Filed under: Car Buying , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Bloomberg reports that if U.S. auto sales continue at their current pace, 2012 will mark the best year for the industry since 2007. The news comes after word that both Ford and Chrysler have slimmed or entirely eliminated the traditional summer shutdown at their manufacturing facilities to keep pace with demand. All told, sales may reach 14.3 million cars and light trucks, according to analysts, thanks to factors like a gradually improving economy and easier credit. If the pace continues, 2012 will mark the third year of 10-percent gains, which marks only the fourth time that’s happened since the Great Depression. Car sales stalled in 2008, and 2009 saw manufacturers move just 10.4 million units. As Bloomberg points out, that’s the lowest number since 1982, but buyers took home 11.6 million vehicles in 2010 and 12.8 million in 2011. The industry saw a 10.3-percent increase through the first four months of this year. As a result, General Motors , Ford and Toyota have adjusted their yearly sales forecasts accordingly. 2012 U.S.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Tokyo Motor Show , Hatchback , Toyota , Electric The Tokyo Motor Show wackiness has officially begun, and the first far-out concept comes courtesy of Toyota and the Fun-Vii. Forget custom paint jobs and vinyl graphics, the Fun-Vii lets you change the exterior design “with the same ease as downloading an application,” allowing drivers to display everything from custom messages to flashy graphics through some manner of magical exterior display technology. The same goes for the interior, which Toyota claims can be customized to suit the mood of the driver, with a variety of themes and an augmented reality function taking place of the traditional navigation system. Less far-out is the incorporation of a “navigation concierge” that provides up-to-the-second driving and multimedia information through a virtual assistant. And naturally, the Fun-Vii interfaces with both your smartphone and other road users, adding both a safety and social element to the driving experience. We’ll be getting an eye-full of the Fun-Vii on Wednesday, but in the meantime, get the minimal details in the press release below the fold . Continue reading Toyota Fun-Vii is rolling, customizable weirdness Toyota Fun-Vii is rolling, customizable weirdness originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Nov 2011 08:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota The upcoming Toyota Prius C has been unveiled in concept form , caught wearing a ton of camouflage and maybe whispered its new name to us (Aqua). But that doesn’t mean we’re not still interested in what will be the smallest and cheapest model in the Prius family when it arrives in 2012. Thankfully, CarScoop is here to help. A reader sent in a leaked brochure featuring what appears to be the production version of the little hybrid. The scans show off the C so nakedly we want to give it a modesty slip. Almost. The production version of the Prius C – if that’s indeed what we’re looking at – loses a lot of the angular, sporty style of the concept, but it still carries a welcome refinement of the traditional Prius wedge. The biggest different is at the front end: the concept’s striking headlights have been eliminated in favor of smaller versions of the Prius Liftback’s instantly-identifiable lights. The rear end now blends the look of a standard Prius with a Nissan Leaf . We like most everything about the concept better (see also: the wheels), but if Toyota can hit the speculated numbers – around 60 miles per gallon for around $20,000 – we’ll take the highly efficient baby Prius no matter what it looks like.