Filed under: BMW , Toyota , Earnings/Financials An annual market study of the strongest brands across various industries has seen Toyota leapfrog BMW as the world’s most valuable automotive brand. Toyota’s 2013 brand value rose to $24.5 billion, up 12 percent versus 2012 numbers according to market research company Millward Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list. BMW’s value fell slightly; down by 2 percent to a total of $24 billion. Mercedes-Benz finished in third place in the automotive category, up 11 percent from 2012 for a valuation of $18 billion. Honda ($12.4 billion, down 2 percent) and Nissan ($10.2 billion, up 3 percent) rounded out the top five for the category. Volkswagen was the only other auto brand that finished in the top 100 overall, in 100th place. Audi made the greatest percentage gain over 2012, up 18 percent to $5.5 billion, but finished outside of the top 100. Technology companies dominated the overall list, with Apple , Google and IBM ranking one through three. Couture brand Prada was 2013’s biggest gainer, rising by 63 percent over 2012. Toyota passes BMW as most valuable car brand originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 15:33:00 EST.
Filed under: Truck , Toyota , Quick Spins “Oh yeah, Toyota still makes the Tacoma .” Admit it, that’s what you just said to yourself. It’s a perfectly natural reaction, but the Tacoma has been quietly anchoring its segment for years, outselling every other compact pickup without making too much of a fuss. Toyota hasn’t neglected the Tacoma – it was updated in 2012 with a revised nose and interior as the most noteable changes. In a world awash with high-value fullsize pickups all vying for your attention, the Tacoma still charms more than a few buyers out of their cash. I hooked a Tacoma for a week to see whether it still has enough to recommend it. Driving Notes The size of the Tacoma is nice. While fullsize trucks can feel a bit like the automotive equivalent of relaxed-fit jeans, the Tacoma does the Goldilocks “just right” thing for my purposes. Yet the cozy cockpit of the Access Cab I drove can become uncomfortably tight if you’ve got adults using the jumpseats regularly. If you travel in a pack, get the Double Cab. That goes double if you’ve got kids still in child seats, it’s the better choice.
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.
Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter and Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Jeff Bracken review March 2013 sales.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.