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.
Filed under: Car Buying , Truck , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Toyota With July 4th just around the corner, what better time could there be for Cars.com to announce that the Ford F-150 is the Most American car of 2013? This may be especially true since it was the Toyota Camry , a car produced by a company based in Japan, that had held the top spot from 2009 to 2012. Cars.com compiles its Most American list by considering the amount of parts each vehicle uses that come from America, where it’s final assembly takes place and how many units per year are sold. “While the assembly point and domestic parts content of the F-150 didn’t change from 2012-2013, vehicle sales are responsible for bumping the F-150 to the top spot,” according to Patrick Olsen, Editor-in-Chief of Cars.com . As far as automakers go (as opposed to individual models), Toyota retains the top spot it held in 2012, with General Motors , Chrysler , Ford and Honda (in that order) rounding out the list. The motivation behind this list each year, according to Olsen, is “to help car shoppers understand that ‘American-Made’ extends beyond just the Detroit three” and because “a study we conducted in 2012 indicated that 25 percent of shoppers surveyed preferred to buy American.” It should be noted, however, that Cars.com isn’t the only group with an American-made study, and not everyone agrees on the methodology used. In fact, a highly detailed study earlier this year by American University’s Kogod School of Business found that the Lambda CUV triplets from GM are the most American-made nameplates, and there isn’t a single vehicle from a Japanese automaker anywhere near its top ten. Feel free to browse the press release below to see how the full top-10 list breaks down. Continue reading Ford F-150 bumps Camry from top of Cars.com American Made Index Ford F-150 bumps Camry from top of Cars.com American Made Index originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Jun 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , Plants/Manufacturing , GM , Toyota , Volkswagen Toyota still holds the title of World’s Largest Automaker. The Japanese automaker ceded the claim to General Motors in 2011 following a series of natural and man-made disasters that stifled production in Asia. Production is back up to full speed and, coupled with the introduction of a new Camry midsize sedan, Toyota retook the title in 2012 and has so far been able to keep it by selling 2.43 million vehicles in the first quarter of 2013. The race is still tight – General Motors reports sales of 2.36 million vehicles, earning it the second spot globally with Volkswagen’s 2.27 million sales nabbing the German automaker third place. It’s not all smooth sailing for Toyota, either, as the brand’s first-quarter figures were down 2.2 percent when compared to last year. GM posted a 3.6-percent gain and VW managed a 5.1-percent gain over the same period. Sales in China may be a deciding factor as to which automaker performs best in 2013. Toyota’s figures were down 13 percent in China. Meanwhile, GM and VW are continuing their upward trajectories in the crucial Chinese market. As ever, each of the automakers says publicly it doesn’t care much about the title.
Filed under: Car Buying , GM , Toyota , Volkswagen General Motors released its first quarter sales figures this week, reporting that it sold 2.36 million cars and trucks worldwide. That figure represents an increase of 3.6 percent when compared to the same period last year. GM’s growth was attributed to many factors, including global Cadillac sales that were up 26 percent and Chevrolet posting a one percent increase over last year (this marked Chevy’s tenth straight year of record global sales). Volkswagen came in just behind GM, as the German automaker reported global sales from January through March at 2.27 million vehicles, an increase of five percent when compared to last year. While that number was strong, VW is cautioning that markets outside China and the US, such as those in Europe, are becoming a challenge as economies falter. Yet to report sales is Toyota , current holder of the global world sales crown (the Japanese company sold 9.75 million cars last year, against 9.29 million sold by GM and 9.1 million vehicles sold by VW). Even though GM and Toyota both say they don’t care who sells the most units, it is unquestionably a strong bragging point and sales equate to revenue. That said, Toyota will report its first quarter numbers next week. GM outsold VW globally in first quarter, Toyota reports numbers next week originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Apr 2013 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Acura , Cadillac , Chevrolet , Hyundai , Kia , Lexus , Mazda , Nissan , Toyota , Design/Style , Ram Step inside just about any new car these days and you’ll quickly see that vehicle interiors have become a pretty nice place to spend some time in. For the third consecutive year, WardsAuto sat in each and every new vehicle that had received redesigned or updated interiors, and it has now named its 10 Best Interiors. Judges look at everything from design and fit-and-finish to comfort, safety and technology. Some of the standout selections include budget cars like the Chevrolet Spark and Kia Forte all the way up to more expensive sedans like the $60,000+ Cadillac XTS and Lexus GS450h . An interesting note here is that WardsAuto praises Cadillac for its CUE infotainment system while Consumer Reports generally lambasts the system. Asian automakers definitely won the contest for nicest interiors as the list is comprised of five Japanese automakers and two South Korean, with Toyota and General Motors in a dead heat with the most number of cars on the list with two each. Scroll down for the full list (in alphabetical order) and press release from WardsAuto for its 10 Best Interiors of 2013. Continue reading Ward’s 10 Best Interiors released, Asian automakers take 7 of 10 spots Ward’s 10 Best Interiors released, Asian automakers take 7 of 10 spots originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink