Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Etc. , Toyota How much do hybrid drivers really, truly like their cars? According to R.L. Polk, not all that much – at least not in 2011. Polk has released a new hybrid loyalty analysis that concludes that only 35 percent of people who bought a hybrid bought another one last year. The data comes from car purchases made in 2011, and Polk found that Toyota Prius drivers are the most loyal, both to the gas-electric technology and to Toyota itself. Sixty percent of Toyota hybrid owners bought another vehicle from the automaker, even if it wasn’t a hybrid. A recent J.D. Power Customer Retention Study found that the average brand loyalty was 49 percent, but that doesn’t take powertrains into account. According to Polk, forty-one percent of Toyota hybrid drivers choose to buy another hybrid (from any brand).
Filed under: Car Buying , Etc. , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Toyota Today’s vehicles are more powerful, more efficient and safer than ever before. In fact, today’s car buyer would be hard pressed to spend his or her money on a genuinely bad vehicle. But those overall improvements may have also led consumers to believe there are no real differences between the various products offered by the world’s major automakers. According to the Consumer Reports 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey, Toyota , Ford , Honda and Chevrolet have all seen their scores drop by double digits compared to last year. The survey asks consumers to rate brands across seven categories. Consumer Reports says that by combining those categories, the organization can get a handle on how each brand is perceived in the marketplace. This year, Toyota continued to lead in the survey, though its persistent recalls saw the brand’s perception fall by 17 points this year. Ford, Honda and BMW all saw their perception scores plummet more than 20 points. The results may indicate consumers are seeing fewer differences between automakers as products continue to improve.
Filed under: Recalls , Safety , Acura , Honda , Toyota Honda has surpassed Toyota for the largest number of recalled vehicles in 2011. Wards Auto reports that Honda expanded an airbag recall to encompass a total of 2.5 million million vehicles last year, pushing the total number of recalled units to 3.9 million vehicles over 17 campaigns. Previous estimates put Toyota at the head of the recall pile with 13 campaigns covering 3.5 million vehicles. The airbag recall covers some of the most popular Honda models, including Civic , Civic Hybrid and Accord sedans manufactured between 2001 and 2004, as well as the CR-V and Pilot . The Acura CL and TL were also included. Toyota, meanwhile, found itself correcting issues with accelerator pedals and floor mats associated with the company’s unintended acceleration woes. Toyota had found itself leading the largest number of recalled vehicles for two consecutive years prior to 2011. Airbag recall forces Honda past Toyota in total recalls for 2012 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Jan 2012 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Nissan , Toyota A new study by the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association has found 70 percent of Japanese vehicles sold in the U.S. were built on a North American assembly line. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the study found that more than 400,000 jobs have been created by Japanese automakers since Honda opened its first facility in the U.S. in 1982. Honda , Toyota and Nissan had a total of 29 plants operating in the U.S. in 2010 with a combined investment of $34 billion. Those numbers are likely to increase in the coming years. The Japanese Three have made no secret that the companies are looking to guard their operations against an ever-stronger yen. Odds are we’ll see even more Japanese facilities open their doors in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.
Filed under: Car Buying , SUV , Crossover , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , Honda , Kia , Mazda , Toyota Cars.com recently lined up seven new vehicles for a $37,000 SUV shootout. The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse , 2012 Dodge Durango , 2012 Ford Explorer , 2012 Honda Pilot , 2012 Kia Sorento , 2011 Mazda CX-9 and 2011 Toyota Highlander all squared off against one another in a range of evaluations, including a one-day highway drive and family testing. If you happen to be the deductive type, you may have noticed that the list above includes a fair number of genuine crossovers. Vehicles like the Chevrolet Traverse and Mazda CX-9 bear little resemblance to the body-on-frame bruisers of old, and even models like the 2012 Explorer and 2012 Durango have evolved out of their traditional shells. But when the dust settled, it was Honda’s 2012 Pilot that took top honors thanks to its high level of amenities, spacious interior and clever storage solutions, despite the fact that reviewers found issue with road noise and exterior styling. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that the 2012 Explorer tied for sixth place with the 2012 Sorento. Ouch. Head over to Cars.com to see the full evaluation, and vote for your favorite in our poll. View Poll Cars.com $37,000 SUV shootout yields unexpected results [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Toyota Japanese automakers are having a rough year coping with Mother Nature. First it was earthquakes in Japan , and now flooding in Thailand. Since late July, typhoons in Southeast Asia have caused billions of dollars of damage, and now production at three Toyota plants and one Honda facility has been halted, according to the Associated Press . While Toyota’s plants in eastern Thailand haven’t been directly affected by the weather, the inability of suppliers to deliver parts has caused the shutdowns there. Honda’s plant in Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok, isn’t so lucky. Offline since October 4, and flooded since October 8, Honda officials can’t even assess the damage because the plant remains inaccessible. The four factories produced over 800,000 vehicles last year. This included 630,000 Toyotas and 170,000 Hondas, representing roughly eight and five percent of each automaker’s respective global volume. Among the vehicles produced in Thailand are the Toyota Corolla and Camry and the Honda Civic and Accord , but none of the Thai plants produce vehicles for the North American market. Thailand flooding halts Honda and Toyota auto production originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 13 Oct 2011 19:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Crossover , Honda , Toyota It’s an unfortunate reality of automotive transportation, but accidents are all too common. This one, however, appears to be anything but. While merging onto California’s legendary Pacific Coast Highway, one motorist/blogger was hit by another car. What makes the incident a little more out-of-the-ordinary is the vehicle that hit the blogger: the motorist in question was struck by a test mule for the new 2012 Honda CR-V , still wearing prototype camouflage and everything. Given that the impacted CUV – which subsequently collided with several more oncoming vehicles – was a Toyota Highlander , and that a Lexus RX (whose platform it incidentally shares) was also part of the pileup, a small part of us can’t help wonder if the Toyota vs. Honda rivalry hadn’t spilled over from the Japanese boardrooms and dealer lots onto the streets of California. Thankfully, everybody appears to be okay, if a bit shaken up. Follow the link to read and see more of the accident on NOTCOT. 2012 Honda CR-V prototype in crackup on PCH originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Jul 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , Honda , Nissan , Toyota Japanese automakers are turning to new lease programs in an effort to lock down buyers who may stray to other automakers due to a lower-than-average supply of popular models. Toyota , Honda and Nissan are still in the process of restoring production to pre-earthquake levels, and as a result, buyers may not find the exact model they are looking for on dealer lots. Honda has authorized its dealers to extend current lease customers’ arrangements by up to six months. Additionally, the company is offering $500 to drivers who move from an old lease into a new one and promising to honor current incentives if buyers commit to an unavailable model. The automaker calls the effort the Honda Promise Program. But Honda isn’t the only company sweetening its deals. Automotive News reports that Toyota is extending its lease offers by six months and handing out a coupon worth $750 to customers who return to lease another Toyota product. Nissan is offering dirt-cheap lease options for its most popular model – the Altima . Buyers can snap up the sedan for $179 per month for two years. Manufacturers are also pushing for better lease deals due to a dearth of quality used vehicles this season.