Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Australia There is more bad news for the Australian auto industry today, as Toyota has just announced that it will follow General Motors and Ford in shuttering its manufacturing operations on the continent. Production and assembly will cease by the end of 2017, but Toyota will remain in Australia as a sales and distribution company. “We did everything that we could to transform our business, but the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia,” said Toyota Australia President and CEO Max Yasuda. In an official statement , Yasuda said that the closure would directly affect 2,500 manufacturing employees and an unknown number of corporate workers. However, a report in the Australian newspaper The Age suggests that the jobs of 24,000 workers at Australian auto suppliers could also be in jeopardy. Toyota currently builds its Camry , Camry Hybrid , Aurion sedans in Australia, along with four-cylinder engines, and it plans to begin importing the Camry and Aurion after production stops. The plight of the Australian auto industry took a sharp turn for the worse last May when Ford announced that it would end Australian production in 2016. GM revealed its plans in December to stop building Down Under in 2017. In less than a year, the country has lost all three of its remaining domestic automakers ( Mitsubishi stopped building cars in AU back in 2008). Questions whether Toyota would stay arose soon after GM’s news.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Detroit Auto Show , Coupe , Hybrid , Performance , Toyota We’ve written about approximately 187,000 rumors about a return of the Toyota Supra to the land of living cars. There are a couple of good reasons for this: first, Toyota won’t stop dropping hints about a new halo sports car. Late this summer, Toyota sales guru Kazuo Ohara called a Supra successor “one of the options we have” – a comment followed by a hint that there would be “better news” on the subject in the future. The second reason for all the Toyota tales is, of course, that we all have missed the Supra since its departure from the US market in 1998. So, when a member of the Autoblog team is party to a nudge-and-wink-filled conversation about a new Supra concept headed to January’s Detroit Auto Show , we tend to listen up. A 400+ horsepower hybrid sports car would match up pretty well with the upcoming NSX. Recently, a few very well-placed members of the Toyota team indicated to us, in not-so-cryptic terms, that the Japanese automaker is ready to shock the world with a Supra concept car for this year’s shindig in the Motor City. Further, the indications we’ve been given are that this “concept car” will signal broadly about a production version still to follow. In 2007, the FT-HS concept (pictured) seemed like a perfectly promising Supra replacement, right before the economy fell off a cliff and everyone in the business shelved all non-essential product plans. This year, however, there’ll be about 16 million cars sold in the US and a 400+ horsepower hybrid sports car would match up pretty well with the upcoming Acura NSX from rival Honda , not to mention president Akio Toyoda’s mandate to shed his company’s staid image.
Filed under: Convertible , Performance , Scion , Toyota With an epic chassis and the lowest center of gravity in the business, there’s plenty for enthusiast to love about the Scion FR-S . Except, that is, for those who prefer to take their nimble, affordable sports cars with the roof down. Their choices are rather limited in this price category to the Mazda MX-5 and Ford Mustang , but if the latest reports prove accurate, the FR-S – which is, of course, virtually identical to the Subaru BRZ and sold overseas as the Toyota GT 86 – is preparing to throw its hat in the ring, as well. Long rumored, a convertible version of the jointly-developed “Toyobaru” coupe could stand to boost sales figures and help the bean-counters justify the expenditure on the new platform. However while the speedster concept recently showcased at Long Beach lost its rear seats (along with most of its windshield), Car and Driver predicts that the FR-S convertible will keep the auxiliary pair in the back – though the addition of a folding roof mechanism would likely mean that would come at the expense of most of the trunk room. We’re told to expect the FR-S convertible to arrive sometime late in 2013 or early in 2014, with a price tag that would tack a few grand onto the coupe’s $25,000 MSRP. Look for the same 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower boxer four to carry over with a choice of six-speed transmissions in either manual or automatic configurations. Beyond that, Toyota may be considering basing a larger four-door sedan and coupe off the new platform, which could stand to make the money men back at headquarters – to say nothing of the enthusiasts – even more happy. Scion FR-S convertible coming by early 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 May 2012 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Europe , Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota It’s no secret that the Toyota FT-86 will finally make its production-spec debut next week in Tokyo, and ahead of that, the automaker’s UK office has released the first official photos and some initial specs. In Europe, the car will officially be called the Toyota GT 86. Cutting right to the chase, here are the specs that are now official, from the Toyota UK announcement. Obviously, there’s more to come: 2.0-liter boxer with D4-S injection (direct and port injected) 197 hp @ 7,000 rpm and 151 lb-ft (205 Nm) @6,600 rpm 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions 17-inch wheel/tire package standard 4,240mm (167 in.) long, 1285mm (50.6 in.) high, 2,570mm (101 in.) wide 53:47 front-to-rear weight distribution 475mm (18.7 in.) center of gravity As demonstrated in the photos, everything is basically in line with what we’ve seen so far in the various leaked materials . So, start getting excited. In addition to the sharp styling outside, the interior looks the business, and the “86″ fender logo is just plain cool. The GT 86 goes on sale in the UK next June. We’ll be on hand in Tokyo for the official reveal at the end of the coming week, with plenty more then. In the meantime, peruse the photo gallery and hit the jump for the full press release. Continue reading Europe’s Toyota GT 86 sports car revealed Europe’s Toyota GT 86 sports car revealed originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Nov 2011 22:25:00 EST.
Filed under: Classics , Etc. , Toyota , Celebrities “You’ve never heard of the 1977 Star Wars Celica? Kids, it’s the car that was the grand prize in the Star Wars Space Fantasy Sweepstakes.” It most likely started life as a 1977 Celica LiftBack GT Pace Car , an extra-flared, spoilered-up version of the coupe that already looked like a three-quarter scale muscle car. Delphi Auto Design of Costa Mesa, California lavished the bodywork with a custom paint job featuring galactic nebula, TIE fighters , X-Wings , and a lovingly airbrused recreation of the Tom Jung poster art on the hood. Pete Vilmur has been looking for this car for a long time, and he’s probably the foremost expert on it, but still, nothing has emerged from the ether. The trail goes colder than Hoth after 1977, when the contest, a joint effort between Toyota and Twentieth Century Fox, picked its award winners. No record of the car’s VIN can be found, nor can the name of a winner. That may be due in part to Delphi Auto Design being caught in a legal imbroglio involving drug running, murder and income tax violation that tied up one of the main financiers of the business. There was a glimmer of hope in the form of an early-1980s classified ad listing the car for sale, but no record of that can be turned up, either. So where is it?