Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Toyota , Electric Toyota may have an ace up its sleeve in the fuel economy wars, as it’s developed a new type of semiconductor that will allegedly help the company’s hybrids net a ten-percent improvement in fuel economy. The tech is still in development, although Toyota is already reporting five-percent gains during testing, six years before it plans to implement the new semiconductor in production vehicles, meaning the ten-percent improvement doesn’t seem like an untenable goal. That is, until you hear from Kimimori Hamada, the project general manager of Toyota’s electronics division. “We are aiming for great improvement in fuel economy and miniaturization,” Hamada told Automotive News . “This is a very challenging target.” The new semiconductors are made from wafers of silicon carbide, rather than just silicon. The compound is far more efficient, losing just a tenth of the energy that’s lost from a normal silicon semiconductor. That not only makes the semiconductor more efficient, but it allows Toyota to use a power control unit that’s 80 percent smaller. While the initial results are promising, silicon carbide is considerably more expensive than silicon, and once acquired, it’s more difficult to work with. “There are still enormous technical barriers,” Hamada said. New Toyota semiconductors could increase hybrid fuel efficiency by 10% originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 May 2014 10:15:00 EST.
Filed under: Toyota , UAW/Unions , Canada Volkswagen isn’t the only automaker with high-profile unionization efforts afoot at one of its North American factories. Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, is attempting to organize Toyota’s factories in Ontario, reports Reuters . A vote was originally set for next week, but Unifor has apparently found more workers eligible to vote, delaying the proceedings. It hasn’t rescheduled the ballot yet, but claims there are 7,500 employees with the right to vote, with over 3,000 having already signed union cards. Toyota is pushing against organizing, saying that workers already have a payment and benefits near the top of the industry, and noting that it has never laid off a permanent employee in Canada. Unifor has reportedly countered by saying that about a quarter of the workforce is operating under a temporary contract, which receives lower benefits. The automaker has three factories in Ontario – two in Cambridge and one in Woodstock. To form a union, a majority of eligible employees must vote to join Unifor. If successful, they would be the first wholly owned Toyota plants in North America to be organized. Previous attempts to unionize the Japanese automaker’s Canadian factories in 2001 and 2008 failed due to lack of support.
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Sedan , Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Hatchback , Lexus , Toyota , UAW/Unions , Canada , Luxury Toyota may be heading toward some labor issues in the Great White North, as employees at a pair of Canadian Toyota factories may be set for a certification vote. The Unifor union, which was the result of a merger last year between the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, will be holding the vote. Over 40 percent of the employees at the Woodstock and Cambridge, Ontario factories have signed union cards, cresting the minimum percentage required to instigate a legal certification vote, according to Reuters . The Woodstock factory is responsible for RAV4 production, while Cambridge builds the Lexus RX350 and RX450h , as well as the Toyota Corolla . The two factories employ nearly 7,000 people. It’s unclear when the union will hold a certification vote at the two factories, but what is rather clear are the worker complaints. Employees are concerned about workers being hired on temporary contracts which lack the benefits of full employment, John Aman, head of organizing for Unifor, told Reuters . Toyota countered that argument. “First, people are hired on contract basis and only when we can make a long-term commitment to them, in terms of their employment security, do we transition them into permanent status,” spokesman Greig Mordue said. “Over the past 12 months or so we’ve hired 1,000 new team members and we’ve also made 900 contracts permanent.” Union to launch Toyota organization drive in Canada originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 12 Jan 2014 12:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Infiniti , Jeep , Lexus , Porsche , Scion , Toyota Kelley Blue Book announced its annual Best Resale Value Award winners, and we weren’t too surprised to see the list dominated by Japanese automakers – mainly Toyota and Honda . KBB hands out the awards based on the projected residual value of mostly all 2013 model year vehicles, and Toyota skated home with a number of awards including 10 of the 22 overall categories and having five of its products in the top 10 for models with best resale value. KBB’s Best Resale Value Awards were announced in the same week as the ALG Residual Value Awards , and there were many similarities between both lists, especially when it came to Toyota. To come up with its winners, KBB measures depreciation over the first five years of ownership, and looks for the cars it expects to hold its value the best after this time; on average, the report says the 2013 model year vehicles will lose 61.8 percent of its value in five years. Of the 22 categories, 15 slots were filled by Toyota, Honda and Nissan products, while the Camaro and Porsche ( Cayenne and Panamera ) each took home a pair of awards. If Toyota has anything to be upset about in this list of cars, it’s that categories for Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car and Electric Vehicle went to the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Volt , respectively. The overall top 10 models for the best resale value in 2013 are, in alphabetical order: Honda Civic Honda CR-V Jeep Wrangler Lexus LX Porsche Cayenne Scion tC Toyota FJ Cruiser Toyota Land Cruiser Toyota Tacoma Toyota 4Runner Scroll down to see KBB’s press release that includes a breakdown of all individual category winners. Continue reading Toyota tops Kelley Blue Book’s Resale Value Awards Toyota tops Kelley Blue Book’s Resale Value Awards originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Nov 2012 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
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.
Toyota NASCAR Notes & Quotes Bristol March 2011 KAHNE TAMED DARLINGTON: In Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at Darlington Raceway, Kasey Kahne earned his first NCWTS win in a Tundra. Kahne drove the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Tundra at the historic South Carolina track because the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) had the weekend off. The 30-year-old started second in the KBM No. 18 entry and led 95 (of 147) laps at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval to earn his third career NCWTS win in four career starts. In addition to Kahne, three other Tundra drivers earned top-10s in Saturday night’s race — Todd Bodine (third), Timothy Peters (sixth) and David Starr (10th). BREAK OUT THE BROOM: Camry driver Kyle Busch made NASCAR history last August at Bristol Motor Speedway when he became the first driver to sweep all three races — NCWTS, NNS and NSCS — at one race track in a single weekend. Busch has more NSCS victories at Bristol (four) than at any other track, as well as two NNS wins and three NCWTS victories at the half-mile Tennessee oval. SHORT TRACK SUCCESS: The races at Bristol Motor Speedway mark the first short track event of the 2011 season for NSCS and NNS teams. Last year, Camry drivers earned three (of four) wins at half-mile short tracks with Denny Hamlin visiting victory lane in both races at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway and his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Busch earning the win at Bristol Motor Speedway in the summer. TENNESSEE TIES: Two Toyota team members call Tennessee home.