Filed under: Concept Cars , Motorsports , Coupe , Toyota , Toys/Games The path to become a racing driver is a difficult one. It requires starting early, with karts, and then building up through the years and if you’re really, really good (and really, really lucky), a team will notice you and sign you up. Or, you know, you could just become really good at Gran Turismo , and beat out other like-minded fanatics for a seat in the GT Academy . The racing school, which culls its students from the ranks of Gran Turismo players has already pumped out successful racers, most notably, Lucas Ordo
Filed under: Car Buying , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota can attribute much of its uptick in sales last month to fleets . While the automaker saw its sales leap by 7.5 percent compared to a year earlier, Newsday.com reports Toyota sold 47 percent more cars and trucks to fleet customers in the U.S. than in January 2011. Without the fleet sales, the improvement would have been less than one percent. All told, rental companies accounted for 93 percent of the automaker’s fleet sales in January, with the remainder going to other organizations. Toyota and other Japanese automakers have always been reticent to embrace fleet sales. Doing so is not only generally less profitable than individual consumer sales, but can also lead to degraded brand image and resale value. Last month, Ford was cited for having 45 percent of the company’s Focus going toward fleets. Toyota, meanwhile, says the news isn’t the start of a trend. When Toyota factories were hobbled by earthquake and tsunami activity in Japan last year, the automaker put a stop to fleet sales altogether to keep its dealerships fed.
Statement from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Regarding 2011 J.D. Power and Associates’ Sales Satisfaction Index
We are pleased with the improvement off all three of our brands in the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) study.