Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Ford , Toyota In an apparent shot back at Ford’s increasing market share of electrified vehicles and claim that it accepts more Prius trade-ins for its own hybrids than any other car, Toyota has flexed a muscle and played the numbers game to put the Blue Oval in its place. Leaning on its hybrid market dominance in California, the Japanese automaker stated that six out of 10 hybrids sold in the Golden State are Toyota models. And it keeps coming: Year-to-date through May 2013, Toyota sold five times more hybrids than Ford . One of every two hybrids in California is a Prius model. In addition, Toyota notes that it has sold 1.5 million Prius vehicles in the US, 90-percent of which are still on the road today. Want more? We’ll let Bill Fay, Toyota’s group vice president and general manager of sales lay the smack down: “The hybrid industry has become competitive, but our wide range of hybrid vehicles continue to deliver high value and strong attributes to both new and loyal customers. With sales of 5.3 million hybrids globally and over two million in the US, we are the undisputed leader in hybrid vehicle technology and remain committed to building on our momentum and growing the acceptance of hybrid technology throughout the US.” And to think Toyota and Ford just ended their collaboration to make hybrid trucks together. On one hand, those are indeed very impressive statistics, but there’s a flip side, as well. Hybrids still aren’t a factor for most American new car buyers , and, as of 2012, only about 3.3 percent of new cars sold in the US were hybrids , of which California sales would clearly represent an inordinately large percentage.
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 .
Filed under: Budget , Europe , Plants/Manufacturing , Hatchback , Toyota Our tiniest Toyota ( Scion iQ notwithstanding) is about to get a little French flair. The Japanese automaker announced Thursday that its Toyota Motor Manufacturing France facility would begin building Yaris models destined for North America – specifically, the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. This will mark the first time in history that Toyota has exported vehicles to North America from Europe. Initially, Toyota will export roughly 25,000 Yaris models to North American markets from France each year. In order to handle this additional production, Toyota Motor Manufacturing France has invested 10 million euro into its French facility. Despite being somewhat of a snooze-fest ( it’s a car! ), the Yaris carries on in North America with a 106-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, with prices starting at $14,370 for the three-door and $15,395 for the five-door, not including $795 for destination. Continue reading Toyota begins shipping Le Yaris to America Toyota begins shipping Le Yaris to America originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 May 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Classics , Auctions , Toyota Toyota’s agelessly beautiful 2000GT has been sold by RM Auctions for $1.16 million, making it the new record holder for the most expensive Asian car ever sold. As always, rarity played a big factory in driving up the price; just 351 2000GT models were built, and only 62 left-hand-drive cars (like this one). The classic Toyota , standout member of Texas car-collector Don Davies’ paddock, was originally a US-delivery car that spent time in a collection back in a Japan before returning to Texas just a short time ago. The car last sold in March of 2011, for just $650,000. Enthusiasts will recognize the 2000GT as perhaps the most heralded Japanese classic of all time. The Toyota was a contemporary of the Jaguar E-Type – though one that obviously sold in a fraction of the English car’s numbers – that was well reviewed by the motoring press of the day. Sometimes referred to as Japan’s first supercar, the 2000GT boasted a 150-horsepower, dual overhead cam, 2.0-liter straight-six engine; a five-speed manual transmission; and a reported top speed of over 135 miles per hour. RM described this record-setting example as, “the finest and most authentic 2000GT to come to market in recent years,” equating it with blue chip classic exotics like the Ferrari Daytona and Lamborghini Miura. 1967 Toyota 2000GT most expensive Asian car ever sold at $1.2M originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 May 2013 17:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Ford , Toyota Ford landed itself a spot among the top 10 brands in the 2012 Buzz Rankings. The annual index scores 1,100 brands in 41 categories to determine which nameplates had the most positive buzz throughout the year. For the third year in a row, Subway took the top honors overall with a score of 40.3, and Ford was the only automaker to break into the top 25 by earning a sixth-place finish overall. The manufacturer earned a score of 32.1 points, which was enough to push it up one spot from the 2011 Buzz Rankings. Honda managed 21.2 points overall, which is still well behind 25th-place Kohl’s at 26.5 points. Toyota , Volkswagen and BMW all round out the top five automakers. The 2012 Buzz Rankings also keep track of which brands improved the most over the past year, and this year, Toyota was the manufacturer with the largest leap forward. The Japanese automaker jumped from just 14 points in 2011 to 20.5 in 2012. Chrysler, Kia, Dodge and Volkswagen all saw sizable steps forward as well. Be sure to head over to the Brand Index site for more information.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota A growing number of foreign automakers have been shifting more vehicle production to the US – including recent announcement by Nissan and Honda – but Toyota could be on the verge of taking an unprecedented step by producing all of the cars it sells in the US right here in North America. According to the Detroit Free Press , Bill Fay, VP and GM of Toyota US, hinted at such a possibility, but the wording in the report makes it sound like this is far from a done deal and would not apply to Scion or Lexus models. Currently, the automaker already builds 70 percent of its US-sold cars in North America including some of its more popular models like the Camry , Corolla , Highlander , Tacoma and RAV4 . While most of the Japanese-made Toyotas that are sold in the US are slower-selling models (like Land Cruiser , FJ Cruiser and Yaris ), the Prius lineup is the glaring exception, and last we heard, Toyota still has plans to ship Prius production to the US by 2015 . This is all a part of Toyota’s plan to add 3,500 jobs in North America to go with recent investments totaling $1.6 billion. Toyota exec sees future where all cars sold in US are built here originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 20 Jan 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Recalls , Safety , Toyota Following news that Toyota has proposed a massive settlement to address the owners of vehicles effected by the unintended acceleration recall, shares for the automaker are up 2.6 percent. Over the course of this year, Toyota’s stock has jumped 51.7 percent. “My initiate reaction would be ‘that’s it’… $1 billion charge that covers recalls and everything else and you are looking at a $250 million compensation fund, that’s nothing,” said a senior trader at a foreign brokerage to Automotive News . This settlement has been set aside to cover class-action lawsuits from 16 million owners of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles and is separate from other impending lawsuits – including one consumer protection suit in California and another unfair-business-practices case brought on by 28 attorneys general. In other positive news for investors, the Japanese yen has weakened compared to the US dollar. That likely means improved financial performance from the big Japanese automakers, the largest of which is Toyota. Toyota shares rise on smaller-than-expected settlement news originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Dec 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Crossover , Toyota , First Drives Obsessively Maintaining the Status Quo Genchi Genbutsu and Waku-Doki . These are Japanese terms we heard quoted by Toyota representatives when describing its 2013 RAV4 . Apparently the first one means “go and see for yourself” and the second means “heart pumping, adrenaline racing.” Nice expressions, but not exactly the ones we’d choose. So we’ll introduce one of our own: “Same same but different.” The latest version of Toyota’s compact crossover follows the same basic outline of models past. As ever, its on-road ride and handling are competent but not sporty, the powertrain is smooth and efficient and the price is reasonable. It’s a tried-and-true formula, but over the last few years, new competitors like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape have stolen the thunder of Toyota’s original cute ute, leading the automaker to refine the mix of ingredients that go into the RAV4 in an effort to take back the compact crossover crown. Read on to see what’s new. Continue reading 2013 Toyota RAV4 [w/video] 2013 Toyota RAV4 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Car Buying , China , Europe , Chrysler , Honda , Toyota , Volkswagen , Fiat Automotive News has announced its annual list of Industry All-Stars. This year, the theme is apparently “success in the face of economic uncertainty,” or something of that liking. The list points to executives who have led their respective brands and automakers to positive sales in spite of the European financial crisis and slowing sales in China . See the list below, and you’ll understand why: Industry Leader of the Year and CEO, Europe – Martin Winterkorn, CEO, Volkswagen Group (above): The VW boss started with the German automaker in 2007, overseeing a staggering 12 brands. Under his leadership, sales of Volkswagens have gained in both China and America. VW has also expanded production to America and grown its operations in Brazil. Winterkorn is a very hands-on executive, traveling to America six times to test and tweak the American-built current-generation Passat. Volkswagen is aiming to be the largest and most profitable automaker in the wold by 2018, and Winterkorn will stay on through that time, making him accountable for those goals. CEO, North America – Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group: How does 31 straight months of positive year-over-year sales sound? The Fiat and Chrysler chief has bestowed dealers with a wealth of new product, and the American automaker is expected to post $1.5 billion in profits this year, in spite of economic turmoil in Europe.