Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Toyota Ask any sales and marketing executive from Chrysler , Ford or General Motors what their company’s greatest challenge is and they will unequivocally reply, “California.” The Golden State accounts for 12.5 percent of all new car sales in the United States, but even more importantly, it is seen as a bellwether for the nation. As the home of the entertainment and consumer electronics industries, California has an outsized reach into our nation’s popular culture – but Californians have historically been among the least receptive to domestic products. There’s some evidence that trend may be changing, as domestic market share has been improving in the recent years, according to Forbes . Ford has seen its Blue Oval brand improve from seven percent in 2008 to over nine percent last year. Chevrolet topped six percent last year after three years of growth. Even Chrysler, which had a market share of less than four percent in 2010, has seen growth – to five percent in 2011 and almost six percent so far this year. Still, those numbers are a pittance compared to the import brands. According to The Detroit News , domestic automakers have a combined 30.8 percent share in California, well below their 44.3 percent national average. The domestics’ recent growth in California – the Japanese and Korean manufacturers’ “home turf” – has certainly been helped by supply shortages at Honda and Toyota , companies beset by natural disasters last year. If domestic automakers are going to continue to take share from foreign competition, they’re going to have to have more success stories like the recent surge in Chevrolet Volt sales, a phenomenon spurred by the availability of High Occupancy Vehicle lane stickers for GM’s plug-in hybrid.
Filed under: Car Buying , Coupe , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Subaru and Scion dealers are having no trouble finding homes for BRZ and FR-S models. The sport coupes are ranked one and two on the list of cars that spend the fewest days on dealer lots. According to Edmunds, the BRZ takes just four days to turn, followed by the FR-S at five days. On average, it takes dealers 53 days to move new models. Both machines are surrounded by a halo of buzz and plenty of pent-up demand. Subaru began selling the BRZ in the U.S. at the end of April, while Scion gave the first 86 FR-S buyers the chance to come to California for a little track time in their new purchases. Then there’s the issue of low supply. Toyota will only sell 10,000 Scion FR-S units in the U.S. this year while Subaru will only offer buyers 6,000 BRZ coupes.
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota Consumer Reports has panned the 2012 Toyota Prius C in a new video review that urges car shoppers to get a used regular Prius over the new baby model, “it’s a much better car overall,” said Mike Quincy in the review. The problems Toyota ran into in creating the Prius C appear to be in making it cheaper, according to Consumer Reports . The list of adjectives during the video review included: “lackluster,” “hard plastic,” “cheap materials,” “dead steering” and “slow.” Toyota may see those words as misplaced modifiers compared to the glowing recommendations the larger mainstream Prius has received in its decade-long Synergy drive to becoming the eco-poster child for hypermiling greenies out to save the Earth and ride in California HOV lanes with a single person aboard. (HOV access for most gas-electric hybrids has been discontinued in the Golden State.) While the Prius C may start at $18,995, its price climbs quickly and its value does not, Consumer Reports said. A new regular Prius starts at $24,000. However, the bad news from Consumer Reports hasn’t hurt Prius C sales, which began in April. During its first month, Toyota sold 4,782 Prius C models, outpacing the other Prius variant, the family-minded Prius V , as well as the subcompact Yaris , which donates its platform for the Prius C. Scroll down to watch Consumer Reports’ full Prius C video review or read more at the source link. Continue reading 2013 Toyota Prius C doesn’t get much love from Consumer Reports 2013 Toyota Prius C doesn’t get much love from Consumer Reports originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 May 2012 16:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (April 5, 2012) – The Toyota Technical Center (TTC), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., (TEMA), announced today that the company has opened a dedicated office in California’s Silicon Valley furthering Toyota’s commitment to localizing research and development activities in North America and enhancing the customer’s experience with in-vehicle infotainment systems.
Toyota Confirms Prius Plug-In’s Eligibility for an Additional State of California Consumer Incentive and Its EPA Mileage Rating
TORRANCE, Calif., February 23, 2012 – As the 2012 Prius Plug-in models begin to arrive at dealerships, Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. announces that it has been approved for the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP).
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?
Filed under: Government/Legal , Toyota U.S. District Judge James V. Selna has dismissed the first unintended acceleration lawsuit against Toyota in California on the grounds that it should have been filed in Utah. Automotive News reports that the case was brought to court by the families of two people killed in a Utah crash in 2010. Judge Selna found that a federal warranty claim in the lawsuit failed to meet a required threshold of $50,000. The warranty claim was levied toward the dealer that sold the vehicle, and since the judge ruled that the plaintiffs couldn’t use personal injury or punitive damages in warranty claim, the lawsuit fell short of the threshold. That meant that the case fell back under Utah jurisdiction. Meanwhile, Mark Robinson, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said that he’s already working to draft another complaint that leaves the dealer out as a defendant altogether. Doing so will allow the suit to go forward seeking full punitive damages. The suit alleges that Toyota failed to install a brake override system or otherwise prevent unintended acceleration.
Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota , First Drives You Say You Want An Evolution? Here’s a game that the first people who buy the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid should play with their other Prius-driving friends: Let them slide behind the wheel and see if they can even tell that it isn’t a standard, third-generation Prius . Very few will be able to tell. That’s how subtle the changes are between the two vehicles, at least, to someone who isn’t looking too closely. After driving the corded Prius in California recently, we can confidently say that from both the outside and behind the wheel, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid looks, drives and feels pretty much like any other example of the world’s most popular hybrid. Of course, this Prius does receive some important advances – ones that hardcore fans will notice them right away – but it’s more than obvious that Toyota’s strategy with its new model is evolution, not revolution. The changes start with the plug-in’s new lithium-ion battery pack. Much smaller than the packs used in the two most popular plug-in vehicles on the market, the Prius Plug-in’s 176-pound, 4.4-kWh battery pack offers just enough juice, Toyota says, for an “electric-only driving range of up to 15 miles at a maximum speed of 62 mile-per-hour” (More on how this isn’t exactly true after the jump). Continue reading 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .