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: Hybrid , Europe , Technology , BMW , Lexus , Toyota , Diesel Automotive News reports Lexus won’t be getting any diesel engines from BMW as part of the new collaboration between parent company Toyota and the German automaker. BMW and Toyota are set to team up on next-generation green technology, though the two will apparently stick to crafting a new lithium-ion battery instead of swapping diesel tech. BMW will serve up a few small-displacement diesel engines for use in European Toyota models, but it won’t supply direct-competitor Lexus with any oil-burning lumps. Right now, European buyers can expect to see 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter BMW diesel engines to show up under the hoods of certain Toyota products soon. That should help Toyota immensely in a market where 52 percent of all vehicles sold are diesels. Lexus, meanwhile, will continue to focus on plug-in hybrid and hybrid models to position itself as a niche innovation company. Automotive News reports Lexus has nailed down a European market share of just 0.2 percent over the past 11 months. New BMW-Toyota deal doesn’t include diesels for Lexus originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 20 Dec 2011 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Government/Legal , Japan , Honda , Nissan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials For years, Detroit automakers would argue that the Japanese yen was artificially devalued, and that the value of the currency was a big competitive advantage to the likes of Toyota and Honda . To erase this gap, The Detroit Three pressured suppliers to lower costs in any way possible, which caused ill-will within their supply bases. In fact, Japanese automakers routinely scored higher in supplier relation studies, while General Motors , Ford and Chrysler hovered at the bottom of the list. One massive global recession and a fast-rising yen later, it appears that the shoe is on the other foot. Automotive News reports that Toyota has made it clear to its 219 largest domestic suppliers that costs must be cut or business will be lost to countries with cheaper labor. Toyota reportedly loses $343 million in profit for every one yen the currency rises against the dollar. Given that the Japanese currency has risen by 13 versus the dollar over the past year, Toyota could be looking at a staggering $4.5 billion in losses. For perspective, that’s more than half of Toyota’s total research and development spending for any given year. Ouch. And Toyota isn’t alone in looking for ways to combat the rising yen.
TORRANCE, Calif., August 30, 2011 – Over the past four years, the Lexus Eco Challenge , an educational program and contest, has inspired and empowered more than 20,000 middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. For their efforts, more than $3 million has been awarded to students, teachers and schools across the nation. This fall, students are invited to participate in the fifth annual Lexus Eco Challenge for a chance to win part of $500,000 in grants and scholarships.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , First Drives Patron-Saint Of Mid-Sizers Gets Massaged Toyota has manufactured and sold 15 million Camry models across 100 countries since it debuted way back in 1983. It’s a number that’s nearly unfathomable. If all of those polite four-doors were still roaming the earth, there’d be one for every man, woman and child in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. combined, and you’d still have a almost a million vehicles left over. Even more eye-widening is Toyota’s claim that of the Camry models built and sold over the last 15 years, 90 percent are still happily enduring a daily commute on nearly every corner of the planet. By sheer volume and longevity, the Camry is nothing short of an engineering and manufacturing wonder. Almost by default, the Camry has grown to become the vehicle by which all other mid-sized creations must measure themselves, and over the past two years, Ford , Hyundai , Kia and Volkswagen have unveiled products designed specifically to lure buyers from the Toyota model’s swollen ranks. In response, Toyota City has turned out the seventh-generation Camry – a model that’s been altered with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it delicacy. But as millions of current Camry owners will tell you, that may not be a bad thing. CLICK HERE to read AutoblogGreen’s First Drive review of the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid.
Filed under: Hybrid , Truck , Ford , Toyota Is the Prius V not big enough for you? Then you’ll probably be interested to learn that Ford and Toyota announced a partnership today to develop a new hybrid system for SUVs and light trucks. The “equal partners” deal should result in a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that will be ready “later this decade” – in other words, in time for the higher CAFE standards that the U.S. government just announced. The exact models that will use the new powertrain are, unsurprisingly, not being revealed. Instead, all we know is that Toyota and Ford will develop a rear-wheel-drive hybrid system that will improve the efficiency of trucks and SUVs while still allowing them to be driven in the way customers expect them to. The powertrain’s architecture will most likely not be the same as what is used in the dominant Hybrid Synergy Drive that Toyota has refined over the past 14 years in the Prius . The reason no one knows for sure? All that Ford and Toyota have as this moment is a Memorandum of Understanding. The next step will be a feasibility study to figure out what the exact implementation path will be, with the general outline being that the companies will work together on a powerplant that will be used independently in models that are specific to each company (i.e., this is not about sharing a platform or models, just a RWD hybrid powerplant).