Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2013 03:24 PM
Putting a few bad years behind it, Toyota is now pivoting to create a more formidable global company to battle General Motors and Volkswagen for the pinnacle of the worldwide automotive industry over the next several years.
Chief Akio Toyoda has overhauled his top management for the second straight year, strengthening his control over the company founded by his great-grandfather. The most significant hallmark of this wave of change is that Toyoda has greatly fortified the influence that Americans will have on the company and its brands, including recruitment of a former General Motors executive to the Toyota board and the promotion of some U.S.-based Toyota veterans to greater responsibilities for the whole company.
The changes will ensure that Toyota's accelerating tilt toward the U.S. market—particularly in light of the challenges in its home market and Europe—will continue. Already the company has indicated that it plans greater investment in U.S. production for the North American vehicle market and beyond.
Posted by Dale Buss on April 13, 2012 04:05 PM
It's tough going these days for electrified vehicles -- despite rising gas prices. The Chevrolet Volt has had its unique struggles; Nissan Leaf is being "re-contented" to boost the appeal of aspects of the car other than electrification; and a new study by R.L. Polk says that hybrid buyers simply aren't warming up to the technology: hybrid repurchase rates now are flat with three years ago.
But piercing the gloom around hybrids and EVs is one nameplate and one brand: Prius.
Toyota stole a march on hybridization over a decade ago with the original Prius, and finally last year began extending the brand family with vehicles larger (Prius v) and smaller (Prius c) than the original. Those moves -- plus the restoration of "normal" Prius production nowadays compared with the supply constraints of last year -- have greatly enhanced Prius's reign as king of American hybrids. Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on January 13, 2010 10:46 AM
Toyota plans to expand the Prius into a full line of hybrid vehicles. The announcement came on Monday at Detroit's North American International Auto Show as the car company revealed its latest FT-CH hybrid model.
Bill Reinert, Toyota's national manager for advanced technology, explained that the Prius brand extension will not be completed immediately. In fact, the project could take years to finish. Eco-conscious consumers, however, will certainly applaud the brand extension as the green movement further integrates its values into the auto industry. Though hybrids account for a small amount of total cars sold in the United States, the Prius is Toyota's third most popular model and comprises more than half of the amount of hybrid vehicles purchased. Said Reinert:
"I think hybrids will gradually move toward mainstream acceptance...We've been doing them for 10 years now and they're one to two percent, so maybe another 10 years."Continue reading...