Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Toyota Japanese automakers are having a rough year coping with Mother Nature. First it was earthquakes in Japan , and now flooding in Thailand. Since late July, typhoons in Southeast Asia have caused billions of dollars of damage, and now production at three Toyota plants and one Honda facility has been halted, according to the Associated Press . While Toyota’s plants in eastern Thailand haven’t been directly affected by the weather, the inability of suppliers to deliver parts has caused the shutdowns there. Honda’s plant in Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok, isn’t so lucky. Offline since October 4, and flooded since October 8, Honda officials can’t even assess the damage because the plant remains inaccessible. The four factories produced over 800,000 vehicles last year. This included 630,000 Toyotas and 170,000 Hondas, representing roughly eight and five percent of each automaker’s respective global volume. Among the vehicles produced in Thailand are the Toyota Corolla and Camry and the Honda Civic and Accord , but none of the Thai plants produce vehicles for the North American market. Thailand flooding halts Honda and Toyota auto production originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 13 Oct 2011 19:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Scion , Toyota Scion’s youth focus has served it well in the last nine years, with nearly 80 percent of first-time buyers moving into a Toyota or another Scion when the time comes to trade in. But Toyota is keenly aware that the youth market is retracting, and thus, Scion could be used as an incubator for a new transportation initiative within the automaker. What form it takes is open to speculation, but everything from unconventional body styles to car-sharing programs could be on the table. Even bikes and trikes integrated into the vehicles are under consideration. This outside-the-box tact is something BMW is exploring with its new i Ventures initiative, experimenting with and funding new transportation programs in the United States. How Scion might expand its offerings from a standard automaker to a mobility provider remains to be seen, but considering the brand’s penchant for pushing boundaries, anything is possible. Scion taking a cue from BMW, considering becoming a mobility provider? originally appeared on Autoblog 5.0 on Thu, 14 Jul 2011 08:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Audi , BMW , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Jeep , Toyota , Volvo Wards Automotive 10 Best Interiors of 2011 – Click above for high-res image gallery Wards Automotive takes its 10 Best Interior awards seriously. The industry mag tested 51 vehicles to come up with this year’s winners, which span three luxury vehicles, three economy cars, a sport sedan, a minivan, a family sedan and an SUV. Ward’s AutoWorld Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter says the publication has never tested so many vehicles, adding, “Every auto maker wants the freshest, highest-quality interior possible for all the vehicles they sell.” Showing just how much the world of interiors has changed over the years, Chrysler was the only automaker to take home two awards, thanks to the Dodge Charger and Jeep Grand Cherokee , while Kia and Hyundai could technically say the same since the Elantra and Optima each took home honors. At the same time, both Toyota and Lexus were shut out, as was Honda’s Acura luxury brand and Mercedes-Benz . Among the first-time winners for 2011 are the Ford Focus Titanium and Chevy Cruze . Click on the image above to browse through all 10 winners, or you can head over to Wards Automotive for the complete scoop. What do you think – Did Wards get it right? If not, what was left out and what should it replace? Gallery: Wards 2011 10 Best Interiors [Source: Wards Automotive ] Ward’s Automotive picks best car interiors of 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .