Filed under: SUV , Toyota The Toyota FJ Cruiser is not long for this world. According to the manufacturer’s own fleet website , the rugged FJ will be discontinued after the 2014 model year, with the companies final orders due in June of next year. Toyota first launched the FJ Cruiser in 2006 as a 2007 model, and aside from minor year-over-year changes, it has not been substantially updated. The FJ is the modern successor to the original FJ40 Land Cruiser that Toyota produced from the 1960s all the way up through 1984, when the automaker decided to better focus on its larger, four-door Land Cruiser line. Currently, it uses a 4.0-liter V6 engine with either rear- or four-wheel drive, and is available with either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Interestingly, word of the FJ’s demise comes not long after Toyota’s US boss, Bill Fay, reaffirmed his company’s commitment to body-on-frame trucks in late July. Also of interest, Toyota’s fleet website states that the 2014 model year Prius range will have “minor updates,” though it’s unclear what those are as of this writing. When Autoblog reached out to confirm these developments with Toyota, spokesman Curt McCallister reminded us, “As is our corporate policy, we don’t discuss future products beyond the present or upcoming model year.” Toyota discontinuing FJ Cruiser after 2014 model year originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 20 Aug 2013 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Etc. , Government/Legal , Ford , Honda , Toyota , Earnings/Financials While the headline might seem shocking, given the circumstances of the 2009 global economic meltdown, it only makes sense. Ford’s dealings with two of its biggest competitors were centered around mutual self-preservation in the form of trying to keep a beleaguered supplier base afloat, according to The Detroit News . According to the report, Ford , Toyota and Honda cooperated to buy from common suppliers in a bid to keep those parts-makers from going under, which would have threatened the automakers’ viability. That revelation comes courtesy of a new book, American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce G. Hoffman. The auto industry is far more complex than many people realize, especially in this modern era, with ever-more demanding regulations and brutal competition from all corners of the globe. Tier One suppliers, as the biggest parts companies are known, have assumed much of the engineering and product testing and development work for new vehicles, even including big chunks of assembly. When times get tough, as they most certainly did in late 2008, suppliers are often the canary in the coal mine . At least 27 automotive suppliers filed for Chapter 11 in 2009, meaning that Ford had good reason for taking such precautions, referred to as “Project Quark” internally, according to the report.
Filed under: Motorsports , Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Toyota Toyota is dead serious about its new Le Mans effort. To that end, the Japanese auto giant is developing an all-new hybrid LMP1 racer , it has retained the considerable services of Team Oreca to help with trackside logistics , and it has now announced its driver lineup. And make no mistake about it, these are no rookies. Headlining the roster is Alex Wurz, who holds the title as the youngest winner in the history of Le Mans. The Austrian driver won again for Peugeot two years ago, and he has also taken the checkered flag at the Petit Le Mans, the Spa 1,000km and the Sebring 12 Hours, to name just a few. And as if that weren’t enough, he’s also an accomplished former Formula One driver, having driven for and scored podium finishes for a variety of teams including Benetton, McLaren and Williams (though not Toyota). Joining Wurz will be Nicolas Lapierre, a French driver with a distinguished record in both lower formula racing (like F3 and A1GP) and endurance racing, including a win at Sebring this year. Finally, Toyota has added Kazuki Nakajima (one of Japan’s best F1 drivers of the modern era) to the team that will be developing and fielding the new LMP1 at La Sarthe and other FIA World Endurance Championship races next season. The car is expected to make its debut “early in the new year” at a yet-to-be-determined European venue. Continue reading Toyota recruits top drivers for new Le Mans program Toyota recruits top drivers for new Le Mans program originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Nov 2011 18:20:00 EST.
TORRANCE, Calif. – Toyota introduced today the all-new, seventh-generation Camry, America’s best-selling car for nine years running and 13 of the past 14 years. The 2012 Camry debuts a bold, sophisticated new design with a more spacious interior, improved driving dynamics and an even quieter ride than before.