Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Toyota , Electric “As Prius represents by far the biggest chunk of the hybrid marketplace, where Prius goes, the segment goes,” – Ed Kim, Autopacific Fuel prices in the US have been tumbling for the last several weeks, with the average price of a gallon of gas at $3.120 as of October 20, according to the US Energy Information Administration. That price reflects a serious recent drop from $3.299 on October 6. Reports have even suggested that those low numbers might not change for a little while , perhaps as long as years. While drivers certainly love paying less at the pump, the change may be hurting the market for more fuel-efficient models, including the Toyota Prius . According to a report from National Public Radio, sales of hybrids, plug-ins and EVs are down around 5 percent for the year , but trucks and SUVs have seen a 17 and 20 percent improvement, respectively. Autoblog Green’s By the Numbers reports indicate similar figures of around a 5.4 percent drop so far in 2014. In fact, as of September, green-car sales have endured their fourth straight month of declines . That segment of the market fell 11 percent year-over-year in August and 9.6 percent in September. “As Prius represents by far the biggest chunk of the hybrid marketplace, where Prius goes, the segment goes,” Ed Kim, Vice President of Industry Analysis at AutoPacific tells Autoblog . That paints a bleak picture for hybrids, because at the moment, the Prius is doing pretty poorly.
Filed under: SUV , Etc. , Lexus , Toyota , Australia , Diesel Australian consumers appear poised to get another diesel-burning luxury SUV in the near future, and word is it’s coming from Lexus , of all automakers. Sean Hanley, chief executive of the company’s branch in Oz, recently told Aussie website Drive that he’s “pretty confident” that the new engine for the LX is getting the green light. Like in the US, the LX in Australia is currently only offered with a 5.7-liter, gasoline-burning V8. However, sales of the big SUV are presently minuscule Down Under, with Drive reporting just 153 LX570s sold in all of Oz last year. Hanley is negotiating with Japan to get the new diesel in hopes of boosting flagging sales. If his efforts are successful, it would be the first diesel engine offered in a Lexus there. Hanley didn’t specify exactly which mill the SUV would get. However, given the LX’s close relationship with Toyota Land Cruiser , the diesel 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8 already available in the Toyota in markets outside of North America seems like a natural choice. Don’t expect the variant to be hopping across the Pacific, though.
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TORRANCE, Calif., (March 24, 2014)
TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 17, 2013
TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2013) – California drivers looking for a green vehicle at a good value need look no further. Toyota, Lexus and Scion took top honors in the 2013 Green Car Guide, published today by the Automobile Club of Southern California. Six of the top ten overall green vehicle and “best value” scores are held by the Toyota family.
Filed under: Car Buying , Sedan , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Mazda , Nissan , Toyota When we first saw and drove new midsize sedans like the 2013 Nissan Altima and 2013 Ford Fusion , we had a feeling the Toyota Camry would eventually see a challenge for the top sales spot, but we had no idea things would move this quickly. Automotive News is reporting that the quarter tallies still show the Camry holding a sizable lead over its competition, but the Altima did manage to outsell the Toyota by 100 units last month. While a single month of not outselling the competition might not be enough to unseat the Camry from its 11-year sales throne, it goes to show how far recent competitors in the segment have come. The four best-selling cars in the midsize segment (in order) are the Camry, Honda Accord , Altima and Fusion , with each car boasting more than 80,000 units through the first three months of the year. Both the Accord and Fusion are seeing double-digit year-over-year sales increases while the Camry and Altima have dropped somewhat. And it wasn’t just Camry that was losing ground. As we saw in the March 2013 By The Numbers post, Toyota sales as a whole were down slightly from 2012 while all of its key competitors ( Chevrolet , Ford , Honda and Nissan ) were in the green. After the top four sellers in the segment, the next closest midsizers are the Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata , but these cars are well off the competitive pace. Although the 2014 Mazda6 isn’t expected to take too big of a bite out of the midsize market, its attractive design and available diesel engine could continue the shakeup of this once-predictable segment. Altima, Fusion shaking up midsize sedan sales race originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Apr 2013 09:44:00 EST.
TORRANCE, Calif., (Oct. 8, 2012) — Customizing a vehicle can often be broken down into a series of tasks that can then be scheduled and executed—at least until the clock runs out. Then all bets are off. And so it goes for the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge teams with time to complete their ambitious builds coming to a close in about two weeks, just before voting begins on October 20. And just like a race car, these one-off rides must be ready to go when the green flag drops.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota Like its Cressida ancestor, Toyota’s Avalon has long focused on easy living comfort and value over sex appeal. Conservative sheetmetal, a cushy ride, space to spread out and general ease-of-use have historically made the brand’s largest sedan popular among the elderly. But the new 2013 Avalon brings with it markedly more expressive styling that suggests Toyota is no longer content to cater to the end-of-life demographic. This shift away from a more traditional value set to edgier design and content is one the entire large non-premium sedan segment seems to be embracing – witness the newly upscale 2014 Chevrolet Impala , as well as the sculpted flanks of the 2012 Hyundai Azera and Ford Taurus . The 2013 model’s noticeably svelter sheetmetal, with its bolder front end and flowing greenhouse announce Toyota’s intent, but it’s features like a Sport mode and paddle shifters that really telegraph the Avalon’s newfound vigor and more aspirational mission. And Toyota officials tell Autoblog that the already-shown V6 and hybrid models are just the beginning – a stand-alone sport model is also under serious consideration. A trio of Avalon concepts is headed to SEMA this October, with two of them having been completed internally – unusual for Toyota. According to Randy Stephens, the model’s chief engineer, a trio of Avalon concepts is headed to SEMA this October, with two of them having been completed internally – unusual for Toyota. The pair of concepts conceived in-house will have a performance bent, with at least one featuring an off-the-shelf supercharger from the company’s TRD parts bin in Australia (the same forced-induction setup used in the Lotus Evora S ). The house-built Avalons are said to not be as outrageously styled as most SEMA vehicles tend to be, in large measure because Toyota plans to weigh public opinion with an eye toward a production run.
Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Hatchback , Mercedes-Benz , Smart , Toyota , Tesla , Electric Looks like another Tesla Motors investor will be looking to cash in on their connection. Autoweek reports Mercedes-Benz will offer their B-Class in the U.S. with Tesla propulsion. The magazine says their source at the German automaker confirms plans for a B-Class electric-only vehicle. While Tesla already provides battery packs for the battery-powered Smart ForTwo , the B-Class EV will reportedly have Tesla batteries, motor and other components. U.S. residents should be able to procure one sometime in 2014. The same Mercedes source says plans for a hybrid B-Class have been postponed for now. Adding a range-extending, gasoline-powered engine to an electric vehicle would put the car into a different class for which rebates and incentives aren’t as favorable in the States. Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler owns a 4.7-percent share of Tesla.