Filed under: Government/Legal , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Toyota Nine Japanese suppliers have pleaded guilty in US court over charges of price fixing in the automotive parts industry, resulting in the Department of Justice doling out a total of $740 million of fines, according to a report from Bloomberg . The scandal, which has resulted in General Motors , Ford , Toyota and Chrysler spending up to $5 billion on inflated parts and driving up prices on 25 million vehicles has sent the DoJ hustling into investigations. “The conduct this investigation uncovered involved more than a dozen separate conspiracies aimed at the U.S. economy,” Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured above) said during yesterday’s press conference. As the investigation stands, the DoJ has issued $1.6 billion in fines against 20 companies and 21 individual executives, with 17 of the execs headed to prison. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Scott Hammond said, “The breadth of the conspiracies brought to light today are as egregious as they are pervasive. They involve more than a dozen separate conspiracies operating independently but all sharing in common that they targeted US automotive manufacturers.” Big-name suppliers indicted in the investigation include Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi Automotive and Mitsuba Corporation. A list of fines and other corporations named in the investigation is available at Bloomberg . DoJ fines Japanese parts firms $740M in massive automotive price-fixing scandal originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Japan , Toyota Toyota has had number of chiefs over its 76-year history, but none ever served as long as Eiji Toyoda. The younger cousin of the company’s founder served as president of the automaker from 1967 to 1982 and as chairman of the Toyota Motor Corporation for another ten years following the unification of the manufacturing and sales divisions. During his 25 years at the helm, Eiji Toyoda (pictured above in 1967) was credited with establishing the company’s headquarters in Toyota City, spearheading the development of the Prius , expanding production overseas for the first time, launching the Lexus brand and turning Toyota from a minor player into one of the largest automakers in the world. Even after his retirement in 1992, he remained an honorary chairman and close advisor to his successors, and chaired the company’s museum. He died of heart failure, ending a 100-year life that started on September 12, 1913, before the company that bore his family’s name (albeit slightly modified) had even started building automatic looms, let alone automobiles. We extend our condolences to the Toyoda family and our congratulations on an accomplished life. Eiji Toyoda dead at 100 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Sep 2013 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Classics , Convertible , SUV , Truck , Toyota , Police/Emergency , Military , UK , Off-Road , Read This One of the longest-produced, most widely distributed vehicles in all of automotive history is also one of its most rugged: the Toyota Land Cruiser . With 60 years of continuous production, 14 different model lines and thousands of variations of the Jeep-like sports utility vehicle, the Land Cruiser became a success worldwide and developed a cult following among enthusiasts here in the US. We’ll be the first to admit that tracing the vehicle’s lineage from its humble beginnings as a prototype for Japan’s National Police Reserve in 1951 to what it is today isn’t an easy task, especially when one considers that the types of Land Cruisers produced traditionally have varied from market to market. For example, the Land Cruiser sold in the US is very different from the US-only 40 series Land Cruiser-inspired FJ Cruiser , which is itself different from the Land Cruiser Prado sold in other world markets. To cover the Land Cruiser’s sixty-plus year history from start to present, someone over at Toyota UK was thoughtful enough to devote a plus-size blog post to it. It’s worth a read if you have a spare 10 or 15 minutes – and even if you don’t, you can check out our historical gallery above. Enjoy! Toyota delves into the history of its Land Cruiser originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Sep 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Japan , Toyota Toyota first launched Lexus in the United States back in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2005 that it brought the luxury marque home to roost. But don’t think that Toyota didn’t find a way of selling many of its premium models in the Japanese Domestic Market in the meantime. The Lexus LS was sold as the Toyota Celsion, the ES as the Vista and Camry Prominent, and the SC as the Soarer. (We could go on, but you get the point.) These days Lexus sells in markets around the world, including Japan, but Toyota still spins off its own versions of Lexus models to sell domestically as well. Like the new Sai, for example. Sharing its platform, hybrid propulsion and much more with the Lexus HS (which you may remember as the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid until it was pulled from the market early last year), the Sai was introduced to Japan at the same time as the HS was rolled out around the world. Now nearly four years on the market, Toyota has given it a bit of a refresh. Boasting a far more aggressive front end and a restyled rear, the revised Sai features LED headlights, 16-inch alloys and a higher-quality interior in which JDM buyers will find a new center console and trim, along with an optional 10-speaker infotainment system. Toyota also boasts that the new Sai is made of 20-percent Ecological Plastic and recycled resin. Power still comes from the same 150-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-four and 143-hp electric motor for a combined maximum output of 190 hp.
Filed under: Sedan , Performance , Europe , Lexus , Toyota If you’re going to make a super sedan, you’d better do it in Germany. That’s where Audi , BMW and Mercedes-Benz do it, along with third parties like Alpina , Brabus and G-Power , among others. Deutschland is the epicenter of the movement, regularly churning out the most powerful four-door rockets in the world. It’s also where one of the racing divisions for Toyota has been hard at work on the TMG Sports 650 . Toyota Motorsport GmbH started with a Lexus LS and turned it into a 641-horsepower, twin-turbocharged super sedan it revealed late last year at the Essen Motor Show. But though we haven’t heard much about it since then, the team behind Toyota’s F1 and Le Mans efforts are apparently still hard at work on the project. Speaking with Lexus’ own UK blog, TMG chief Alastair Moffitt revealed that the project started way back in 2010, shortly after Toyota shut down its F1 program and left the racing team with nothing to do. The 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 was initially producing as much as 800 horsepower, but has since been refined to 650 so that it could theoretically be put into production and onto the road. That’s something TMG hasn’t done before, but is keen to start, positioning itself alongside Toyota Racing Development in the US and Gazoo Racing in Japan as an in-house tuning division which Toyota and Lexus could rely on for this kind of project. To that end, TMG has been testing its prototype at the N
Tokyo, Japan, August 21, 2013—Lexus International will open the first INTERSECT BY LEXUS luxury brand experience space in Tokyo’s Aoyama district on August 30, 2013 as part of its AMAZING IN MOTION endeavors.
Filed under: Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota isn’t just the world’s largest automaker – so far its the biggest winner for quarterly profits. With an enormous $5.5 billion take during Q2, Toyota took advantage of the weak Japanese yen and strong US demand to record a 94-percent improvement in profit over the same period from last year. So far, Toyota brought in larger profits than Ford and General Motors combined. Toyota is showing no signs of slowing down either, as it has bumped up its forecast for full-year global production, going from 9.94 million to 10.12 million vehicles, on the back of a 13-percent drop in the buying power of the Japanese yen versus the US dollar. That strong exchange rate is largely responsible for Toyota’s big jump in profits, although it also managed to shift 1.3 million vehicles in the US market this year. Strong Camry sales have also helped. But while Toyota is raking in the cash, it actually saw a small drop in market share, down 0.1 percent to 14.3 percent of the US market. As is the case with most automakers, Toyota seems flummoxed by Europe, where it recorded less than one percent of its revenue. Still, as Automotive News points out, Toyota only maintains a 4.5-percent market share in Europe and is far less dependent on the continent than other manufacturers. Toyota also struggled at home, much like Honda .
Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi Agree to Joint Development of Charging Infrastructure for PHVs, PHEVs and EVs in Japan
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.
Filed under: Car Buying , Truck , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Toyota With July 4th just around the corner, what better time could there be for Cars.com to announce that the Ford F-150 is the Most American car of 2013? This may be especially true since it was the Toyota Camry , a car produced by a company based in Japan, that had held the top spot from 2009 to 2012. Cars.com compiles its Most American list by considering the amount of parts each vehicle uses that come from America, where it’s final assembly takes place and how many units per year are sold. “While the assembly point and domestic parts content of the F-150 didn’t change from 2012-2013, vehicle sales are responsible for bumping the F-150 to the top spot,” according to Patrick Olsen, Editor-in-Chief of Cars.com . As far as automakers go (as opposed to individual models), Toyota retains the top spot it held in 2012, with General Motors , Chrysler , Ford and Honda (in that order) rounding out the list. The motivation behind this list each year, according to Olsen, is “to help car shoppers understand that ‘American-Made’ extends beyond just the Detroit three” and because “a study we conducted in 2012 indicated that 25 percent of shoppers surveyed preferred to buy American.” It should be noted, however, that Cars.com isn’t the only group with an American-made study, and not everyone agrees on the methodology used. In fact, a highly detailed study earlier this year by American University’s Kogod School of Business found that the Lambda CUV triplets from GM are the most American-made nameplates, and there isn’t a single vehicle from a Japanese automaker anywhere near its top ten. Feel free to browse the press release below to see how the full top-10 list breaks down. Continue reading Ford F-150 bumps Camry from top of Cars.com American Made Index Ford F-150 bumps Camry from top of Cars.com American Made Index originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Jun 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .