Tier 1 suppliers call GM the worst OEM to work with

Tier 1 suppliers call GM the worst OEM to work with

May 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , BMW , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Mercedes-Benz , Nissan , Toyota , Volkswagen Among automakers with a big US presence, General Motors is the worst to work for, according to a new survey from Tier 1 automotive suppliers, conducted by Planning Perspectives, Inc. The Detroit-based manufacturer, which has been under fire following the ignition switch recall and its accompanying scandal, finished behind six other automakers with big US manufacturing operations. Suppliers had issues with trust and communications, as well as intellectual property protection. GM was also the least likely to allow suppliers to raise their prices in the face of unexpected increases in material cost, all of which contributed to 55 percent of suppliers saying their relationship with GM was “poor to very poor.” GM’s cross-town competitors didn’t fare much better. Chrysler finished in fifth place, ahead of GM and behind Dearborn-based Ford , which was passed for third place this year by Nissan . Toyota took the top marks, while Honda captured second place. PPI also surveyed suppliers of Volkswagen , BMW and Mercedes-Benz , each of which has considerably smaller manufacturing presence relative to the American and Japanese brands (there are only three US factories between the three of them). Mercedes and VW were ranked behind GM, while BMW would have been just behind Toyota. According to Reuters , this survey serves to illustrate a big issue facing American manufacturers – Japanese brands aren’t just on good terms with suppliers, but their relations are actually improving. PPI boss John Henke said the popularity of Toyota and Nissan among suppliers increased considerably, indicating that we “could be entering an era in supplier relations that doesn’t bode well for the US Big Three.” Tier 1 suppliers call GM the worst OEM to work with originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 12 May 2014 16:29:00 EST.

Toyota tops Consumer Reports best, worst used car values

Toyota tops Consumer Reports best, worst used car values

March 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Acura , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Subaru , Toyota We often mock Toyota for building boring, soulless cars, but a new study by Consumer Reports suggests that regardless of whether that’s true, the company has some of the best used cars on the market. In its report on used cars from 2004-2013, the Japanese automaker had 11 vehicles among its brands on the list – more than any other automaker. CR breaks the list down by cost and vehicle size, and Toyota has at least one entry at every price point and in nearly every segment. To score a recommendation, a vehicle had to perform well in the magazine’s initial tests and score above-average reliability results. It also tried to only suggest cars with electronic stability control. Of the 28 recommended vehicles, Honda / Acura had the second most mentions at six, and Ford , Hyundai and Subaru managed two each. The Detroit brands also made it to the list, but not in a positive way. Consumer Reports compiled a list of 22 vehicles it wouldn’t recommend because “they have multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability.” General Motors had the most unrecommended models on the list at six, but Chrysler and Ford weren’t far behind, with five cars each from their brands not making the grade. The full list of recommendations is available on CR ‘s website . Toyota tops Consumer Reports best, worst used car values originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Mar 2014 17:14:00 EST.

Toyota raises Japanese base wages for first time since 2008

Toyota raises Japanese base wages for first time since 2008

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota is on track for record profits, and in return, its Japanese workers are receiving their first increase in base wages since 2008, plus higher pay based on seniority and a larger bonus for 2014. The Japanese automaker predicts the average laborer will net a 2.9 percent income gain. The average Toyota employee will earn 2,700 yen ($26.28) more each month, a 0.8 percent increase from last year. Workers will also receive about 7,300 yen ($71.09) more monthly based on seniority and promotions. Finally, the company’s union pushed through a median bonus of 2.44 million yen ($23,768) for 2014, the highest in 6 years. The pay boost comes as Toyota forecasts a record 1.9-trillion yen ($18.5 billion) profit for the fiscal year ending on March 31, according to Bloomberg . It has been helped by the Japanese government’s efforts to weaken the yen on international markets and expand inflation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been asking businesses to increase compensation to end years of deflation and offset upcoming higher sales taxes. Honda and Nissan have also raised their wages there in recent months. Toyota raises Japanese base wages for first time since 2008 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:29:00 EST.

Remember when C-segment cars were supposed to be hot stuff? Yeah, about that…

Remember when C-segment cars were supposed to be hot stuff? Yeah, about that…

March 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , GM , Honda , Hyundai , Kia , Mazda , Subaru , Toyota , Volkswagen What do the Dodge Dart , Ford Focus , Honda Civic , Mazda3 , Subaru Impreza , Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta all have in common? Well, actually, lots. They are all four-door sedans that fall into the so-called C-segment, and they are all trending downward in sales. This data comes courtesy of Wards Auto , and, while not all such vehicles are down – the Hyunai Elantra has been trending upward – the deficit reportedly rings in at six-percent overall for the segment. Where are all those compact sedan buyers going? To compact SUVs, at least in part. Wards cites data showing that sales of small SUVs and crossovers are up big over the last several months. Vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 are all showing sales increases as buyers shift from sedans to utility vehicles, says Wards . Still, it’s way too early for automakers to give up on C-segment sedans. Though down, sales of popular models like the Civic and Corolla are good enough to put them well into the top 10 sales chart (in ninth and sixth place, respectively).

Honda scores big in Automobile Advertising of the Year Awards [w/videos]

Honda scores big in Automobile Advertising of the Year Awards [w/videos]

January 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , BMW , Honda , Hyundai , Toyota , Fiat This year the Detroit Auto Show didn’t just celebrate the automobile, it celebrated how we find out about the automobile, too. Partnering The One Club, this year introduced the 2014 One Show Automobile Advertising of the Year Award to Cobo Hall, celebrating winners in five different categories of advertising: broadcast television, online, interactive, experiential, and print/outdoor. Winners in those categories were judged by 50 creative directors and journalists, while a Public Choice category was chosen from among nearly 20,000 online votes. Honda walked off with three of the six awards, its Hands spot taking Broadcast honors, its Sound of Honda getting the Online category and Illusions winning Public Choice. Hyundai made the grade in Interactive with Driveway Decision Maker , Fiat captured Print/Outdoor with its ” Letters ” ad, and Toyota’s Tundra Endeavor Campaign spot and BMW’s A Window into the Near Future were co-winners for Experiential. You can watch all of the press release and winning videos below or check out all of the finalists, announced last month , for a refresher. Continue reading Honda scores big in Automobile Advertising of the Year Awards [w/videos] Honda scores big in Automobile Advertising of the Year Awards [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Jan 2014 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Honda Civic overtakes Toyota Corolla as America’s best-selling compact

November 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Sedan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Toyota , Earnings/Financials The battle to claim October’s best-selling compact sedan title has been won by the Honda Civic . The Japanese four-door sold 27,328 units, leaving the Toyota Corolla – September’s title holder – in its wake with 23,637 units sold. In terms of year-to-date sales, the Civic sits at 280,899 units, with the Corolla trailing at 257,184 vehicles. Sitting in third place, separated by a significant gap from the leaders, is the Chevrolet Cruze with 16,087 units sold. The Ford Focus earned fourth, with 15,108 units moved out of showrooms. (It is interesting to note that while the Civic and Corolla have both enjoyed double-digit sales increases year-over-year, the Cruze and Focus have seen significant decreases during the same period.) Sales of the Hyundai Elantra hit 14,876 units, putting it in fifth place, with the Volkswagen Jetta earning sixth place with 11,710 units. Rounding out the ten top sellers were the Nissan Sentra (8,399 units), Mazda3 (7,647 units), Dodge Dart (5,617 units) and Subaru Impreza / WRX (4,923 units). The Kia Forte (4,706 units) and Volkswagen Golf (2,249 units), eleventh and twelfth respectively, have fallen behind. For complete US auto sales coverage, be sure to check out our By the Numbers articles, which we run at the end of every month. Honda Civic overtakes Toyota Corolla as America’s best-selling compact originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:43:00 EST.

Finalists for 2014 Green Car of the Year announced

October 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: LA Auto Show , Hybrid , Sedan , Technology , Hatchback , Audi , BMW , Honda , Mazda , Toyota , Diesel The list of finalists for the 2014 Green Car of the Year has been announced, and in a genuinely bizarre twist, there’s only one hybrid and no electric vehicles among the five contestants, despite the arrival of cars like the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S . Taking the place of the EVs are a pair of diesels, repping a technology that last won a Green Car of the Year award in 2009, when the Audi A3 TDI took the title. No diesel was in the running for last year’s award. Naturally, both of the diesel finalists are fielded by the Germans – with BMW’s 328d and Audi’s A6 TDI getting the nod. In the case of the 3 Series , BMW installed a 2.0-liter, turbodiesel, capable of delivering 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, while returning 45 miles per gallon on the highway. Audi and its larger, 3.0-liter, V6 turbodiesel produce quite a bit more grunt, with 240 hp and 428 lb-ft of grunt, but net a very impressive 38 mpg on the highway in the A6 . Finalists for this year’s awards include two diesels, three gas-powered cars and a plug-in hybrid. This year’s awards are a coup for gas-powered vehicles, as well. Both the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 are finalists, with jurors citing the Mazda’s i-ELOOP and Skyactiv technology, which allow the handsome car to net up to 41 mpg. The Corolla, meanwhile, offers a new Eco trim, which can return 42 mpg from its 1.8-liter, naturally aspirated, gas engine.

Edmunds ranks the best used cars for 2013

Edmunds ranks the best used cars for 2013

September 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Infiniti , Mazda , Mercedes-Benz , Subaru , Toyota , Volvo , Read This When people ask us what car we would recommend for them, it’s usually not easy to answer. To make a useful recommendation we must consider which of the numerous vehicle segments fits their needs best, and then choose one of the many vehicles offered in each segment. For some people, new cars don’t meet their expectations of value, because they lose so much of it the moment they are purchased and driven off the dealer lot. For them, there’s always the used-car market, where great deals can be found, but cars’ histories of reliability and maintenance records – and perhaps that Certified Pre-Owned warranty – become ever-important factors playing into purchase choice. To help out, Edmunds has done us the favor of assembling a list of the best used vehicles money can buy, covering model years 2006-2011, according to what it considers the most important criteria when shopping for used autos: reliability, safety, value and availability. That means unreliable, unsafe, super-expensive or limited-edition models don’t appear on the list, but instead cars from each segment that are more likely to satisfy the general population. There are some real goodies on the list, including but not limited to vehicles such as the capable Honda Fit , the cultish Honda Accord coupe (which can be had with a 240-horsepower V6 and a six-speed manual transmission some years), and the powerful Chevrolet Corvette . While Edmunds ‘ choice of the Volvo C70 for best used convertible baffled us at first (not that it’s a bad car), it redeemed itself by stating that the Mazda MX-5 still is an unofficial top choice if you don’t require more than two seats. Be sure to visit Edmunds to study its recommendations, each of which is accompanied by a short explanation of why it made the list, and check out our photo gallery of the 18 vehicles that made the list. Edmunds ranks the best used cars for 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 15 Sep 2013 16:35:00 EST.

Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi Agree to Joint Development of Charging Infrastructure for PHVs, PHEVs and EVs in Japan

July 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

TOKYO, Japan (July 29, 2013) — Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation jointly announced their agreement to work together to promote the installation of chargers for electricpowered vehicles (PHVs, PHEVs, EVs*) and build a charging network service that offers more convenience to drivers in Japan.

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