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Posts Tagged ‘Toyota RAV4’

Is Toyota Next to Pare Back its Passenger Car Line?

US CEO “taking a hard look” at model mix in the era of the SUV.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.06, 2018

No longer #1; the Camry is just one of the Toyota passenger car models losing momentum.

With the exception of the Mustang, Ford is winding down production of passenger cars. Fiat Chrysler has eliminated almost all of its sedans and coupes, as well. In an era when SUVs have come to rule the roads, could Toyota be far behind?

While we’re not likely to see the Camry or Corolla nameplates vanish anytime soon, the Japanese giant is also rethinking its model mix and could toss some of its sedans, coupes and hatchbacks as it puts more of an emphasis on sport and crossover-utility vehicles, according to the head of its North American operations.

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“We are taking a hard look at all the segments we compete in, to make sure we are competing in profitable segments and that products that we sell have strategic value to the brand,” Jim Lentz told the Wall Street Journal.

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Toyota Earnings Jump, Despite Rising U.S. Incentives

Record R&D spending could hurt operating profit.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on May.09, 2018

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is not only pushing for automotive sales growth, but leading the company into the emerging mobility sector.

Toyota saw earnings jump 21% between January and March, the final quarter of its fiscal year, despite having to sharply ramp up incentives in a slowing U.S. automotive market.

The automaker reported a profit of 480.8 billion yen, or $4.4 billion, up from 398 billion yen the year before. Toyota’s sales also rose 2% to 7.58 trillion yen, or $69 billion. For the full fiscal year, it earned 2.49 trillion yen, or $23 billion, a 36% increase, with sales rising 6%, to 29.38 trillion yen, or $268 billion.

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The strong performance helped highlight the cost-cutting efforts initiated by CEO and President Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota’s founder declaring, “We’ve become a leaner, trimmer company … and in the past year we’ve developed our remaining fat into muscle, so that we’re in a strong position to be more competitive.”

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Toyota Set to Reveal New RAV4 at NY Auto Show

Critical debut for what’s now Toyota’s best-seller.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.13, 2018

Toyota hasn't done much to the RAV4 since 2013, nevertheless, it has overtaken the Camry as the brand's best-seller.

Last year saw some momentous changes in the U.S. automotive market, perhaps most notably the surge in demand for SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks. And nowhere was that more apparent than at Toyota where the compact RAV4 toppled the brand’s long-time sales leader, the Camry sedan.

So, Toyota will have a lot riding on what it plans to introduce at the New York International Auto Show later this month, the first complete makeover of the RAV4 since the 2013 model-year. The Japanese giant is counting on the crossover to help it gain even more momentum at a time when there seems to be no end in sight to the light-truck boom.

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Toyota isn’t saying much about the fifth-generation, 2019 crossover, other than to note it will make its debut at New York’s Javits convention center on the morning of March 28, but some details can be gleaned from a teaser image and inside sources.

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Buh-Bye Camry; Pickups, SUVs Now Own Top Sales Spots

Toyota's mainstay sedan didn't even crack the Top 5.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.05, 2018

Despite giving the Camry a stylish makeover the sedan continued to lose momentum last year.

If anyone still questions the way light trucks have come to dominate the U.S. automotive market you only need look at the 2017 sales charts to see how passenger cars are on virtual life support these days.

Perhaps the most significant development finds that the Toyota RAV4 last year outsold the Camry for the first time ever. And so did the Nissan Rogue.

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The overall numbers for 2017 weren’t good, the U.S. market posting its first decline since the end of the Great Recession. And demand likely would have dipped more than the modest 5% if it weren’t for the strong, late-year surge as motorists in Florida and Texas raced to replace vehicles destroyed during the summer’s devastating hurricanes.

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Toyota Earnings Soar as Yen Sinks

Japanese giant raises full-year forecast despite weaker U.S. demand.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.07, 2017

Sales of the RAV4, including the new hybrid shown here, have picked up while sedan demand tumbles.

A weak Japanese yen translated into strong earnings for Toyota Motor Corp. during the July-September quarter and has the automaker forecasting improved earnings for the current fiscal year despite sliding sales in North America, its key market.

For the second quarter in Toyota’s fiscal year, earnings rose to 481.21 billion yen, or $4.2 billion, compared with 410.77 billion yen a year earlier. Toyota is now forecasting it will earn 1.95 trillion yen during the fiscal year ending next March 31, or $17 billion at the current exchange rate. It delivered earnings of 1.75 trillion yen, or $15 billion last year.

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Separately, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. delivered an unexpectedly solid profit, reversing the losses its suffered in the wake of revelations that it had cheated on vehicle mileage tests. The resulting scandal led to the small Japanese maker’s takeover by Nissan Motor Co. last year.

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Auto Market Likely to Maintain Near-Record Momentum

But shift to utes could accelerate, forecasts Toyota autos chief.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.02, 2016

The Toyota RAV4 may soon be Toyota's best-seller.

After several tenuous months, U.S. new car sales slipped back on their record track in November, and while it’s likely the industry has hit the peak of the current economic cycle, demand is likely to remain strong for several more years, forecast the U.S. head of automotive operations for Toyota.

What consumers will be buying is another matter, according to Senior Vice President Bob Carter, who stressed that the shift from conventional passenger cars to utility vehicles and other light trucks “is going to continue to accelerate in the future.”

Barring a sudden slowdown of the American market, sales should just nip past last year’s all-time record of around 17.5 million, said Carter, during a meeting with journalists in Detroit. “By anyone’s estimation,” he said, “that’s fantastic.”

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First Drive: 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

New addition rounds out compact ute line-up.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.18, 2015

Toyota continues to grow its hybrid line-up with the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid. The new sport-ute arrives at dealers early next year.

Over the years, Toyota has invested an enormous amount of resources in developing its diverse line-up of hybrid vehicles, which continues to expand in new directions.

One of the newest additions to the hybrid line-up is the 2016 RAV4 hybrid, which Toyota expects will be able to be the most fuel-efficient compact sport-utility vehicle in the hyper-competitive segment, which has drawn a flock of technically sophisticated competitors, such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue in the past couple of years.

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The RAV4 is already a formidable competitor in the growing segment. (more…)

Toyota Pulling Plug on RAV4-EV

Maker shifting focus from battery-electric to hydrogen power.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on May.16, 2014

Toyota only planned to sell 2,500 RAV4-EVs.

Toyota is pulling the plug on the RAV4-EV, the battery-electric version of the soft-roader it introduced two years ago with the help of electric vehicle start-up Tesla Motors.

This year’s phase-out of the RAV4-EV comes as the Japanese giant gets ready to launch its new hydrogen-powered FCV, which made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show last autumn. While it has been the most successful manufacturer of conventional hybrids, Toyota has repeatedly expressed its concerns about pure battery-electric vehicles relying on advanced lithium-ion batteries.

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The move also comes as Tesla gets ready to launch its own, first battery-electric SUV, the Model X due to market something in 2015.

“Our contract called for Tesla to supply approximately 2500 battery-electric powertrains for the RAV4 EV.  We anticipate that volume will be achieved this year,” noted John Hanson, Toyota’s national manager of advanced technology communications.

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Toyota Designs RAV4 to Help Triathletes Shower Anywhere

Maker creates vehicle to help athletes perform at top levels.

by Michael Strong on Nov.04, 2013

Toyota is taking the LifeTime Fitness RAV4 to SEMA where it can show off the in-vehicle shower.

After spending hours pushing themselves to their physical limits, Toyota knew that the first thing professional triathletes would want to do is hop in their RAV4 and…take a shower.

Toyota-sponsored triathletes Sarah Haskins, Andy Potts, and Hunter Kemper designed a RAV4 with all of the “options” they felt would help them perform optimally during their events.

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The LifeTime Fitness RAV4 is one of the vehicles going on display Monday at the big SEMA aftermarket car products trade show in Las Vegas. The SUV was created by the Motorsports Technical Center in Torrance, Calif., with input from Haskins, Potts and Kemper. (more…)

Speeders Pay – at the Pump, Anyway

Magazine says driving 75 mph instead of 55 costs $30 more.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jul.11, 2013

Consumer Reports found that driving 75 mph compared with 55 mph costs drivers an extra $30 on a 1,000-mile trip.

So you dodged the speed traps and cut an hour off your drive from New York to Boston, but you’re still going to pay for that lead foot.

The faster you go the worse your fuel economy, studies have routinely demonstrated, but just how much may come as a surprise. A new study by Consumer Reports magazine suggests that the penalty of driving 75 rather than 55 can add up to as much as 14 miles per gallon – which can add up to an extra $30 in fuel costs over a 1,000 mile trip.

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In fact, on long drives, the increased fuel consumption may have an unintended consequence. By burning more fuel you’re likely to stop more often to fill up, the magazine notes, and that means you may lose much of the extra time you hoped to save by speeding in the first place.

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