Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota , Earnings/Financials According to those all-too-nebulous “people familiar with the matter,” Toyota is close to a settlement with the US federal government to end a criminal probe over its long-running unintended acceleration fiasco. Though Toyota has never admitted guilt, the deal could reportedly crest a billion dollars and would likely include a criminal deferred prosecution agreement, and while we’re not legal experts, The Wall Street Journal explains that such a deal would “[force Toyota] to accept responsibility while avoiding the potentially crippling consequences of federal criminal convictions.” The report from WSJ also suggests that Toyota is facing charges that it “made false or incomplete disclosures” to various government agencies regarding possible defects to its cars. Such charges may include mail and wire fraud violations. Toyota has already paid out fines totaling $66.2 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because it failed to report safety defects in a timely manner. This deal with the federal government is not related to the billion-dollar class-action settlement reached with Toyota owners over falling vehicle values, and it’s also different from the roughly 400 lawsuits still in courts alleging personal injury of wrongful death due to cases of unintended acceleration. In other words, don’t expect to hear the end of such courtroom verdicts and settlements anytime soon… Toyota nearing $1B settlement of unintended acceleration criminal probe originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 09 Feb 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
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: Budget , Hybrid , Sedan , Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Hatchback , Lexus , Toyota , UAW/Unions , Canada , Luxury Toyota may be heading toward some labor issues in the Great White North, as employees at a pair of Canadian Toyota factories may be set for a certification vote. The Unifor union, which was the result of a merger last year between the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, will be holding the vote. Over 40 percent of the employees at the Woodstock and Cambridge, Ontario factories have signed union cards, cresting the minimum percentage required to instigate a legal certification vote, according to Reuters . The Woodstock factory is responsible for RAV4 production, while Cambridge builds the Lexus RX350 and RX450h , as well as the Toyota Corolla . The two factories employ nearly 7,000 people. It’s unclear when the union will hold a certification vote at the two factories, but what is rather clear are the worker complaints. Employees are concerned about workers being hired on temporary contracts which lack the benefits of full employment, John Aman, head of organizing for Unifor, told Reuters . Toyota countered that argument. “First, people are hired on contract basis and only when we can make a long-term commitment to them, in terms of their employment security, do we transition them into permanent status,” spokesman Greig Mordue said. “Over the past 12 months or so we’ve hired 1,000 new team members and we’ve also made 900 contracts permanent.” Union to launch Toyota organization drive in Canada originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 12 Jan 2014 12:00:00 EST.
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.