Filed under: Hybrid , Performance , Truck , Technology , Aston Martin , BMW , Chevrolet , Toyota , Electric , Luxury , Emissions “We believe that for the United States, this is going to be very important.” – Julian Arguelles Let there be no doubt, BMW is serious about electric vehicles. The German automaker said this week it will make plug-in hybrid versions of all of its core models, an aggressive move that demonstrates its commitment to electric propulsion systems. BMW did not specify which vehicles will get the plug-in systems or provide a timeline for when they will arrive. But the announcement is clearly more than blustering, and the company revealed a 3 Series plug-in prototype this week at an event in France. BMW said the 3 Series uses a version of its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (240 horsepower, 300 pound feet of torque) with an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission in place of the torque converter. It has an all-electric range of 22 miles. A plug-in X5 with the same powertrain was also displayed alongside the 3 Series, though the X5 has been on the auto-show circuit for more than a year, including a recent stop in Los Angeles . Continue reading Weekly Recap: BMW rolls out ambitious plug-in hybrid electric plan Weekly Recap: BMW rolls out ambitious plug-in hybrid electric plan originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 06 Dec 2014 11:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Government/Legal , Buick , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Dodge , Ford , GM , Lexus , Toyota The United States Patent and Trademark Office is a treasure trove for auto enthusiasts, especially those who double as conspiracy theorists. Why has Toyota applied to trademark ” Supra ,” the name of one of its legendary sports cars, even though it hasn’t sold one in the United States in 16 years? Why would General Motors continue to register ” Chevelle ” long after one of the most famous American muscle cars hit the end of the road? And what could Chrysler possibly do with the rights to “313,” the area code for Detroit ? There are a lot of possible answers to these questions, since automakers apply for trademarks for a variety of reasons. While a filing can be the first sign of a new model – or the return of an old favorite – moving to secure a trademark can just as easily be a smoke signal. Frequently, it’s just a routine legal procedure to maintain rights to a famous name so it can be used on t-shirts and coffee mugs. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is a treasure trove for auto enthusiasts, especially those who double as conspiracy theorists. Though there’s strong circumstantial evidence Toyota may in fact be working on a Supra-successor, for now the name is simply a filing that’s weaving its way through the federal bureaucracy. Toyota has let the Supra trademark lapse in the past before reapplying for it.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , UAW/Unions , Canada Union tactics apparently translate across borders, as Canada’s Unifor may take inspiration from the United Auto Workers’ recent move at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, TN , and establish a local for the Toyota factories in Cambridge and Woodstock. Unifor last attempted to organize the workers at the two factories , which are responsible for production of the Toyota Corolla (above), RAV4 and Lexus RX back in April, but that vote was eventually delayed . According to that report, 3,000 of the two plants’ 7,500 employees signed union cards, but that apparently wasn’t enough for Unifor to force a vote. Because of this, the union is looking at the local approach, like what the UAW is attempting with VW. “We have union halls in Woodstock and Kitchener-Waterloo; they could elect an executive and run monthly membership meetings,” union president Jerry Dias told The Windsor Star. Dias added that the union ” continues to sign up new members on a regular basis .” So what would the benefit to employees be if they sign up with the local? According to The Star, while Unifor couldn’t act as a bargaining agent for the workers, employees would still be able to take part in other union activities. It’s not entirely clear what these include, though, and as the primary mission of a union is to act as a bargaining agent for employees, the idea of a local would appear to leave something on the table. As for when this plan could come to fruition, Dias says a final decision isn’t expected until fall. Unifor may establish local union for Toyota’s Canadian plants originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:59:00 EST.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (June 20, 2014)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -
TORRANCE, Calif., (April 8, 2014) – To become an AUTOMOBILE Magazine All-Star, the Scion FR-S had to shine. By achieving it twice, the FR-S shows lasting power. The annual list from the publication’s industry judges compared all current model year vehicles on sale in the United States. The 2014 FR-S shares its spot with the 2014 Subaru BRZ.
Filed under: Hybrid , Recalls , Toyota Toyota has announced a set of voluntary recalls covering 960,000 Prius , RAV4 , Tacoma and Lexus RX350 models in the United States to address two separate issues. Worldwide, Toyota will have to recall a total of 1.9 million Prius cars. The Prius recall affects about 700,000 2010-2014 models in the US, due to a fault in the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU software. It says that the current software could result in high temperatures on certain transistors and possibly damage them. When it fails, the error forces the car into failsafe mode. Toyota says that in rare circumstances, it could even shut the hybrid system down while the car is being driven. Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada told Automotive News that the software update should take about 40 minutes, and dealers would start to be notified about affected vehicles today. She also told them that the first reported glitch occurred in May 2011 in the US when the system overheated and the car entered failsafe mode. The affected cars were built between March 2009 and Feb. 5, 2014, according to Automotive News .
TORRANCE, Calif., February 12, 2014 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., today announced that it is advising the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of plans to conduct voluntary safety recalls of approximately 700,000 Model Year 2010-2014 Prius vehicles and, combined, approximately 260,000 Model Year 2012 Toyota RAV4, 2012-2013 Toyota Tacoma, and 2012-2013 Lexus RX 350 vehicles sold in the United States to address two separate issues.
Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Toyota , Rumormill The Toyota Prius is undeniably the king of the hybrid market in the United States, with a 39.4 percent market share in 2013. With the next-generation Prius likely to go on sale in 2015, Toyota is trying to build an even more efficient hybrid to keep its control of the market. Keeping cost down will be one of the major concerns of the new Prius. The next generation will ride on the new, modular Toyota New Global Architecture platform. The lighter underpinnings will improve efficiency and will reduce production costs by allowing for more shared components among vehicles. Toyota will not reveal how many vehicles will use the new platform. But even with the cheaper platform, price will remain a concern. Toyota is still deciding whether all versions of the next Prius will use lithium-ion batteries or whether some models will stick with the heavier nickel-metal hydride batteries to keep cost down. Of course, the reason most people buy the Prius is because of its great fuel efficiency. Toyota will aim for at least an 8 percent improvement in fuel economy in the next Prius, which would increase it to 58 miles per gallon city and 52 mpg highway.
TORRANCE, Calif., (Dec. 18, 2013) – Walk into any dealership in the United States today, and you will notice the vast diversity of customers shopping for vehicles.