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.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. , Senior Vice President
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.
TROY, Mo. (September 14, 2012) – As a successful manufacturer of quality casting parts to the automotive, aerospace, railroad and heavy industrial equipment businesses, Bodine Aluminum…
Toyota Motor Sales Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter discusses Toyota’s business and industry forecast, new vehicle strategy and the company’s focus on design and technology at the J.P. Morgan Auto Conference in New York on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012.
Filed under: Spy Photos , Crossover , Toyota , Middle East This wrapped-up crossover appears to be the next Toyota RAV4 . It was first found on a Toyota fan forum in Saudi Arabia, and was later picked up by the automotive gumshoes at CarScoop. All indications point to this being the next RAV4, but obviously nothing has been confirmed. From what we can tell by these photos, it has a front fascia similar to that of the Toyota Camry , and has more streamlined proportions than the outgoing model. It’s hard to determine if the roof has a significant slope to it, or it is just the angle of the camera. If it is the former, than the silhouette seems to ape the Hyundai Tucson , one the RAV4′s competitors. Most of the exterior is covered with white wrapping, save the windows, which allowed for a clean shot of the interior. We can see a smart looking dash, something that once again has a similar look and feel of the Camry. The screen in the center stack is likely home to the latest version of Toyota’s Entune, and we can also see clever cubby spaces above the glovebox and in the center console. CarScoop has asserted that because the wrapping is the same type used to cover a new car on its way to a dealer that this is the real thing, and an actual production RAV4.
Filed under: Sedan , Truck , Ford , Honda , Toyota Put on your flag shorts and Liberty Bell hat. Cars.com has released its American-Made Index , proclaiming that four out of the top five American-made vehicles are Japanese brands. The Toyota Camry , built in Kentucky, was ranked the most American vehicle sold today, with the Michigan-built Ford F-150 coming in as the second-most American vehicle. The Honda Accord , Toyota Sienna and Honda Pilot round out the top five. And yes, all of these models are available in red, white or blue. Cars.com’s criteria for selecting the most American vehicle includes sales volume, percentage of American sourced parts and where the vehicle is assembled. Vehicles must have at least 75 percent domestic parts to even qualify for the list, which kept the F-150 off last year. However, the accounting system devised by Cars.com was called “flawed” by the American Automotive Policy Council , which represents Detroit’s car makers in Washington D.C. “The truth is: Three of the 16 major automakers doing business in the U.S. – Chrysler, Ford and GM – produce more than half the cars assembled here, use twice as many U.S.
Torrance, Calif., May 30, 2012 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc’s. (TMS) recently completed Kansas City Regional Technical Training Center in Kansas City, Mo. has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. The technical training center is located at the region sales office and provides offices, classrooms and training bays for Toyota dealer technicians. A total of 11 Toyota/Lexus U.S. facilities and 18 Toyota/Lexus dealerships have achieved LEED certification, leading the automotive industry in green building efforts.