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: Sedan , CES , Japan , Safety , Technology , Videos , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury While Google and Audi explore the possibilities of autonomous vehicles, Toyota and its Lexus division are studying the intermediate step of vehicles equipped with a deep suite of technology that help drivers make the best decisions. Introduced at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Lexus advanced safety research vehicle is an LS sedan fitted with three high-def color cameras to detect objects up to almost 500 feet away, 360-degree Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) lasers that can detect objects up to 220 feet away, three radar units to keep track of other vehicles at intersections, a precision odometer on the rear wheel, GPS that estimates orientation and an accelerometer. Currently testing at a purpose-built 8.6 acre urban testing ground at the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Susono, Japan the Toyota research vehicle is being used to study how to make better drivers, as well as figuring out how to reduce crashes as the industry’s journey through passive and active safety systems progresses. In the event of a crash, new rescue systems are also being tested. Further investment is being put into the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) that would use shortwave signals to harness information from the car and from other vehicles on the road, as well as roadside infrastructure and even pedestrians. Toyota reasons it could then build a picture of interactions and, for instance, alert the driver to a potential collision at a blind intersection. Toyota’s says its research “could lead to a fully autonomous car in the future,” but for now, the point is that “a driverless car is just a part of the story. Our vision is a car equipped with an intelligent, always-attentive co-pilot whose skills contribute to safer driving.” Improving driver education in this country would probably be a lot cheaper, but hey, we’re for anything that helps make the roads safer places to be. There’s plenty more tech-speak in the video and press release below . Continue reading Toyota and Lexus show off advanced safety research vehicle [w/video] Toyota and Lexus show off advanced safety research vehicle [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Jan 2013 18:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Budget , Plants/Manufacturing , Hatchback , Mazda , Toyota , Earnings/Financials After the turmoil of last year, 2013 is getting off to a much better start for Mazda . The company has issued a release indicating that the forthcoming plant in Salamanca, Mexico has had its production capacity raised even though it isn’t scheduled to go online until March 2014 . The original plans called for a 140,000-unit capacity, 90,000 of that allotted for the Mazda2 and Mazda3 , the remaining 50,000 for a small car Mazda would build for Toyota that would be based on the Mazda2. The new plans call for raising that by 90,000 units to a total of 230,000 units within two years, by the end of March 2016, and it looks like it will all go toward Mazda production to satisfy growing demand for Skyactiv vehciles. The Mexican plant’s opening will be the return of Mazda manufacturing to North America, after Mazda6 production was moved back to Japan last year. More good news for the company is that it projects 10 billion yen ($114 million) in net income for the financial year that will end in March. That would be a welcome turnaround from the 100-billion-yen loss in the previous financial year, part of a series of three annual losses in a four-year span. You’ll find the press release with the factory update below . Continue reading Mazda’s new Mexican plant capacity rises to 230,000 Mazda’s new Mexican plant capacity rises to 230,000 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 05 Jan 2013 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Sedan , Japan , Toyota , Luxury The 58-year-old Toyota Crown line has entered its 14th generation with the unveil of the 2013 Crown Athlete and Crown Royal sedans for the Japanese market, both of which can be had with hybrid power. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter V6 with 200 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, while the hybrid uses the 2.5-liter four-cylinder from the Camry mated to an electric motor for 176 hp and 163 lb-ft. The Athlete (shown above) gets a third choice, a 3.5-liter V6 with 311 hp and 278 lb-ft. There are two transmissions in the mix, the base engine in either sedan shifting through a six-speed automatic, while the more potent V6 in the Crown Athlete gets an eight-speed auto. Depending on which model is chosen, either the rear or all four wheels will be driven. Outside, the sedan – less than an inch longer than our Lexus ES – gets a stiffer body thanks to more spot welding and a new can’t-miss-it grille reminiscent of a crown. On the Royal model, the opening is filled with horizontal bars, while the Athlete trim gets mesh filler. Inside is the Toyota Multi-Touch Operation unit that allows touchscreen control of various functions, new wood grain patterns and gold stitching. Driving and safety tech includes an Adaptive High Beam System, Panoramic View Monitor, Pre-collision System and Intelligent Clearance Sonar. Prices for the Crown Royal series start at 3,530,000 yen ($40,983 US) and go up to 5,360,000 ($62,225 US) for the hybrid Royal Saloon G.
Filed under: Japan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota is expecting to see a sales increase of around two percent next year, according to Automotive News . The Japanese manufacturer is set to retake its position as the world’s largest automaker this year, and 2013 may see the company’s global sales step to 9.91 million vehicles. That figure includes sales from subsidiaries like Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor Company. Much of that projection depends on US sales increasing to balance out a 15-percent decline in Japan . The Japanese government allowed subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles to expire in September, and Toyota sales have slackened as a result. Globally, new vehicle sales are expected to crest 80 million units for the first time in 2012 despite economic woes in the European Union. Next year, Toyota expects to see its overseas operations enjoy an eight percent rise in sales to 7.87 million units while Japanese deliveries are projected to decline to 2.04 million vehicles. The company predicts sales in Asia, meanwhile, will be driven largely by Indonesia. Interestingly enough, the company has not settled on a sales target for China . Toyota already forecasting record sales in 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:16:00 EST.
Filed under: Convertible , Sedan , Japan , Crossover , BMW , Land Rover , Mazda , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Luxury The Mazda CX-5 stamped its Kodo design and SkyActiv technology authority all over the Japan Car of the Year awards, taking the top prize ahead of the Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT 86 . It is Mazda’s second victory in the last ten years, the 2005 MX-5 claiming the same trophy, and the fourth time the Hiroshima company has won. The award is decided by 60 local “automotive experts and journalists,” and open to any passenger car released in Japan from November 1, 2011 to October 31, 2012 that has sold more than 500 units. Each judge gets 25 votes, his or her top vote getting 10 points, the rest of the points being spread among the judge’s choice for the next best four cars. The second-place getters were the Toyobaru twins with 318 votes, the surprise being they didn’t beat or get any closer to the crossover. The Subaru BRZ did claw some mojo back, earning the Special Award given to cars that have made “an exceptional impact.” The BMW 3 Series was third overall and won the Import Car of the Year award with plenty of room between it and the second place Range Rover Evoque . The full list of winners is below , along with press releases from the organization and the manufacturers. Congratulations to Mazda on the win. Continue reading Mazda CX-5 named Japan’s Car of The Year, Subaru BR-Z wins “Special Award” Mazda CX-5 named Japan’s Car of The Year, Subaru BR-Z wins “Special Award” originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Dec 2012 10:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Mitsubishi , Nissan , Toyota The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan took quite the toll on the automotive industry in that nation. Not content to lean on that tragedy as excuse for slagging sales, the Japanese automakers are planning on a major production expansion in North America. The aim is to reclaim the market share lost from the Tsunami-based dip, and overcome a dollar/yen exchange rate that makes exporting to America unprofitable. Following the Tsunami, Japanese automakers ramped up production in their North American facilities to compensate, but according to Automotive News , Nissan , Honda and others have all reported plans for still-further increased production in the year ahead. As part of this ramp-up, Mazda will open a facility in Salamnca, Mexico before March of 2014. Part of that increase in output is 50,000 units of a Toyota-badged compact car, which Mazda will produce . Other Mexican production facilities opening include a Honda plant, which will open in Spring 2014 in Celaya, and a Nissan plant, set to open later this year in Aguascalientes. Nissan also said that it will need another plant in North America within the next five years. According to Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn, the company aims to raise its stake in the US market from 8 percent to 10, and adding production will help achieve that goal. Even Mitsubishi is aiming to boost production at its Normal, Illinois plant.
Toyota City, Japan, Nov. 12, 2012 — Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that it has developed a Pre-collision System (PCS) with collision avoidance assist that is effective in helping mitigate even high-speed collisions.
TOYOTA CITY, Japan, Nov. 9, 2012 – Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) announced that Mazda’s plant in Mexico, currently under construction, will produce a Toyota-brand vehicle for sale mainly in North America. The sub-compact Toyota-brand vehicle, to be based on the Mazda2, is to start production around the summer of 2015 at a pace of 50,000 units per year and will be sold through Toyota dealerships.