Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , South Korea The 2013 Toyota Camry is officially the car of the year in Korea . The country’s motoring press graced the Japanese sedan with the honor for the first time, officially marking a shift in prevailing Korean attitudes toward Japan and its products. According to industry analysts, buyers in the country are no longer simply choosing their purchases based on whether or not they’re made in South Korea, but rather based on quality and personal choice. That’s a big jump from a few years ago, when buyers viewed their purchases through a patriotic lens. The Camry managed to edge out a total of 44 other cars, including hardware from both Hyundai and Kia , to become the first foreign vehicle to take home the Korea Automobile Journalist Association’s Car of the Year award. As The Detroit News points out, just 10 years ago, domestic manufacturers held some 99 percent of the Korean car market. But a change in trade regulations has opened up the country considerably, and buyers now have access to a wide range of products from around the globe. As a result, Hyundai and Kia have countered by cutting prices in an attempt to keep their grip on the market. Why Toyota Camry’s Korea Car of the Year win is a big-time upset originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Feb 2013 07:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Nissan , Toyota , South Korea The strong yen has Japanese carmakers looking to optimize every efficiency in order to keep their cars competitive in export markets. One strategy gaining momentum is to do some island hopping, specifically, moving plants and manufacturing to Kyushu, the southernmost main island in the Japanese archipelago. Car production there as a percentage of total Japanese production has doubled from 2001 to 2011, but more startling are the recent increases: Nissan just moved its Note and Caravan production there, Toyota is boosting production there by 600 percent, and total units made in Kyushu climbed 21 percent from 2010 to 2011. The three big factors involved are lower personnel costs, lower auto parts costs and increased productivity because of newer, more efficient factories. Companies can save ten percent on personnel in Kyushu versus traditional manufacturing centers like Aichi and Kanagawa, which are on the main island of Honshu and near major cities like Nagoya and Tokyo. Kyushu is also much closer to the South Korean peninsula, and the weakness of the South Korean won means importing lower-priced Korean auto parts is an even more attractive option. Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun says it could soon be the Detroit of Japan. The prediction could be sped up if intergovernment talks can rework laws on transportation: it’s illegal for trucks with South Korean plates to drive on Japanese roads, so trucks hauling parts get shipped to Kyushu ports and their cargo is transferred to Japanese trucks. Japanese and South Korean officials are working to determine how to allow trucks from across the strait to travel unhindered from Korean auto parts factories to Japanese car factories. Kyushu on the road to becoming Japan’s Motor City originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 22 Jul 2012 12:02:00 EST.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota 2010 Toyota Camry – Click above for high-res image gallery The current Toyota Camry has been carrying the mid-size sedan torch since 2006, so it’s high time for a remake. According to WardsAuto.com , Toyota is busily prepping the next-generation car, and it could be here by the fall. The Japanese automaker has been seeing increased pressure from the latest offerings coming out of Korea and the United States, and now it’s time to update its own high-volume money maker. While Toyota sold 327,084 Camrys in 2010 – still at the very front of the midsize family sedan class – that figure represents the lowest sales total for the vehicle since 1994. Somewhat interestingly, though, Toyota apparently sees the Prius hybrid range taking over for the Camry as Toyota’s best-selling model. Time, as they say, will tell. 7th-generation Camry coming this fall, Prius expected to take top sales spot originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink