Posted by Dale Buss on September 24, 2012 02:17 PM
When it comes to hybrids, Toyota is saying: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if it's a winning formula, don't alter it — double down.
That's why Toyota Motor Corp. on Monday announced (in a press conference and release titled: "TMC Announces Status of Its Environmental Technology Development, Future Plans") a drastic scaling back, close to an abandonment, of its all-electric vehicles — the iQ and eQ EV models — in favor of a dramatic ramping up of its plans for developing and producing new hybrids.
"Toyota’s engineers have been involved in Electric Vehicle (EV) research and development for over 40 years, since 1971," Toyota's press site notes. "Developed in parallel with the company’s pioneering full Hybrid (HV), Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and Fuel Cell (FCV) vehicles, the EV represents Toyota’s long-term vision for short range sustainable mobility."
It turns out that long-term vision was more short-term than anticipated when it comes to EVs.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 10, 2012 04:02 PM
Toyota is going down the electric-vehicle trail once again, but it's not getting too charged up about it.
The automaker revealed an EV version of its popular RAV4 SUV this week at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. But unlike rivals Nissan and Chevrolet, who have backed their EVs with major marketing splurges and ambitions of quickly reaching 10,000 sales a year, Toyota is deliberately reining in both output and sales expectations for the RAV4 EV, which is expected to be available in the third quarter.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 10, 2012 03:13 PM
Toyota and Honda must be concerned about the here and now after their abysmal 2011s. They're still attempting to get back to par with their global venicle inventories and have been gearing up new products they're hoping will begin attracting Americans back to their brands this year.
But at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, their necessary preoccupation with sales numbers for this month and next month didn't prevent Toyota and Honda executives from turning toward the mid- and long-term future as well.
For Toyota, that meant, among other things, a heavy reckoning with its trailblazing investments in hybrid automobiles and a rather candid assessment of American consumers' continued ambivalence about electrified automobiles. The brand showed off its new Prius c — the "c" in the name is for city — a small entry in its growing "family" of Prius hybrids, and bowed its NS4 concept plug-in hybrid that should see the market around 2015.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 21, 2010 11:08 AM
Now that the worst seems to be past Toyota in its epic struggle with safety recalls and regulators and damage to its brand, company marketers are facing a major strategic inflection point: Can we move on? Or do we keep fighting yesterday’s battle?
You could argue that Toyota’s top branding priority now should be reminding Americans why they adored the company and its products for decades – and still do, for the most part. Emphasize great models like its RAV4 crossover and trailblazing Prius hybrid, and the rich incentive deals Toyota has on the table right now.
After all, Toyota agreed earlier this week to pay a $16.4-million fine to the U.S. government over the sudden-acceleration problem in order to resolve the situation. It's eager to move on, except for one thing: it can’t move past its problems.Continue reading...