Filed under: Truck , Toyota , New Car Reviews The Toyota Tundra is the automotive version of off-brand Cheerios: it doesn’t dominate the market, and it’s not the first model people think of when they hear the term “pickup truck.” Ford , General Motors and Ram dominate the segment with vehicles that offer ridiculous levels of towing and payload capacities and models loaded with luxury items and primed with tech-rich engines. The off-brands, meanwhile, are led by the Tundra, which while still accounting for six-figure sales (112,732 units in 2013, up from 101,621 in 2012), sits well behind the F-150s and Silverados of the world. After our first drive of the revamped 2014 Tundra , we came away thinking this truck is a total underachiever, aimed at placating Toyota loyalists and doing little to win over new customers. But everybody deserves a second chance, and we thought a week’s drive in a different environment might lead to a different – or at least a more fully realized – opinion. While the Tundra might not be an industry leader, it still makes it on many truck buyers’ shopping lists. So, should you consider this off-brand pickup truck? To find out, we borrowed a top-of-the-line Tundra Platinum for a week. Read on to see what we found. Continue reading 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Videos , GM , Toyota Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, held an all-day summit on Thursday to discuss the dangers of using modern technology while driving, during which an ad that Mazda aired during the Super Bowl was used as an example of the worrisome future towards which we’re headed. While seemingly innocuous at first glance, the ad, which can be seen below , shows a brief glimpse of a driver using the Mazda Connect infotainment system in a Mazda3 to check/update his Facebook page while driving down the road. Officials from major communications companies like Samsung, Google and Apple attended the summit, as well as representatives from automakers including General Motors and Toyota . A representative from Mazda was not present despite the company’s own currently available technology being used as the poster child for the issues being discussed. According to Automotive News , Senator Rockefeller warned the automaker and communication execs on hand that he will propose legislation to regulate the use of technology while driving if they don’t work together to implement their own standards more quickly. Michael Robinson, GM’s vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs, argued that his company has had distracted driving guidelines in place for 15 years since the advent of its OnStar system, noting that the technology in question has also helped the automaker save lives through automatic crash detection and calls to 911. Continue reading Mazda ad showing Facebook updates while driving criticized by Senate committee [w/video] Mazda ad showing Facebook updates while driving criticized by Senate committee [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Feb 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: China , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials With the April 15 tax deadline just a few months away, our US readers will be faced with a decision should they get a refund: save or spend? It seems this issue is one many of us face whenever there’s a windfall, trying to decide whether we should set the money aside in an account of some sort or use it as a down payment on a new car or a trip to the Apple store. Unsurprisingly, major corporations face a similar, albeit more complex, issue. Take Toyota , for example. With President Akio Toyoda at the helm, the Japanese manufacturer has gracefully weathered recalls and natural disasters, all while turning beaucoup profits. Last quarter, profits quintupled to 434.4-billion yen ($4.3-billion USD), according to Bloomberg . Toyota also upped its forecast for the end of fiscal year 2013 (which ends on March 31 for Japan), to a record 1.9-trillion yen (about $18.8 billion). Now, the Japanese brand is reportedly sitting on a cash pile of nearly $40 billion, leaving Toyoda-san in an envious predicament – what should the company do with all that money? Some think Toyota should be doing something, anything with that big stack of cash. Some think Toyota (and Toyoda) should be doing something, anything with that big stack of cash.
Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , GM , Lexus , Mazda , Toyota We focus a lot on what new cars are like to drive, but it’s difficult on a one-week loan to really get a sense of what a car is like to live with. Sure, we try to recreate that sense with our long-term vehicles, but even after a year, it’s impossible to know fully learn about a car, particularly in terms of reliability and cost of repairs. For 2014 model year vehicles, Kelley Blue Book has put together a list of the most affordable vehicles over a five-year period. At the tippy top of the list are Mazda and Lexus , with the Zoom-Zoom automaker winning the award for best non-luxury brand. Lexus, meanwhile, was the most affordable luxury marque over a five-year period. It’s interesting to note, though, that not a single Mazda won its segment in this year’s awards. General Motors did quite well, taking eight segments, including both the subcompact and plug-in segments, with the gas-powered Chevrolet Spark and Spark EV . The Chevy Camaro SS and ZL1 took the high-performance car award. Toyota was well represented, with five winners split between the main brand ( Corolla , Prius C and Tacoma ) and Lexus ( LS and RX ). KBB’s five-year cost-to-own analysis takes into account depreciation and fuel costs (the two biggest hits to a driver’s wallet), as well as finance and insurance costs, as well as repairs, maintenance and state fees that come with a new model.
Filed under: GM , Toyota , Volkswagen , Earnings/Financials Toyota is the top-selling automaker in the world. Again. Still. With total reported sales, including those from subsidiaries, of 9.98 million in 2013, Toyota’s performance was enough to outpace rival General Motors by around 270,000 vehicles. That’s a 2.4-percent gain over 2012, and it makes Toyota the top-seller two years in a row. Still, the gap between the top three is shrinking – Toyota held a 460,000-unit lead in 2012. GM sold 9.71 million vehicles last year, a four-percent increase, coming in second place ahead of Volkswagen , which sold around 9.5 million. According to Bloomberg , Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said his company managed to win the sales race while also remaining more profitable than GM or VW. It’s going to be another interesting year in 2014 as the three behemoth automakers vie for the title of World’s Largest. Toyota has predicted that it will increase sales in 2014 to 10.32 million – which would make Toyota the first automaker ever to surpass 10 million global sales – though General Motors and VW are expected to again fight for the lead in the massive Chinese market.
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: Car Buying , Etc. , Hummer , Toyota CarMD has released its third annual Vehicle Health Index, which for the 2013 tracked the frequency and cost of repairs for “check engine” problems of 119-million vehicles built between the 2003 and 2013 model years. For the first two years of the index, Toyota ranked at the top of the list, but this year’s results see Hyundai moved to number one, pushing Toyota down a spot. The Korean automaker’s rise to the top has been “fueled by its low repair frequency,” according to CarMD. Toyota is second to Hyundai in lowest repair frequency, but Toyotas also have the highest average cost of repair. (Interestingly, General Motors vehicles have the lowest average.) Both Toyota’s and Hyundai’s manufacturer “health” ratings suffered this year, but Toyota took a bigger hit, which also is what helped Hyundai achieve the top ranking. While Hyundai is the top manufacturer in the index, the 2012 Toyota Camry is the top vehicle. The best-ranking Hyundai was the 2010 Elantra (behind three Nissan models and four Toyotas), which took the number eight spot. Hyundai has six other vehicles in the top 100. The top-ten manufacturers with the best overall vehicle “health” rankings are Hyundai (No.
Filed under: Toyota , Earnings/Financials When it comes to global vehicle deliveries, the term “Big Three” doesn’t apply to Ford , Chrysler and General Motors , but instead Toyota , GM and Volkswagen – in that order – through the third quarter of 2013. Toyota sold 7.41-million vehicles through the third quarter and is on track to deliver more vehicles this year than GM and VW, which sold 7.25-million and 7.03-million, respectively, through the same period, Bloomberg reports . During the third quarter, from July to September, Toyota’s 2.5-million deliveries helped to push it higher than its closest competitors this year. In that period, GM delivered 2.4-million vehicles while VW posted 2.33-million deliveries. Part of the reason behind Toyota’s and other Japanese automakers resurgence globally is the weakened yen, which can be attributed to policies made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since he took office in December 2012. Many refer to those monetary easing policies as ‘Abenomics,’ which has led some, such as Ford , to call Japan a currency manipulator and is a big reason why the US is lobbying to oppose Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Because the yen is weakened, Yuuki Sakurai, president of Fukoku Capital Management Inc., reportedly says, “The selling prices of some Japanese cars in the US have been lowered to make them more competitive.” In the US, at least, GM did out-deliver Toyota in the third quarter. It delivered 697,113 vehicles to Toyota’s 586,016, but that was enough for the Japanese automaker to grow 12 percent in the US and beat Ford for the first time in 15 quarters. Toyota officially outsells GM, VW through first three quarters originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Oct 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Marketing/Advertising , BMW , Mercedes-Benz , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Interbrand , a consultancy firm, has published its 13th annual list of the best global brands. Besides seeing some shakeups at the top – Apple and Google unseated Coca-Cola (a company that has dominated the survey since its birth), the 100-item list features 14 automakers, most of which enjoyed double-digit gains in brand value. Toyota managed to retain its spot as the study’s top automaker. It finished the survey in 10th position overall (the same as last year), despite a 17-percent improvement in its brand value, from $29.33 billion to $35.34 billion. Mercedes-Benz , BMW and Honda all made the top 20, at 11th, 12th and 20th place, respectively. Hopping a ways down the list, we come across Volkswagen in 34th place, up from 39th in last year’s study, with a brand value of $11.12 billion, a 20-percent improvement over 2012. Ford and Hyundai round out the automakers in the top 50, at 42 and 43. Porsche made the largest year-over-year gain of any automaker, with its brand value increasing 26 percent to $6.47 billion. Chevrolet meanwhile, cracks the list for the very first time at 89th place. As Interbrand notes, Chevy’s inclusion is notable because of the sheer number of vehicles it moves for General Motors and its recent push in developing markets.