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.
Filed under: Car Buying , Hatchback , Toyota Between its slow sales and the upcoming redesign of the closely related Corolla sedan, things haven’t been looking good for the Toyota Matrix ( for some time now ). After 10 years on the market, Toyota has officially announced that it will drop the Matrix from its US lineup following the 2013 model year. The announcement was made as a part of a press release breaking down what’s new for Toyota in 2014, but for now, it doesn’t look like any Toyota-branded product will fill the Matrix’s spot. The Matrix and its sister car, the defunct Pontiac Vibe , were the final vehicles developed under the joint venture between Toyota and General Motors , an arrangement launched back to 1984. Continue reading Toyota Matrix discontinued for 2014 Toyota Matrix discontinued for 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Car Buying , Truck , Toyota Even as General Motors prepares to redesign its midsize pickups, the market for sub-fullsize trucks continues to shrink. The remaining competitors in the segment are the well-aged Nissan Frontier , Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma , and now Truck Trend is reporting that the latter will be dropping its regular cab model due to poor sales. According to the article, the available configurations for the Tacoma lineup will be whittled down in 2015, which apparently spells the end for the two-door Taco. The Tacoma is currently the last truck in its class to be offered in a regular cab configuration, with the Frontier no longer offering a standard cab model and spy shots of the next-gen Chevrolet Colorado not revealing any glimpse of a short cab, either. Toyota to drop regular-cab Tacoma as small pickups take another hit originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 02 Aug 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: SUV , Toyota , Off-Road Toyota sold 121,055 Highlander CUVs in 2012, according to Automotive News . By comparison, it sold 78,457 examples of four different body-on-frame, truck-based SUVs ( 4Runner , FJ Cruiser , Sequoia and Land Cruiser ). One could argue then, that the traditional SUVs aren’t pulling their weight from a sales perspective. Yet that isn’t stopping Toyota from reaffirming its commitment to a segment that has seen its former champions – Ford , General Motors and Chrysler – abandon it with alarming speed. Ford and GM still offer body-on frame utilities, but only in the very largest offerings, catering to seven or even eight passengers. Everything outside of the Expedition or Tahoe rides now on a unibody. Toyota’s decision to stick with the technology is good news if you’re in the market for smaller SUVs that are still capable of heading well off the beaten path. Outside of the Jeep Wrangler , Grand Cherokee (a unibody) and perhaps Nissan Xterra , there’s not much in terms of capable SUVs between $20,000 and $50,000. As the Toyota brand’s US head, Bill Fay, says, “Clearly, the trend has shifted, but there is still an owner base that is interested in these vehicles.” We don’t doubt Fay on that, but it may also be somewhat telling that Toyota’s SUV lineup is aging, and we haven’t seen or heard much about replacement models in the pipeline. Admittedly, the 4Runner (pictured) has been facelifted for 2014, but it’s mostly cosmetic in nature.