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
Filed under: Car Buying , Truck , Work , Ford , GM , Honda , Hummer , Nissan , Toyota , Ram PickupTrucks.com has taken another look at the sales of its favorite vehicle bodystyle as part of an ongoing series . According to registration data from R.L. Polk, the Toyota Tacoma easily took the crown as America’s best-selling mid-sized pickup, with 133,477 units rolling into new homes in 2012. For comparison, the second-place Nissan Frontier only saw 50,566 registrations. We feel compelled to point out that before Ford pulled the plug on its ancient Ranger , the company was moving some 75,000 units per year. That number had shriveled to 15,662 by 2012, which was still enough to surpass the Honda Ridgeline . Interestingly enough, one person brought home a brand-new Hummer H3T as well. But mid-sized trucks represent only a fraction of total pickup sales. Dealers sold a total of 241,471 midsizers last year compared to 988,326 half-tons. That segment was dominated by General Motors with 533,814 sales followed by Ford at 478,204.
Filed under: Car Buying , Lexus , Porsche , Toyota Each year, J.D. Power and Associates surveys original owners of three-year-old vehicles to find out what kinds of problems they have had experienced over the last 12 months, and then it uses this data to create its annual Vehicle Dependability Study . This means that the models in the 2013 study are 2010 model year vehicles, and J.D. Power rates each make as well as the top individual models based on how many problems were experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100). Debunking the idea that carryover models are more dependable than new or updated models, the 2013 study found that the average carryover model experienced 133 PP100, while all-new or redesigned vehicles for the 2010 model year had 116 PP100; vehicles that received minor changes fared the best with just 111 PP100. The overall average for all makes was 126 PP100, which is the lowest figure since the findings were first issued in 1989. For 2013, Lexus and Porsche remained in the top two spots, respectively (and each experienced fewer problems year over year), but there were plenty of shakeups elsewhere in the list. The biggest mover overall was Ram , which moved up 20 spots from one of the worst performers in 2012 to sitting pretty in the top 10. Other big positive movers include Mazda , Infiniti and Ford . On the opposite side of things, Scion dropped 13 spots, falling from the fifth-best score down to No.
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Ford , GM , Mazda , Toyota At present, over 90 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States today are equipped with event data recorders, more commonly known as black boxes. If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gets its way, that already high figure will swell to a full 100 percent in short order. Such automotive black boxes have been in existence since the 1990s, and all current Ford , General Motors , Mazda and Toyota vehicles are so equipped. NHTSA has been attempting to make these data recorders mandatory for automakers, and according to The Detroit News, the White House Office of Management Budget has just finished reviewing the proposal, clearing the way. Now NHTSA is expected to draft new legislation to make the boxes a requirement. One problem with current black boxes is that there’s no set of standards for automakers to follow when creating what bits of data are recorded, and for how long or in what format it is stored. In other words, one automaker’s box is probably not compatible with its competitors. Expect all these issues to be worked out “in the coming months,” according to NHTSA spokeswoman Lynda Tran. White House clears way for NHTSA to mandate vehicle black boxes originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Dec 2012 10:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , China , Chevrolet , Ford , GM , Honda , Nissan , Toyota American automakers that conduct business in China have benefited from growing anti-Japanese sentiments among Chinese buyers, as most recent sales numbers indicate. According to Automotive News , a territorial dispute over uninhabited islands have resulted in Chinese consumers rejecting vehicles from Toyota , Honda and Nissan in increasing numbers. Meanwhile, sales of General Motors cars and minivans in its largest market grew 14 percent in October, to 251,812. Ford moved 60,518 units in China, representing a 48-percent increase in sales compared to the same month a year ago. Meanwhile, Toyota, Honda and Nissan sales have all taken nosedives. Toyota reported that its sales fell 44 percent last month, following a 49-percent drop in September. The latter two companies both announced their worst month-to-month decline in sales, dating back to 2007 for Honda and 2008 for Nissan. Still yet to be announced are Volkswagen sales in China. The German automaker has been battling GM for the top sales spot in China this year, and it outsold GM last quarter for the first time in eight years. When we last checked in on the two companies, GM had a slight year-to-date lead of 77,000 units.
Filed under: Safety , Ford , GM , Nissan , Toyota , Police/Emergency , Specialty , Fisker To help those effected by Hurricane Sandy cope with the natural disaster, automakers are stepping up in various ways. Known to us right now are contributions of aid or assistance by Ford , General Motors , Toyota , Fisker and Nissan . Toyota and Ford have opted to give in the most straightforward fashion: donations of money. Ford has announced that its own employees have collected $50,000 to donate, and Toyota has stated that it will contribute $1 million in support of relief efforts. Both companies have made these contributions to the American Red Cross. Other automakers have opted to offer tangible, on-the-ground resources to the relief effort. GM has pledged 50 utility vehicles, including Express cargo vans, Traverse crossovers and Tahoe SUVs, to the Red Cross. The vehicles will be fitted with 200 OnStar Hands-Free calling minutes and a month of turn-by-turn navigation. GM has also donated $250,000 to the Red Cross. Fisker Automotive has offered up its 3.2-million-square-foot Wilmington, DE facility as a staging area for rescue crews and power trucks.