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auto motive

Toyota Avalon Launch Presents a Fresh Face for Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2013 02:14 PM

Avalon isn't one of Toyota's best-selling vehicles, and the full-size sedan has never been one of the brand's most exciting offerings. But part of the mantle of being one of the world's few full-line automakers is that you cover every segment, because your dealers want you to, and because there are still top- and bottom-line opportunities even at smaller volumes.

Cue Toyota's now-launching 2013 Toyota Avalon, which it teased last April at the New York Auto Show. It's been completely redesigned — as has one of its main competitors, the new Chevrolet Impala — and is looking to conquest buyers in the target 40- to 60-year-old market who still enjoy the virtues of a relatively full-bodied automobile.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Starbucks Buys a Bakery for $100M and More

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 4, 2012 06:08 PM

Brands to Watch

Starbucks acquires San Francisco's La Boulange Bakery for $100M to improve food menu and build out national premium brand.

Amazon acquires Avalon Books.

Bank of America execs explain how they hid Merrill Lynch losses. 

China embraces robot labor.

FedEx retires jets to cut costs.

Foursquare teases new app.

Google appears poised to buy Meebo as social agency M&A continues.

Marriott looks to expand through acquisitions.

Microsoft unveils Xbox Music as replacement for Zune.Continue reading...

auto motive

Toyota To Design Cars Worth Buzzing About

Posted by Dale Buss on April 10, 2012 11:13 AM

Only two years ago, it would have been impossible to believe. So we'll just say it: The vanguard of a new design revolution at Toyota Motor Co. may well be the new Toyota Avalon on display this week at the New York International Auto Show.

It's true: With its striking design departure from the current generation of Avalon, the 2013 version due in Toyota dealerships later this year actually heralds a potentially important new era for Toyota. On Monday, the company announced in Toyota City it is drastically overhauling its development system, to give its engineers more freedom to experiment with bolder, more daring designs.

"We want to take more risks," Akio Toyoda, the automaker's CEO and scion of Toyota's founding family, told reporters at the company's headquarters. So Toyota will give more decision-making power to designer and engineers, and remove the number of executives reviewing design decisions. The idea is to streamline the process and raise the chances that buzz-making designs will actually find their way to market. Continue reading...

start your engines

Toyota Coming Up on the Outside

Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2011 06:30 PM

Don’t look now, big Automaker, but Toyota is recovering traction in the US much faster than anticipated even a few weeks ago. And once it’s got something resembling normal vehicle inventory levels back in place, expect the once-unassailable Toyota brand to attempt to come back like it’s got something to prove — and market share to re-gain.

Toyota executives are determined to return production to normal levels at their North American operations much more quickly than they had feared and announced. This month, output of eight core North America-built models (the Toyota Avalon, Camry Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, Sequoia, Sienna and Venza) will return to normal, while Toyota just announced that production of a handful of others would normalize by September.Continue reading...

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