Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Toyota Sales of the RAV4 are down five percent so far in 2012, but that won’t stop Toyota from increasing North American production. Automotive News reports that Toyota will spend $80 million to retool its Woodstock, Ontario plant to increase production from 150,000 crossovers per year to 200,000. The increased production will also lead to the hiring of an additional 400 workers at the plant. Some speculate that Toyota is ramping up North American production to combat the high Japanese yen. Only 13 percent of the RAV4s sold in North America in 2012 have been Japanese imports. Toyota has steadily decreased its reliance on Japanese plants in general; it’s only building 35 percent of its vehicles in Japan this year, compared to 53 percent in 2006. Toyota spokeswoman Carly Schaffner tells AN that there are currently no plans to build the RAV4 exclusively in North America. Schaffner says that the reason for the production increase is that Toyota is finally able to get enough supplies to the plants after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan a year ago. That said, Toyota has already moved all Highlander production to North America and could do likewise for the RAV4 if localized demand for it warrants a similar move. It’s also important to remember that the RAV4, basically unchanged for several years, is due for a makeover, so the plant upgrade might coincide with a model refresh.
Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Hatchback , Toyota When we last asked Toyota representatives about the production capacity of the 2012 Prius C , we were told the company’s Iwate, Japan plant could make up to 30,000 units each month. That sounds like a lot, but Toyota is currently sending just 20 percent – 6,000 a month – to the United States. Back in December, when the car went on sale in Japan, the company received 120,000 orders in the first five days it was on sale . As we noted last week , Toyota also sold 1,200 Prius C units in the first three days it was on sale in the States. The baby Prius may not be as popular here as it is at home, but 6,000 a month sure doesn’t seem like it’s enough. The C is made at just one plant, run by Toyota’s Kanto Auto Works Ltd. affiliate in northern Japan. A strong yen and all those Japanese orders means that the C models that do get made are mostly delivered to the home country instead of be placed on a boat to be exported. Toyota originally planned to produce just 20,000 C models a month, and is now looking at how to go over even the 30,000-unit level. By increasing efficiencies at the plant and moving production of non-Prius C models (specifically, the not-available-in-the-U.S.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Hybrid , Geneva Motor Show , Hatchback , Toyota Most concepts you’ll see on the show stands of the Geneva Motor Show will come packing some manner of sci-fi powertrain and ultra-expensive chassis and body materials. That’s where the Toyota FT-Bh concept stands apart. Toyota is calling it a “full hybrid city car study,” so the FT-Bh isn’t destined for production. However, Toyota’s goal was to create an inexpensive, fuel efficient urban runabout that doesn’t rely on expensive materials or complex manufacturing, but rather uses existing technology to make an affordable hybrid for the masses – something that would be perfect for Europe. Thing is, Toyota is bringing just that to Geneva in mass-market form. Joining the FT-Bh on stage is the production version of the Yaris Hybrid, which for all intents and purposes is exactly what the FT-Bh is: an inexpensive, small hybrid based off an existing platform and using tried-and-true technology. Packing a 1.5-liter gasoline engine mated with an electric motor, the Yaris Hybrid outputs 98 horsepower and is some 20% lighter than the Auris Hybrid. Toyota is calling it “Europe’s first full hybrid supermini,” which begs the question: Where’s the line between a “supermini” and a “city car?” We’ll find out when we’re on the floor in Switzerland next month. Get all the details on Toyota’s Geneva plans in the press blast after the break . Continue reading Toyota teases FT-Bh concept hybrid city car ahead of Geneva Toyota teases FT-Bh concept hybrid city car ahead of Geneva originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Feb 2012 14:29:00 EST.
Filed under: Spy Photos , Coupe , Performance , Toyota Is this the standard production version of the Toyota FT-86 / Scion FR-S? Sure looks like it. Another set of brochure shots acquired by the FT-86 forum shows a plainer version of the new rear-drive sports car in red, in contrast to the white Modellista brochure shots from a few days ago. The interior images are the same as before, but the exteriors diverge in a few areas: the production version doesn’t appear to have LED accents by the headlights, the skirting is softer around the car, a conventional whip antenna replaces the shark fin on the roof, and there’s optional vent ornamentation for the front fenders. Opinion seems to be divided on whether Toyota has gone too far with certain elements of the car or, after years of gestation, if didn’t go far enough. We don’t have much longer to wait until the real thing takes a deep bow at the Tokyo Motor Show , but is this what you’ve been waiting for? Standard Toyota FT-86 / Scion FR-S revealed? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 09:47:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota Automotive News reports that Toyota may experience production delays tied to widespread flooding in Thailand . The Japanese automaker relies on certain Thai components, including audio systems, diodes and condensers that may see production shortages. Such shortages have already caused three plants in Thailand to be shut down entirely and some of the automaker’s facilities in Japan to scale back production. Now there’s a chance that the squeeze may be placed on some North American Toyota plants. Currently, the automaker says that it’s evaluating its supply chain to determine just how far-reaching the production delays will be. The report indicates that Toyota is already considering cutting one day of Saturday work at its four North American facilities and contemplating additional overtime restrictions. As of right now, the automaker says it has enough parts in stock to continue production while its suppliers source components from Malaysia and the Philippines. All told, the flooding in Thailand has caused a restriction on around 100 individual Toyota components. Toyota says U.S. plants may be hurt by Thai floods originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:28:00 EST.
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Tokyo Motor Show , Scion , Subaru , Toyota Remember how the Lexus LFA race car debuted long before we ever saw the final production car? Well, it appears that parent company Toyota is planning to pull a similar stunt with its FT-86 Scion FR-S coupe. Here, we see a racier FR-S prototype being prepped for this weekend’s German VLN race at the N
Filed under: Concept Cars , Frankfurt Motor Show , Coupe , Videos , Toyota Someday we’ll get to see the production version of the Toyota FT-86 in dealer showrooms. Someday. That time has yet to arrive, and Toyota is trotting yet another new version of the concept out to the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show . According to the automaker, this latest edition is a slightly reworked version of the FT-86 II concept that we’ve already seen. The sports coupe heading to Germany, however, has reportedly been lightened up, and is also faster than the previous car. The previous car being another concept, of course. Toyota has put together a teaser video of the updated car, which you can view after the jump . Dear Toyota… we’re ready for this thing to arrive, and we’re pretty sure everyone reading along is as well. Bring on the production version! Continue reading Toyota teases Frankfurt-bound FT-86 II Concept Toyota teases Frankfurt-bound FT-86 II Concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 07 Sep 2011 17:59:00 EST.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota Toyota has announced that it expects its North American production to reach 100 percent capacity as early as September – far ahead of original post-quake estimates. So far, eight of the company’s 12 models built in North America are back to 100 percent capacity, and total production is hoped to improve by as much as 80 percent by August. In an official press release, Bob Carter, Toyota’s group vice president and general manager, says that the progress is thanks to the hard work of individuals both here and in Japan, and that the upcoming months will focus on ramping up output to make up for lost time. After Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters last March, Toyota wasn’t expected to reach full manufacturing capacity in North America until December at the earliest. Click past the break to check out the quick press release. Continue reading Toyota says NA production to recover by September, earlier than expected Toyota says NA production to recover by September, earlier than expected originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 Jun 2011 11:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Toyota , Electric Plug-in Prius Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery Toyota has been showing off its plug-in hybrid Prius since it debuted in concept form at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show . The Japanese automaker is getting ready to deliver the 2012 production version, and we just found out that it will have some significant changes over the prototype versions we’ve seen so far. The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle boasts two unique features; a selectable EV driving mode, and the ability to apply recaptured energy to the electric-only driving range. The selectable EV driving mode will be quite useful for trips requiring the use of a highway or that cover longer distances than simple in-town errand running. This will allow Prius PHEV drivers to conserve energy for electric-only jaunts. A button will allow you to turn the EV mode on or off. Any run-of-the-mill Prius hybrid uses regeneration to replenish the battery. In the protoptye PHEVs, no more energy can be recaptured and stored for later use than the regular non-plug-in model. That means there was no way to extend EV-only range without plugging back in. On the production version of the Prius PHEV, the car will be able to take advantage of that regenerated energy, and extend the time the car can spend in EV mode.