Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Lexus , Toyota , Design/Style A reshuffle in the uppermost ranks of Lexus could see the Japanese luxury brand further energize its recent focus on design. Tokuo Fukuichi, Toyota’s global design boss, is the new head of Lexus International. Fukuichi will retain his role as the overall head of design for Toyota , Lexus and Scion , and will assume his new position at the head of Lexus and on its board on April 1 (no fooling). This is going to be an interesting move for fans of design to watch, as Fukuichi has repeatedly been mentioned as a designer that enjoys pushing the envelope and experimenting. He is, after all, the man responsible for designing the most awesomely odd minivan of the 1990s, the mid-engined, rear-drive Toyota Previa, and more recently, he signed off on the controversial Lexus LF-NX concept , which is said to presage a new production small crossover. “Regarding changes in design, no one has 100 percent confidence,” Fukuichi told Forbes back in January 2013. “No one can really say with pure certainty that, ‘In two years, this will sell well.’” As Akio Toyoda continues to demand more assertive, edgier designs, it’s that point of view that should make Fukuichi a valuable addition to Lexus, as it continues to challenge the competition from Germany. Fukuichi replaces Kiotaka Ise, who will become the chief officer at Toyota Research and Development, according to Automotive News . Lexus gets new boss, and he’s a designer originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Australia There is more bad news for the Australian auto industry today, as Toyota has just announced that it will follow General Motors and Ford in shuttering its manufacturing operations on the continent. Production and assembly will cease by the end of 2017, but Toyota will remain in Australia as a sales and distribution company. “We did everything that we could to transform our business, but the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia,” said Toyota Australia President and CEO Max Yasuda. In an official statement , Yasuda said that the closure would directly affect 2,500 manufacturing employees and an unknown number of corporate workers. However, a report in the Australian newspaper The Age suggests that the jobs of 24,000 workers at Australian auto suppliers could also be in jeopardy. Toyota currently builds its Camry , Camry Hybrid , Aurion sedans in Australia, along with four-cylinder engines, and it plans to begin importing the Camry and Aurion after production stops. The plight of the Australian auto industry took a sharp turn for the worse last May when Ford announced that it would end Australian production in 2016. GM revealed its plans in December to stop building Down Under in 2017. In less than a year, the country has lost all three of its remaining domestic automakers ( Mitsubishi stopped building cars in AU back in 2008). Questions whether Toyota would stay arose soon after GM’s news.
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: Budget , Government/Legal , Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Hyundai , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury The government shutdown is eroding consumer confidence in the auto market, says John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai’s US sales unit, and could lower October sales by as much as 10 percent, Automotive News reports . “It’s that anxiety that keeps customers, potential buyers, on the sidelines when making a big purchase like an automobile,” Krafcik says, adding that industry sales could be off by five to 10 percent in October compared to September. The fourth quarter, which started October 1, usually consists of increased auto sales as dealerships clear their lots to make room for the next year’s models. Leading up to the fourth quarter this year, the auto industry was doing well in the fragile, recovering US economy, although September deliveries decreased by 4.2 percent, due in part to this year’s Labor Day sales being recorded for August. To help its customers, Hyundai announced it is deferring new-car loan and lease payments for furloughed federal workers until they’re called back to work and also offering them a three-month payment deferral if they buy a new Hyundai in October. “We have already had requests from over a thousand people to have their payments deferred,” Krafcik says. Toyota and Nissan joined Hyundai as the latest automakers to provide financial relief to customers affected by the federal employee furloughs. Krafcik says US Gov. shutdown is slowing Oct. auto sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 15 Oct 2013 19:01:00 EST.
Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Japan , Toyota A report in Japan’s Nikkei newspaper cited by Automotive News claims that the father of the Prius , Takeshi Uchiyamada, will take the role of chairman at Toyota . Currently Toyota’s vice chairman, Uchiyamada joined the automaker in 1969, and in 1994 became the chief engineer of the Vehicle Development Center that birthed The Hybrid to Rule Them All. He said of it , “When we started, the purpose wasn’t to do a specific car project. It was to make a vehicle suitable for the 21st century.” A specialist in vehicle noise, vibration and harshness, Uchiyamada’s leadership on the Prius helped continue his quiet run to the top of the company; he remains a huge fan of hybrids , but has been reticent about the place of electric vehicles in the current marketplace. If the move is confirmed – it might happen as soon as this year , according to Reuters – Uchiyamada would replace Fujio Cho, Toyota’s chairman for the past six years, who would move to an advisory role. Cho spent seven years overseeing Toyota’s manufacturing operations in Kentucky as well as spearheading manufacturing efforts in Texas, France and China. C ompany president Akio Toyoda would maintain day-to-day charge of Toyota. Toyota to name Prius developer Uchiyamada its next chairman? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jan 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Government/Legal , Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Technology , Toyota , India According to Toyota , a former employee has hacked into its computer systems and stolen sensitive information. According to an Automotive News report, Toyota filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Lexington, Kentucky late last week. The complaint was filed against former IT contractor Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed, who Toyota says was fired on August 23. According to the filing, Toyota indicates Shahulhameed logged on to its system the evening of his firing and downloaded and printed trade secrets. One result of the filing is that Toyota has acquired a restraining order against Shahulhameed, prohibiting him from leaving the United States or disseminating the information that Toyota says is ill-gotten company property. The specific area that was hacked was ToyotaSupplier.com, a site where the automaker’s suppliers exchange highly sensitive information with Toyota about both current and future products. Toyota states that it will continue to investigate the security breach and do not yet know exactly what has happened with the confidential information. There is the possibility that it may have changed hands, but according to a Toyota manufacturing spokesman, “It’s too early to speculate on what-if’s.” According to the court documents, Shahulhameed is an Indian citizen who was living in Georgetown, Kentucky, and was apparently about to leave for his native India. Toyota hacked by ex-IT worker, sensitive info stolen originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Aug 2012 10:58:00 EST.
Filed under: Etc. , Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Toyota Halfway down a press release announcing that Shigeki Terashi was named president and COO of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA) was this: Jim Lentz is named CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, effective April 1. Lentz is the first American to take that position in the company. TMA is the holding company under which all of Toyota’s North American operations are grouped. Terashi will fulfill two roles when his new appointment is official on April 1, the new one and his current one as president of Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing, NA. Lentz will rise from his current position as COO. He became one of the prominent faces of Toyota during the company’s recent recall issues, publicly making the interview rounds and testifying before Congress to address the situation. Follow the jump for Toyota’s press release on the management shuffle. Continue reading Jim Lentz becomes first American CEO of Toyota Motor Sales Jim Lentz becomes first American CEO of Toyota Motor Sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 11 Mar 2012 14:02:00 EST.
Filed under: Motorsports , Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Toyota Toyota is dead serious about its new Le Mans effort. To that end, the Japanese auto giant is developing an all-new hybrid LMP1 racer , it has retained the considerable services of Team Oreca to help with trackside logistics , and it has now announced its driver lineup. And make no mistake about it, these are no rookies. Headlining the roster is Alex Wurz, who holds the title as the youngest winner in the history of Le Mans. The Austrian driver won again for Peugeot two years ago, and he has also taken the checkered flag at the Petit Le Mans, the Spa 1,000km and the Sebring 12 Hours, to name just a few. And as if that weren’t enough, he’s also an accomplished former Formula One driver, having driven for and scored podium finishes for a variety of teams including Benetton, McLaren and Williams (though not Toyota). Joining Wurz will be Nicolas Lapierre, a French driver with a distinguished record in both lower formula racing (like F3 and A1GP) and endurance racing, including a win at Sebring this year. Finally, Toyota has added Kazuki Nakajima (one of Japan’s best F1 drivers of the modern era) to the team that will be developing and fielding the new LMP1 at La Sarthe and other FIA World Endurance Championship races next season. The car is expected to make its debut “early in the new year” at a yet-to-be-determined European venue. Continue reading Toyota recruits top drivers for new Le Mans program Toyota recruits top drivers for new Le Mans program originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Nov 2011 18:20:00 EST.