Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Subaru , Toyota , Tesla According to Consumer Reports , the automotive brands that stand out in the minds of car buyers are, in order: Toyota , Ford , Honda and Chevrolet . This news comes after the magazine polled its readers, asking them to take into account vehicle quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style, and technology/innovation – which are the factors that car shoppers are most influenced by. It’s important to note that this award is only about perception. In other words, it’s perceived quality, not actual quality. “Often, perception can be a trailing indicator, reflecting years of good or bad performance in a category, and it can also be influenced by headlines in the media,” said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy automotive editor. The brand that made the biggest jump in perception amongst Consumer Reports readers is Tesla , which posted an impressive 47-point gain to finish in fifth place. Subaru is also notable for finishing in the top 10, despite being one of the smaller manufacturers doing business in the US. Scroll down below for all the details from Consumer Reports , if you’re so inclined. Continue reading Consumer Reports says Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevy are big winners in brand perception survey Consumer Reports says Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevy are big winners in brand perception survey originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Feb 2014 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Concept Cars , Frankfurt Motor Show , Hybrid , Technology , Toyota Toyota will be bringing a new concept car to the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Dubbed Hybrid-R, Toyota says the concept will feature the same Toyota Hybrid System-Racing tech found in the automaker’s latest endurance car, the TS030 Hybrid . That car took second place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans , with a gas-powered, 3.4-liter, naturally aspirated V8 and a capacitor-based hybrid system. The result was 530 ponies from the engine and an extra 300 horsepower from the electric motor and batteries. Toyota’s press release came with but one image, a new Hybrid badge which is a far cry from the Hybrid Synergy Drive label found on the automaker’s other offerings. There’s really not much else to go on yet, but the news that Toyota is already adapting its racing tech for a concept bodes well for the future of exciting, hybridized offerings from the automaker. We’ll be at Frankfurt live, and will be sure to bring you all the news on this new concept as it becomes available. Continue reading Toyota promises Hybrid-R concept for Frankfurt Toyota promises Hybrid-R concept for Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Classics , Coupe , Toyota It could just be a slow start to the news week around the Toyota offices, but its UK blog has posted a brief history on its legendary Supra sports car. Read into however you’d like, but there has been plenty of speculation as to the return of the Supra nameplate in recent years (including last month from incoming Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada). Built from April 1978 through July 2002, Toyota’s sports coupe made quite a name for itself as both the Celica Supra (shown above) and the Supra, and the blog post charts many of the changes and highlights through the years. Head on over to the Toyota UK blog to read more about this Supra’s history, and then be sure to check out the gallery of images from Toyota spanning all four generations. Toyota recounts past Supra glories originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Motorsports , Classics , Hyundai , Mini , Mitsubishi , Porsche , Toyota , Peugeot , Electric , Racing The fourth and final practice day of the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is complete. Tomorrow everyone will make any last-minute adjustments and get their cars, their bits and bobs lined up in the pits for Sunday morning’s this-time-it-counts run. The Unlimited runners took on the top section of the course today, S
Filed under: Car Buying , Sedan , Toyota Toyota may be set to lose share the midsize sedan market. While speaking with Automotive News , Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz said that if his company kept pace with the current swell in the market for family four doors, Toyota would need to sell around 500,000 Camry models. “I’m not sure we can do much more than 400 [thousand] today,” Lentz said. But that doesn’t mean Camry sales are shrinking – on the contrary, Lentz thinks Toyota will likely sell more Camry units in 2013 than it did in 2012, it’s just that the company isn’t keeping pace with segment’s current explosion in popularity. Industry wide, midsized sedan sales have increased by 20 percent. “Are we going to lose [Camry] share? Probably so,” Lentz said, “but we will continue to grow in raw volume.” Toyota sold 404,886 Camry units last year, and the company just revised its 2013 sales objective from 2.18 million units earlier this year to 2.2-million plus units, so while things are looking up for the brand and Camry sales may be on the rise, Toyota may not have the muscle to keep up its share in the sedan segment. Whether that’s because of a production bottleneck or a predicted sales ceiling isn’t clear. We’ve got a call in and will update this news item if/when we learn more. Toyota sees Camry share loss despite predicting increasing sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Apr 2013 11:29:00 EST.
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Toyota , Tesla , Electric Rumors of a revival of the Toyota Supra and MR2 have been swirling for years right up until just this week when high-level Toyota employees all but confirmed their return. But now The Detroit Bureau has put together news from different sources suggesting that the next Supra might be all electric. The report cites recent comments from Toyota senior executives hinting at plans to work with Tesla on a new joint project. The FT-HS Concept (shown above) seems a logical inspiration for a new Supra. And on the other side of the equation is Tesla’s design chief Franz von Holzhausen who was quoted last year saying his company was looking at its next project, probably a sports car, that would follow next year’s intro of the Model X . He went on to suggest the car would compete directly with BMW’s 3 Series , which, in coupe form, could be a worthy competitor to a Supra as well. Such a sporty, up-market car could easily take advantage of the Model S platform while the electric drivetrain would fit with what Toyota’s chief engineer Tetsuya Tada says is an effort to balance a green image with products that offer “driving fun.” Last week , Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company was already working on “a few other variants of the Model S” that would be “pretty exciting.” Toyota’s Tada says there’s no target date for introduction of either a Supra or MR2, but he would expect development to take up to five years to engineer the pair and for the Supra to take priority over the MR2. Supra successor may be all-electric sourced from Tesla; MR2 returning too? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 14 Nov 2012 09:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , Crossover , Toyota , Electric Announced almost two years ago , Toyota finally gave us some more details about the was the all-electric RAV4 EV will be sold to the general public during the 26th Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles today. The important number? The MSRP for what Toyota calls a “fully equipped” RAV4 EV is $49,800 and will be available before the end of the year. Toyota says the RAV4 EV’s range is 100 miles and that the car will charge from empty in approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. The new RAV4 EV has LED and halogen headlights and it has special “environmental blue” color emblems on the outside. The vehicle will be made at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc., plant in Woodstock, Ontario. The first generation of the new RAV4 EV was unveiled back at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show . Our First Drive report is here . With a battery and powertrain designed by Tesla , the new RAV4 EV certainly appears to be one of the new breed of compliance EVs . We had heard that the RAV4 EV will be lease only, but the official press release says the car “will go on sale in late summer 2012 through select dealers, initially in four major California metropolitan markets.” Those markets are Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego and the news matches the rumor we heard last year, that sales about be limited to California.
Filed under: Car Buying , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota can attribute much of its uptick in sales last month to fleets . While the automaker saw its sales leap by 7.5 percent compared to a year earlier, Newsday.com reports Toyota sold 47 percent more cars and trucks to fleet customers in the U.S. than in January 2011. Without the fleet sales, the improvement would have been less than one percent. All told, rental companies accounted for 93 percent of the automaker’s fleet sales in January, with the remainder going to other organizations. Toyota and other Japanese automakers have always been reticent to embrace fleet sales. Doing so is not only generally less profitable than individual consumer sales, but can also lead to degraded brand image and resale value. Last month, Ford was cited for having 45 percent of the company’s Focus going toward fleets. Toyota, meanwhile, says the news isn’t the start of a trend. When Toyota factories were hobbled by earthquake and tsunami activity in Japan last year, the automaker put a stop to fleet sales altogether to keep its dealerships fed.
Filed under: Motorsports , Truck , Toyota , Racing Arguably more than any other driver, Kimi Raikkonen has a penchant for breaking with convention and forging his own path. The Finnish driver started out in F1 amid protests over his relative lack of experience – having contested fewer than a dozen professional lower-level races in his career – and finished 10th in his debut championship. The next season, he was driving for McLaren , the season after that he won his first grand prix, and within just a few years was crowned world champion for Ferrari . And when that got boring, he made an unprecedented moved to the World Rally Championship . But that’s apparently wearing thin on a driver not known for sitting still, so off he goes to NASCAR . We first broke the news of Kimi’s plans back in March, and a few days later already had confirmation of his contract with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) to debut in the Camping World Truck Series – the entry point into NASCAR racing. Now he’s set to make his oval-track debut this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and this is the truck he’ll be driving. The No. 15 Toyota Tundra is being fielded by KBM for Kimi’s ICE1RACING team, and features sponsorship from – wait for it – Perky Jerky. The dried meat snack packs guarana (a plant with twice the caffeine of coffee) and was apparently invented when some guys spilled energy drink on their beef jerky while trapped on a ski lift.