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.
Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Infiniti , Jeep , Lexus , Porsche , Scion , Toyota Kelley Blue Book announced its annual Best Resale Value Award winners, and we weren’t too surprised to see the list dominated by Japanese automakers – mainly Toyota and Honda . KBB hands out the awards based on the projected residual value of mostly all 2013 model year vehicles, and Toyota skated home with a number of awards including 10 of the 22 overall categories and having five of its products in the top 10 for models with best resale value. KBB’s Best Resale Value Awards were announced in the same week as the ALG Residual Value Awards , and there were many similarities between both lists, especially when it came to Toyota. To come up with its winners, KBB measures depreciation over the first five years of ownership, and looks for the cars it expects to hold its value the best after this time; on average, the report says the 2013 model year vehicles will lose 61.8 percent of its value in five years. Of the 22 categories, 15 slots were filled by Toyota, Honda and Nissan products, while the Camaro and Porsche ( Cayenne and Panamera ) each took home a pair of awards. If Toyota has anything to be upset about in this list of cars, it’s that categories for Hybrid/Alternative Energy Car and Electric Vehicle went to the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Volt , respectively. The overall top 10 models for the best resale value in 2013 are, in alphabetical order: Honda Civic Honda CR-V Jeep Wrangler Lexus LX Porsche Cayenne Scion tC Toyota FJ Cruiser Toyota Land Cruiser Toyota Tacoma Toyota 4Runner Scroll down to see KBB’s press release that includes a breakdown of all individual category winners. Continue reading Toyota tops Kelley Blue Book’s Resale Value Awards Toyota tops Kelley Blue Book’s Resale Value Awards originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Nov 2012 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
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.