Unintended acceleration settlement hits Toyota’s Q4 bottom line

Unintended acceleration settlement hits Toyota’s Q4 bottom line

May 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Toyota , Earnings/Financials Depending on how you want to look at things, the US Attorney’s Office $1.2-billion dollar settlement with Toyota in March over its unintended acceleration recall was either a big blow to the company or completely inconsequential. From January to March, net income fell five percent to 297 billion yen ($2.89 billion), compared to 313.9 billion yen ($3.05 billion) a year ago. However, the automaker still posted record full-year profits worldwide. Operating profit also fell in the US by 9 percent to $498.1 million for the quarter, but sales were up by 6 percent to 581,261 vehicles. According to Automotive News , global revenue was still up from January to March by about 13 percent and vehicle sales were up 6 percent to 2.58 million units. However, the payment to the feds did little to hold the company back last year. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, Toyota had net income of 1.82 trillion yen ($17.7 billion), compared to 962.1 billion yen ($9.5 billion) in the last fiscal year. Total vehicle sales were also up. The settlement certainly seemed to stagger Toyota for the quarter, especially in the US. But it didn’t do much overall.

Toyota plans biggest stock buyback in over a decade

Toyota plans biggest stock buyback in over a decade

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Toyota , Earnings/Financials At the end of December, 2013 Toyota had a cash stockpile of 1.8 trillion yen ($17.5B US). As of March 31, at the end of its current financial year, company coffers are expected to swallow another 1.9 trillion yen ($18.4B US) in net profit – said to be a record sum for the Japanese automaker. In a gesture signaling a turnaround from the horrors of the global recession, Bloomberg reports that Toyota will buy back 60 million shares of its stock, as much as 1.89 percent of the company, for something like 360 billion yen ($3.5B US). It’s the first buyback since 2009 and the largest buyback since 2003, when it spent roughly 390 billion yen ($3.8B US) repurchasing shares. Company president Akio Toyoda founded the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), a non-profit that will support international groups working on transportation issues in emerging markets. Half of the stock that Toyota buys, 30 million shares, will be sold to the foundation via the Japanese Trustee Services Bank for one yen per share, the dividend providing the foundation’s initial funding. The other 30 million shares will be canceled, a company spokesman telling Reuters that the company wants to reward shareholders. Industry analysts have been asking Toyota to either return money to shareholders or invest in new factories, but Toyota has ruled out the latter. After getting burned with excess capacity when the financial crisis came, the company is focused on extracting efficiencies from the plants it already has. Toyota has said it plans to complete the buyback by June of this year.

Toyota raises Japanese base wages for first time since 2008

Toyota raises Japanese base wages for first time since 2008

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota is on track for record profits, and in return, its Japanese workers are receiving their first increase in base wages since 2008, plus higher pay based on seniority and a larger bonus for 2014. The Japanese automaker predicts the average laborer will net a 2.9 percent income gain. The average Toyota employee will earn 2,700 yen ($26.28) more each month, a 0.8 percent increase from last year. Workers will also receive about 7,300 yen ($71.09) more monthly based on seniority and promotions. Finally, the company’s union pushed through a median bonus of 2.44 million yen ($23,768) for 2014, the highest in 6 years. The pay boost comes as Toyota forecasts a record 1.9-trillion yen ($18.5 billion) profit for the fiscal year ending on March 31, according to Bloomberg . It has been helped by the Japanese government’s efforts to weaken the yen on international markets and expand inflation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been asking businesses to increase compensation to end years of deflation and offset upcoming higher sales taxes. Honda and Nissan have also raised their wages there in recent months. Toyota raises Japanese base wages for first time since 2008 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:29:00 EST.

From Concept to Production – Lexus Expands Lineup with All-New Lexus NX Compact Crossover

March 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

GENEVA – March 4, 2014 – When the Lexus LF-NX concept was introduced last year at the Frankfurt and Tokyo Motor Shows last year, customer feedback was positive. Customers who liked the LF-NX will be happy to know the production version, NX, derived from the concept will be revealed at the 2014 Beijing International Auto Show next month.

Toyota reveals brace of customized concepts at Tokyo Auto Salon

Toyota reveals brace of customized concepts at Tokyo Auto Salon

January 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Aftermarket , Concept Cars , Toyota , Tokyo Auto Salon The Tokyo Auto Salon kicked off this weekend, filling the slot in the Japanese car scene that SEMA does in North America or Essen does in Germany with tuned and modified versions of domestic automobiles. Of course, Toyota wouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to show just how far its JDM models can be taken, and to that end brought no fewer than 34 customized vehicles to the Makuhari Messe in Chiba City. Among the highlights is the Harrier G Sports Concept, a modified version of the new crossover that debuted just a couple of months ago at the more mainstream Tokyo Motor Show , with a blacked-out snout that makes it look like a Lexus RX with a bloody nose. There was also a similarly modified Vitz RS G Sports Concept, fitting sports seats and a firmer suspension to the hatchback better known on this side of the Pacific as the Yaris . Toyota’s Japanese in-house tuning division GRMN modified the domestic Mark X sport sedan, replete with 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed manual, with an optimized suspension, brakes and Torsen limited-slip differential. It was joined by the GRMN 86 Concept that brings Gazoo Racing’s experience on the N

Lexus Unveils All-New RC Coupe

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

TOKYO (Nov. 20, 2013) — Lexus unveiled its striking new production-ready RC coupe, scheduled for launch in 2014, at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The RC raises Lexus’ profile with a broader audience, injecting emotional appeal into the Lexus DNA which has become well known for building quality, refinement and reliability.

Toyota FCV Concept comes one step closer to reality [w/video]

Toyota FCV Concept comes one step closer to reality [w/video]

November 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Japan , Videos , Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota , Electric When Toyota first conceptualized a gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle for mainstream Americans to drive, the initial response was pretty skeptical. Still, through relentless engineering and solid product after solid product, Toyota has built the Prius brand into the dominant force in the hybrid car market. Something like that plan of attack is what the Japanese company is preparing for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, as well, and that attack is seeing a critical salvo fired today with the debut of this FCV Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show . Though there’s nothing substantive to be said about rumors of a 300-mile range or a sticker price around $50,000 , the FCV concept does offer a few technical details. The sharp-beaked concept makes use of two high-pressure hydrogen tanks and boasts a power output density of three kilowatts per liter. Right now, the expectation is that Toyota will have a real-world version of this technology sometime in 2015. Continue reading Toyota FCV Concept comes one step closer to reality [w/video] Toyota FCV Concept comes one step closer to reality [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 08:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota JPN Taxi Concept is a Japanese riff on an English classic

Toyota JPN Taxi Concept is a Japanese riff on an English classic

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Japan , Tokyo Motor Show , Hatchback , Toyota , Specialty , Design/Style As far as beasts of burden go, New York City’s new – and much maligned – Nissan NV200 ” Taxi of Tomorrow ” isn’t a bad one. It’s space efficient, reasonably economical, and its simple construction should mean it’s pretty robust over the long haul, too. But it lacks panache and a sense of occasion – let alone a sense of humor – three things this this Toyota JPN Taxi Concept we found at the Tokyo Motor Show has in spades. Unfortunately, that’s about all the information we have on this cheeky London-taxi-inspired showcar. Toyota hasn’t provided much in the way of details, other than to proclaim that the five-seat JPN was “created with Japanese hospitality in mind” and it “aims to enliven city streets.” Japan’s livery landscape has long been occupied by traditional three-box sedans – models like the Toyota Crown and Nissan Cedric. The JPN Taxi at just over 171 inches would appear to offer both a tighter footprint and added whimsy, both of which are in the automaker’s favor; we hear it hopes this concept will one day become the country’s own version of America’s yellow Crown Vic cab. Toyota isn’t providing powertrain specifications, but we like the airy feeling of the interior (Japanese cabs typically don’t have cumbersome partitions between cabbie and passengers), the minimalist driver area with three screens, and the widescreen overhead video system for passengers that bookends the panoramic moonroof. Check it out in our gallery of live shots and let us know what you think in Comments. Continue reading Toyota JPN Taxi Concept is a Japanese riff on an English classic Toyota JPN Taxi Concept is a Japanese riff on an English classic originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Toyota Harrier gets a whale of a facelift [w/video]

Toyota Harrier gets a whale of a facelift [w/video]

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Japan , Videos , Tokyo Motor Show , Crossover , Toyota , Design/Style , Luxury Historically, the Toyota Harrier has been a doppelg

Toyota FT-86 Open Concept leaves us feeling flushed

Toyota FT-86 Open Concept leaves us feeling flushed

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Convertible , Performance , Japan , Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota When last we checked in on our topless would-be hero, the Toyota FT-86 convertible had been reportedly placed on “indefinite hold .” That was back in early October, not long after Toyota had trotted out the rear-wheel-drive canvasback to Scion dealers as a possible future product carrot if they decided not to turn in their franchises. And yet, we’re here at the Tokyo Motor Show , where Toyota has taken the time to at least repaint the FT-86 Open Concept in “Flash Red,” if not build a whole other car (the original Geneva showcar was white ). It’s enough to make our heads spin like a teenager on the verge of a breakup. Will they? Won’t they? At this point, we still don’t know any more than you do – the last word we heard out of Toyota was not encouraging, although the story was that the program could still be fast-tracked if management had a change of heart. As the car has never been seen before in Japan, perhaps Toyota is merely extending its domestic audience a courtesy view before it lines this showcar in mothballs, or maybe they’re still trying to make a decision on its fate and gauging public reaction on the homefront. Interestingly, in a new story published today, Automotive News quotes Subaru brand boss Yasuyuki Yoshinaga downplaying the likelihood of a production model, saying flatly “We make the car, so if we don’t make it, it can’t happen.” The executive went on to note, “Our engineering department told me that losing the entire roof requires a complete redesign of the structure. It would need a big change.” Given that such a car would probably trade in rather small volumes, that sounds like a significant hurtle. Either way, this FT-86 Open Concept wears red paint rather fetchingly – and we think a Scion FR-S or a Subaru BRZ would look every inch as compelling, too.

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