, subprime, and deep subprime,” loans has grown 13.6 percent compared to the third quarter a year ago. According to an Automotive News report, high-risk lending expanded to 24.8 percent of total loans in Q3, up from 21.9 percent for this time last year. As this level increased, average credit scores of borrowers dropped to 755, down from 763 a year ago. In that time, the average financing amount increased $90 per vehicle, to $25,963. At 818, Volvo maintains the highest per-owner credit score, while Mitsubishi has the lowest, at 694. The highest rate of borrowers was at Toyota , with 14 percent of the market, followed by Ford with 13.1 percent and Chevrolet at 11.1. Part of the growth in lending is the willingness to offer longer-term loans.

Japanese automakers ramping production for renewed American sales

Japanese automakers ramping production for renewed American sales

November 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Mitsubishi , Nissan , Toyota The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan took quite the toll on the automotive industry in that nation. Not content to lean on that tragedy as excuse for slagging sales, the Japanese automakers are planning on a major production expansion in North America. The aim is to reclaim the market share lost from the Tsunami-based dip, and overcome a dollar/yen exchange rate that makes exporting to America unprofitable. Following the Tsunami, Japanese automakers ramped up production in their North American facilities to compensate, but according to Automotive News , Nissan , Honda and others have all reported plans for still-further increased production in the year ahead. As part of this ramp-up, Mazda will open a facility in Salamnca, Mexico before March of 2014. Part of that increase in output is 50,000 units of a Toyota-badged compact car, which Mazda will produce . Other Mexican production facilities opening include a Honda plant, which will open in Spring 2014 in Celaya, and a Nissan plant, set to open later this year in Aguascalientes. Nissan also said that it will need another plant in North America within the next five years. According to Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn, the company aims to raise its stake in the US market from 8 percent to 10, and adding production will help achieve that goal. Even Mitsubishi is aiming to boost production at its Normal, Illinois plant.

Live Webcast of Toyota Executive’s Presentation at Nov. 14 New York Auto Conference

November 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. , Senior Vice President

Is Consumer Reports losing its sway? Are we all?

Is Consumer Reports losing its sway? Are we all?

November 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Dodge , Ford , Hyundai , Toyota Do the opinions of automotive journalists matter? For us, that may be a bit of transcendental self-examination, but for the consuming public, it’s a very real question. Is a potential customer of a new family sedan going to rely completely on Consumer Reports , or are they willing to go with their own gut feelings and neighbors’ recommendations? Bloomberg has an interesting new report highlighting cars that are selling well in spite of not receiving high marks from Consumer Reports . One such vehicle is the 2012 Honda Civic , which has been largely derided by the automotive press. Yet sales of the Japanese compact are on pace to beat out vehicles like the acclaimed Chevrolet Cruze . One criticism offered for CR’s methods is their approach of putting all types of vehicles through the same type of testing. The Chrysler Town & Country as well as the Dodge Grand Caravan were given low marks for their performance in the slalom-the same slalom in which sports cars are tested. How important is that in buying a minivan? While cars from Korea and the United States are increasingly lauded by the automotive community, owners of brands like Honda and Toyota remain fiercely loyal.

Is Toyota unstoppable?

Is Toyota unstoppable?

October 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Toyota Big T Is Back Despite Recalls, Earthquakes And Politics Can anything slow Toyota down? Only a couple of years ago, the Japanese giant seemed as vulnerable as a sumo wrestler with vertigo as it struggled to explain away a series of safety and quality snafus that forced it to recall an unprecedented 14 million vehicles worldwide. Then, just it was getting back on its feet, the maker was body-slammed by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that all but shut down the Japanese auto industry , leaving the industry giant struggling under severe inventory shortages for the rest of the year. Only a couple of years ago, the Japanese giant seemed as vulnerable as a sumo wrestler with vertigo. Yet, just like that sumo wrestler, Toyota has repeatedly shaken off the hardest hits. Despite somewhat mixed reviews , its Camry has continued to dominate the midsize passenger car segment – helping Toyota drive sales gains that have, in recent months, run triple the pace of the overall US automotive recovery. In fact, Toyota’s loyalty rate is once again setting the industry benchmark, according to a new study by Experian Automotive , something that suggests the recent sales surge is more than just pent-up demand as buyers catch up after the shortages of 2011. So, what to make of the unexpected move by Standard & Poors, the influential financial ratings agency, which this month downgraded the maker’s stock from a “Hold” to “Buy” rating? Now, to be sure, this was no panic move. S&P didn’t tell investors to dump Toyota and race somewhere else with their money.

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