Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Toyota , Earnings/Financials , Tesla , Electric The future of the Toyota RAV4 EV appears to be in doubt. Tesla supplies the EVs battery packs, and it says that production ends later this year. ” Toyota is expected to end the current RAV4 EV model this year,” Tesla said in its quarterly financial filing obtained by Bloomberg . “Our production activities under this program are expected to end in 2014,” the company said. This timeline fits closely with the original production plans for the RAV4 EV. When the $100-million project was first announced, Tesla said that it expected to supply battery packs for the vehicle from 2012 to 2014 . Building components for the Japanese automaker continues to bring in money, though. In the company’s Q1 2014 letter to shareholders , it said: “Automotive revenue included $15 million of Toyota powertrain sales.” According to Bloomberg , Toyota has sold just 1,594 RAV4 EV models from 2012 through April 2014. Initially, the business had estimated that it would sell 2,600 units of the electrified crossover . Toyota has not officially said that it plans to end production of the RAV4 EV yet.
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Sedan , Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Hatchback , Lexus , Toyota , UAW/Unions , Canada , Luxury Toyota may be heading toward some labor issues in the Great White North, as employees at a pair of Canadian Toyota factories may be set for a certification vote. The Unifor union, which was the result of a merger last year between the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, will be holding the vote. Over 40 percent of the employees at the Woodstock and Cambridge, Ontario factories have signed union cards, cresting the minimum percentage required to instigate a legal certification vote, according to Reuters . The Woodstock factory is responsible for RAV4 production, while Cambridge builds the Lexus RX350 and RX450h , as well as the Toyota Corolla . The two factories employ nearly 7,000 people. It’s unclear when the union will hold a certification vote at the two factories, but what is rather clear are the worker complaints. Employees are concerned about workers being hired on temporary contracts which lack the benefits of full employment, John Aman, head of organizing for Unifor, told Reuters . Toyota countered that argument. “First, people are hired on contract basis and only when we can make a long-term commitment to them, in terms of their employment security, do we transition them into permanent status,” spokesman Greig Mordue said. “Over the past 12 months or so we’ve hired 1,000 new team members and we’ve also made 900 contracts permanent.” Union to launch Toyota organization drive in Canada originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 12 Jan 2014 12:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Aftermarket , SEMA Show , Videos , Toyota , Specialty , Design/Style Toyota has six vehicles that it’s bringing to the Specialty Equipment Market Association ( SEMA ) show next week, all of which were developed by and for people who live active lifstyles. Four of them are the result of the Toyota Dream Build Challenge, which tasked a team of athletes and vehicle customization shops to build Toyota sedans, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles in seven weeks that would enhance performance in their respective sports. We’ll lead off with the CamRally Camry , developed by NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Mooresville, NC shop Detroit Speed, Inc. for the Dream Build Challenge, because it appeals to us gearheads (sure, call us one-sided). It was totally transformed into a rally vehicle, and it has to be the most badass Camry we can remember seeing. The sedan is always a bit flaccid-looking in stock form, but the CamRally’s wide body and other exterior upgrades and the turbocharger make us forget about that, as do its stripped, painted interior and Sparco race seat. We’re not going to judge a vehicle based on its name, because the ‘Let’s Go Moto’ Tundra , a creation spurred by Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross (JGRMX) teammates Josh Grant and Justin Brayton for the Dream Build Challenge, is a great addition to any dirt biker’s arsenal – and we could see ourselves towing a track car behind it with a set of tools, tires and other equipment stored in the bed. JGRMX’s shop and N-Fab handled the build. The other two Dream Build Challenge vehicles are the Oakley Ultimate Dream Ski 4Runner , created by freestyle skier Simon Dumont and Herbst Smith Fabrication, and the Crusher Corolla , developed by pro BMX rider Drew Bezanson, Skull Candy and Motorsports Technical Center. Head here to vote for your favorite Dream Build Challenge vehicle.
Filed under: Safety , Lexus , Scion , Toyota The performances of some Toyotas in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) regimen of crash tests leave something to be desired. Consider the small overlap frontal crash test: only six Toyota , Lexus and Scion vehicles have undergone the new test, yet all but one of them received a poor rating. Osama Nagata, CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc., says midcycle vehicle updates are in the works to address the safety issues brought to light by the IIHS test, Automotive News reports . He confirmed that the RAV4 is getting safety updates following its crash test performance last month , but he didn’t name any other models. All three Toyotas that were tested – 2013 RAV4, 2012-2013 Prius V , 2012-2013 Camry – received poor ratings. The 2007-2012 Lexus ES 350 and 2006-2013 IS 250/350 also received poor ratings. The only other Toyota Motor Corp. vehicle to score better than poor is the 2014 Scion TC. It received an acceptable rating in the small overlap frontal crash test and is the only recent vehicle in Toyota’s line-up to get the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. The small overlap front crash test measures the safety of a car when its front left corner is strikes an object during an accident, bypassing traditional crumple zones, which deform in a way to protect passengers.
Filed under: Car Buying , Videos , Crossover , Toyota Not surprisingly, the 50-millionth Toyota product sold in the US was a Camry , but Toyota had a big surprise in store for Michael Dee, the buyer of said milestone vehicle. Toyota group vice president Bill Fay showed up at Dee’s house to not only personally thank him for the purchase, but also completely paid off that brand new Camry, presenting the owner with a clear title. But that wasn’t all. As you can tell from the image above, Fay had one more trick up his sleeve. The group VP brought along a brand new 2013 Toyota RAV4 , which was also presented to Dee in appreciation. The best part is that Dee’s genuine amazement was all caught on video, which is posted below . Continue reading Toyota gives a free RAV4 to 50-millionth customer [w/video] Toyota gives a free RAV4 to 50-millionth customer [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Safety , Videos , Crossover , Toyota When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested a batch of SUVs in its small overlap frontal crash test earlier this year, it held off on putting the Toyota RAV4 in the blender because the new, 2013 model was due to arrive shortly after the test. The new crossover might be better than it was before, but it could still only manage a rating of “Poor” in the test that has been a bugbear for a number of manufacturers. Among other issues, the IIHS noted that the steering column moved seven inches to the right causing the crash test dummy to practically miss the airbag, the dummy’s left foot was trapped in deformed sheetmetal and the dummy’s head hit the instrument panel. The 2013 RAV4 earned the Top Safety Pick rating by scoring well in the Institute’s four other tests. A good score in this particular test would have earned it the Top Safety Pick+ rating that is so far only claimed by the 2014 Subaru Forester and 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport in the SUV category. There’s a press release below with more details and a video of the test. Continue reading 2013 Toyota RAV4 earns ‘poor’ rating in IIHS small overlap crash test [w/video] 2013 Toyota RAV4 earns ‘poor’ rating in IIHS small overlap crash test [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Jul 2013 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Crossover , Toyota , New Car Reviews A Nicer View Than Ever Of Middle Of The Road When we had our first shot behind the wheel of the 2013 Toyota RAV4 , the overall judgment from Managing Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski could be summed up in a sentence along the lines of, “Eh, not bad.” The truth is that the compact crossover segment, now filled with not-so-compact offerings, is as cutthroat as any in the industry these days. When a heavyweight player like the RAV4 comes to market with a new generation, it is not at liberty to start from a clean sheet, lest it throw cold water on a vehicle that sells tens of thousands of units globally every month. Like De La Soul says, “Stakes is high.” If the choices in the marketplace were still largely limited to the Honda CR-V , as was the case when this market niche was green, the Toyota offering might actually seem like the exciting choice. But with new players offering better dynamic thrills ( Mazda CX-5 ), cool turbo motors and fancy technology ( Ford Escape ), or even crunchy cred ( Subaru Forester ), the small crossover shopper is really spoiled for choice in 2013. With Mr. Korzeniewski’s excellent First Drive review covering the granularity of the RAV4 specification so well, we chose to focus our notes this time around on living with the Toyota in its natural suburban habitat for a longer stretch. What’s more, we’ll try to mark out where the CUV wins, loses or draws with the rest of the strident segment. Continue reading 2013 Toyota RAV4 2013 Toyota RAV4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink