Filed under: Detroit Auto Show , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , BMW , Honda , Hyundai , Toyota , Fiat This year the Detroit Auto Show didn’t just celebrate the automobile, it celebrated how we find out about the automobile, too. Partnering The One Club, this year introduced the 2014 One Show Automobile Advertising of the Year Award to Cobo Hall, celebrating winners in five different categories of advertising: broadcast television, online, interactive, experiential, and print/outdoor. Winners in those categories were judged by 50 creative directors and journalists, while a Public Choice category was chosen from among nearly 20,000 online votes. Honda walked off with three of the six awards, its Hands spot taking Broadcast honors, its Sound of Honda getting the Online category and Illusions winning Public Choice. Hyundai made the grade in Interactive with Driveway Decision Maker , Fiat captured Print/Outdoor with its ” Letters ” ad, and Toyota’s Tundra Endeavor Campaign spot and BMW’s A Window into the Near Future were co-winners for Experiential. You can watch all of the press release and winning videos below or check out all of the finalists, announced last month , for a refresher. Continue reading Honda scores big in Automobile Advertising of the Year Awards [w/videos] Honda scores big in Automobile Advertising of the Year Awards [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Jan 2014 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Motorsports , Coupe , Lexus , Toyota , Racing You’d be forgiven for thinking just because the Lexus LFA has ended its production run (it’s been over a year now) that Toyota would have ceased its development. You’d be forgiven, but Gazoo Racing is here to tell you you’d still be wrong. One of Toyota’s many works racing teams, Gazoo is returning to the 24-hour endurance race at the N
Filed under: Concept Cars , Detroit Auto Show , Coupe , Performance , Toyota Toyota has brought its A game to the 2014 Detroit Auto Show , showing off the striking FT-1 Concept. Short for “Future Toyota,” the FT-1 is, we’re imagining, the supposed Supra Concept we reported on early in December. Penned by the Calty Design Research team, the FT-1 draws inspirations from the FT-HS and the Lexus LF-LC concepts from 2007 and 2012, respectively. We certainly see a bit of Lexus LF-A in the design, while there’s more than a hint of Formula One in the FT-1′s pointed nose. “Our team was heavily influenced by Toyota’s sports car past, especially Celica and Supra , and we sought to capture some of that history. It is an aggressive, track-focused sports car concept with a presence that has been amplified for shock and awe,” said Alex Shen, Calty’s Studio Chief Designer. The FT-1′s interior is what Toyota calls a “place of business,” which would be a funny description of a Toyota, if the FT-1 didn’t look the way it did. The cabin is snug, while a colored heads-up display adds to the sense that this is more cockpit than cabin. While it may be a concept, it will be available to drive soon, as Toyota worked with Polyphony Digital to add the FT-1 to Gran Turismo 6 . According to the press release, which you can view below, the low-slung concept will be available for download tomorrow.
Filed under: Car Buying , China , Ford , GM , Toyota , Volkswagen As of the end of November, Volkswagen had sold 70,000 more cars than General Motors in China in 2013, making it appear inevitable that VW will outsell GM there. The feat would return the German brand to the top of chart in China for the first time in nine years, but even the second-place getter won’t be complaining too loudly: both automakers sold more than three million vehicles in a market pegged to hit 16 million sales this year. Volkswagen said it could have sold more cars if it had had more production capacity in China. The arrival of a new-to-China Audi A4 , a China-built A3 sedan , the VW Bora and Skoda Octavia , as well as an $18.2-billion-euro investment in the country to construct new factories , means VW should see its numbers grow in 2014. GM’s lineup is expanding next year, too, adding four Chevrolet nameplates and two vehicles to its Baojun brand as it tries to get to five million in sales by 2015. Among other automakers, Ford benefited from good product and woes for Japanese automakers over a territorial dispute with China, outselling Toyota by almost 32,000 units through the end of November. The Ford Focus is China’s best-selling vehicle so far this year. Analysts predict that the Chinese market will grow in 2014 thanks to untapped demand in smaller cities, and that should make for more record numbers; counting buses and trucks, China should surpass the 20-million sales mark. The biggest headwind foreseen at the moment is pollution. Larger cities are already capping the number of new vehicle sales and how often people are allowed to drive, as the effects of industrialization obscure entire cities and long-term forecasts.
Filed under: Japan , Technology , Toyota We knew this moment would come. Partly because Toyota told us it would back in July, but also because we’ve been watching too many sci-fi movies. The moment in question is when a robot would hold a conversation with a human in outer space. Which may not seem that cataclysmic, but we’re here to point out that a) this is the first time it has ever happened, and b) it could mark the beginning of the apocalypse, wrought on us by robots from outer space. The conversation took place on board the International Space Station between Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and Kirobo , a foot-tall robot that encompasses the latest advancements in voice-recognition software achieved by Toyota. We can only (but would rather not) imagine what practical applications this might have in the future, but for now, you can watch the landmark event unfold in the video below . Continue reading Kirobo speaks in space with Toyota voice tech Kirobo speaks in space with Toyota voice tech originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 21 Dec 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hybrid , Crossover , Toyota , First Drives Midsize crossovers like the Toyota Highlander tend to play a thankless role in the life of today’s modern family. That’s really too bad. With the ability to hold several hyperactive kids and tons of cargo while keeping everyone safe and comfortable in all kinds of climate conditions day in and day out, they’re true heroes in the lives of hundreds of thousands of families across the country. Yet their car-apathetic owners often immediately forget about them as soon as their work is done. And nearly all midsize crossovers are thoroughly ignored by enthusiasts whose eyes begin to glaze over at first mention of the phrase “third row.” Toyota is looking to soften the blow somewhat by giving its midsize crossover, the Highlander, a big redesign for the 2014 model year. With a bold new look, updated suspension and a refreshed interior focused on comfort and convenience, Toyota aims to make the Highlander sportier to drive and more striking in appearance, because, as the marketing team explains, “families are going places and they want to get there in style.” So has the Highlander finally ditched the dull and become something truly desirable to own without sacrificing its heroic nature? I headed to Carmel, CA for some seat time along the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway to find out. Continue reading 2014 Toyota Highlander 2014 Toyota Highlander originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Technology , Lexus , Toyota So far, the lawsuits brought forth against Toyota for unintended acceleration have gone both ways: the automaker was found not at fault in a 2009 California crash and liable for a 2007 crash in Oklahoma . Both cases involved a Camry and resulted in fatalities. With a big chunk of these UA cases (around 200) set to his the docket of US District Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, California, Bloomberg is reporting that the judge has halted the lawsuits until March after Toyota and its lawyers have had extra time to try and settle the cases. According to the article, Toyota is looking to take care of the cases out of court with an “intensive settlement process.” Having already paid out $1.6 billion in “economic loss” suits , this latest settlement process is aimed at the wrongful death and personal injury cases allegedly associated with unintended acceleration. A hearing for the settlements will be held on January 14 with conferences on the matter commencing in February. There is no word as to when lawsuits may start back up if settlements can’t be agreed upon. Judge halts Toyota unintended acceleration cases, triggers time for settlement negotiations originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Australia With Ford and General Motors both announcing an end to production in Australia , the country’s auto industry is in a bad way. With the exit of two big players, there’s increased concern that a third Australian manufacturer, Toyota , will be forced out, as well. “We are saddened to learn of GM Holden’s decision. This will place unprecedented pressure on the local supplier network and our ability to build cars in Australia,” Toyota Australia said in a statement. The GM closure of Holden production will be the direct end to 2,900 jobs, but will also force a dramatic reduction in the size of the country’s supplier network, as there will simply be fewer cars to build. In the same statement, Toyota Australia said it would work with suppliers and local government to figure out whether continuing production Down Under was even feasible. According to Automotive News , a representative for the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union told reporters it was “highly likely” that Toyota would also close up shop within the next few years. Toyota fears supplier pressure in Australia with GM pull out originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 11 Dec 2013 13:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Safety , Toyota Many Toyota vehicles haven’t been performing well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s ( IIHS ) small overlap frontal crash test, and the Camry is one of them. The 2012 and 2013 Camry both received “Poor” ratings, IIHS’ lowest rating, in the test, which spurred Consumer Reports to take the car off its “Recommended” list. In response to the low ratings in the small overlap frontal test, and in a bid to maintain its best-seller status, Toyota will make changes to the Camry to improve its IIHS safety rating and to enhance its design, The Detroit News reports . The Camry performed well in the moderate overlap frontal, side, roof strength and head restraints and seats crash tests, receiving “Good” ratings, IIHS’ highest rating, in all four tests. That was enough for IIHS to award it a Top Safety Pick rating, just not TSP+. Bill Fay, head of Toyota’s US division, reportedly says, “It’s still a five-star car. It still does very well in all the IIHS tests. It did not in [the small overlap frontal crash test], and we’re busy making the necessary adjustments so that we can address that.” Most Toyota models haven’t been put through the small overlap frontal test, but those that have haven’t received better than a “Marginal” rating, IIHS’ third-best rating. The Corolla received a “Marginal” rating , while the midsize Prius V , along with the Camry, earned “Poor” ratings . The RAV4 compact crossover also earned a “Poor” rating in the test.