Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , BMW , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Mercedes-Benz , Nissan , Toyota , Volkswagen Before financial Stargate opened in September of 2008 and transported us to an entirely new economic dimension, it was oh so common to read about domestic automakers hammering Tier One suppliers to lower their prices. Of course, suppliers are still asked to find efficiencies, but pre-2008, it seemed a point of honor to hold a supplier’s feet to the fire. No more: in the latest Working Relations Index survey of suppliers by Detroit firm Planning Perspectives Inc., General Motors and Chrysler rocketed up the charts to bring the bunch much closer together. Admittedly, the two companies are still in last place, with GM just ahead of Chrysler and Toyota and Honda still up top. But perspective and improvement is the issue here: in 2005, Toyota scored 415 and GM scored 114. In this year’s survey, Toyota scored 296 and Chrysler scored 248. It is the first time in the 12 years of the survey that the six automakers covered have been separated by less than 50 points. Chrysler’s jump was led by the efforts of the the late Dan Knott , whle GM’s improvement has been led by Bob Socia. And yes, this is also a matter of the perennial leaders, Toyota and Honda, suffering a dip: in 2010 Toyota scored 327 and Honda 309, two years later, Toyota has dropped 31 points. Every automaker, however, from top to bottom acknowledged that they still have work to do with supplier relations.
Filed under: Hybrid , Europe , Technology , BMW , Lexus , Toyota , Diesel Automotive News reports Lexus won’t be getting any diesel engines from BMW as part of the new collaboration between parent company Toyota and the German automaker. BMW and Toyota are set to team up on next-generation green technology, though the two will apparently stick to crafting a new lithium-ion battery instead of swapping diesel tech. BMW will serve up a few small-displacement diesel engines for use in European Toyota models, but it won’t supply direct-competitor Lexus with any oil-burning lumps. Right now, European buyers can expect to see 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter BMW diesel engines to show up under the hoods of certain Toyota products soon. That should help Toyota immensely in a market where 52 percent of all vehicles sold are diesels. Lexus, meanwhile, will continue to focus on plug-in hybrid and hybrid models to position itself as a niche innovation company. Automotive News reports Lexus has nailed down a European market share of just 0.2 percent over the past 11 months. New BMW-Toyota deal doesn’t include diesels for Lexus originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 20 Dec 2011 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hybrid , BMW , Toyota , Diesel Toyota and BMW have reportedly begun discussions on swapping their signature green technologies. The Japanese automaker would open up its hybrid tech to BMW, while the Germans would provide diesel engines for Toyotas. This is a little different than the recent memorandum of understanding signed between Ford and Toyota , since that partnership – if it comes to fruition – would see both companies jointly developing a hybrid system for trucks. The BMW and Toyota talks are about swapping tech to save money on “core technologies.” BMW’s gain would be in the U.S., where hybrids are still much more in vogue than in Europe, while Toyota’s interest is in shoring up its diesel position in Europe, where hybrids aren’t yet the thing and the company posted a loss through the first half of the year. For instance, of the eight family cars that Toyota sells in the UK, only three can be had with a diesel. Only talks have begun, so there’s no official deal in place while Toyota works to see if BMW diesels will fit in its cars. One also has to wonder how managers at Lexus would feel about seeing their hybrid tech behind a roundel badge. Toyota, BMW may build green cars together originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Nov 2011 10:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Audi , BMW , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Jeep , Toyota , Volvo Wards Automotive 10 Best Interiors of 2011 – Click above for high-res image gallery Wards Automotive takes its 10 Best Interior awards seriously. The industry mag tested 51 vehicles to come up with this year’s winners, which span three luxury vehicles, three economy cars, a sport sedan, a minivan, a family sedan and an SUV. Ward’s AutoWorld Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter says the publication has never tested so many vehicles, adding, “Every auto maker wants the freshest, highest-quality interior possible for all the vehicles they sell.” Showing just how much the world of interiors has changed over the years, Chrysler was the only automaker to take home two awards, thanks to the Dodge Charger and Jeep Grand Cherokee , while Kia and Hyundai could technically say the same since the Elantra and Optima each took home honors. At the same time, both Toyota and Lexus were shut out, as was Honda’s Acura luxury brand and Mercedes-Benz . Among the first-time winners for 2011 are the Ford Focus Titanium and Chevy Cruze . Click on the image above to browse through all 10 winners, or you can head over to Wards Automotive for the complete scoop. What do you think – Did Wards get it right? If not, what was left out and what should it replace? Gallery: Wards 2011 10 Best Interiors [Source: Wards Automotive ] Ward’s Automotive picks best car interiors of 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .