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Posts Tagged ‘toyota suv’

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.

Beyond the Headlines!

“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 Soar on Global Sales Surge

Automaker lifts full-year forecast.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.06, 2018

Strong demand for Lexus, especially in the Chinese market, helped Toyota deliver strong earnings.

Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 28% increase in its net profit for the July-September quarter, earnings buoyed by strong demand in key global markets, including the Americas, Asia and Europe.

The Japanese giant also advised that it expects to see earnings push past earlier forecasts for the full year, in part driven by unexpectedly strong demand in China. Sales of the Lexus brand, have been booming there, despite a slowdown in the overall Chinese market.

Business News!

Sales gains were only one of the factors that propped up Toyota’s bottom line, said Senior Managing Masayoshi Shirayanagi. Referring to aggressive cost-cutting efforts, he said, “We are steadily making progress toward achieving our challenge-level target.”

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RAV4 Remake Could Be Toyota’s Biggest Intro in Years

SUV now outsells sedan mainstay Camry.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.28, 2018

The new 2019 Toyota RAV4 gets an exterior makeover that injects passion into the design.

You don’t mess with success, goes the old adage. But there’s an alternative way of looking at things: no risk is the biggest risk of all. Or, so goes the long-time mantra at Toyota.

Which is right? We’ll likely learn in the months ahead as buyers get a look at the all-new Toyota RAV4 that’s making its debut this week at the New York International Auto Show. These days, few vehicles are more important to the Japanese giant, booming sales of SUVs propelling the RAV4 at an explosive pace. Last year, it surged past the Camry to become Toyota’s best-selling model and it was fourth overall in the U.S. market, behind only three full-size domestic pickups.

Pushing the Envelope!

At a time when the overall U.S. market has been sliding, demand for the original “cute ute” rose 15% last year, topping 400,000, an almost unseen number anymore. So, any mistakes with the new model and you can just imagine the impact on the bottom line – and careers. (more…)

Toyota Teases “Future Adventure Concept” Coming to LA Auto Show

New Toyota FT-AC follows up on recent FT-4X concept and signals replacement for FJ Cruiser.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.16, 2017

The teaser pic suggests a more classic SUV design for the Toyota FT-AC concept.

Toyota and its high-line Lexus brand will be putting the spotlight on SUVs at the upcoming LA Auto Show – to no one’s surprise considering utes now account for half of the overall American new vehicle market.

Lexus has already given us a hint of its new RXL, a three-row version of the ever-popular RX line, and now it’s Toyota’s turn to tease us, the Japanese giant releasing this carefully lit front view of what it has dubbed the FT-AC.

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Auto Show News!

Short for “Future Toyota Adventure Concept,” it picks up where Toyota left off last April with the FT-4X concept, and the retro-styled FT-AC appears to signal what may be heading our way to fill the slot left open by the demise of the old FJ Cruiser.

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Toyota Earnings Tumble on Weak Yen

“No immediate plan” to shift production from Japan to U.S.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.06, 2017

Strong demand for light trucks like the RAV4 propped up Toyota's sales in the U.S.

A strong yen translated into weaker earnings for Toyota Motor Corp. during the fiscal third quarter, with the impact likely to continue in the months to come, the company anticipating a 26% decline in its net profit for the year ending March 31.

Separately, Toyota officials told reporters that despite comments by CEO Akio Toyoda last month that the automaker will add more jobs in the U.S., there are “no immediate plans” to curb production at Toyota’s factories in Japan which produce about 3 million vehicles annually, many of them bound for America.

Breaking News!

Toyota’s earnings could have slipped even further had it not engaged in aggressive cost-cutting, Managing Officer Tetsuya Otake told reporters during a conference call. Nonetheless, the problem will continue, he said, noting, “We’ve revised our full-year yen forecast to 107 yen to the U.S. dollar from 103 yen, which is the biggest contributing factor to our profit forecast revision.”

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Toyota Tumbles; Operating Profits Plunge 43%

Weakness in North America, currency shifts hammer Japanese giant.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.08, 2016

The new C-HR could be a critical addition for Toyota.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s operating profit earnings took a 43% plunge during the July to September quarter, the world’s largest automaker struggling in the face of numerous headwinds. Net income, meanwhile, slid 36% for the quarter.

The growing strength of the yen was one problem for the Japanese giant. But the automaker also faced challenges in North America where the overall automotive market is slipping after the strongest recovery in history. Complicating matters, Toyota has been overly dependent on lower-profit passenger cars, such as the Camry and Corolla, as higher-margin trucks have been gaining momentum.

Earnings News!

“Supply has not kept up with demand” for more profitable models like the Toyota RAV4 and Highlander utility vehicles, acknowledged Executive Vice President Takahiko Ijichi, something that has led Toyota to trim its outlook for North America for the rest of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.

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Now Badged Toyota, C-HR Crossover to Make Debut at LA Auto Show

Compact model to challenge the likes of Honda HR-V, Nissan Juke.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.03, 2016

The little C-HR will be back in LA wearing a different badge than it bore at the 2015 show.

We got a first look at the little C-HR concept vehicle at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and it has bounced back and forth across the Atlantic a number of times. But the production version is finally set to make its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show two weeks from today.

Expect to see a few key changes from the original show car. Some of the radical angles and edges are likely to be softened a bit. And it’s not clear whether there will be a hybrid drivetrain available, unlike the original concept which was said to share the familiar Prius Hybrid Synergy Drive.

Auto Show News!

But the most significant change – at least for the U.S. market, might take a sharp eye to spot. When the C-HR concept landed at the 2015 L.A. Auto Show, it was wearing a Scion badge. With that youth-oriented brand now tossed onto the automotive scrapheap, the little crossover now will be wearing the Toyota logo all over the world.

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Toyota Hopes for Big Sales Jump on New Highlander

Improved ride, new styling expected to lure buyers from other brands.

by Joseph Szczesny on Dec.18, 2013

Toyota expects sales of the 2014 Highlander to increase 10% compared with the previous year.

With 2014 shaping up to be another promising year for new vehicle sales, Toyota expects sales of the new Highlander utility vehicle to grow by as much as 10% next year as it rolls out the revamped 2014 version of its mid-sized utility vehicle.

Jim Colon, Toyota Motor Sales vice president for product communication, said sales of the Highlander should top 140,000 units despite rugged competition from the Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee. “Mid-SUVs is a very competitive segment, added Colon. But it’s a key segment, accounting for almost 10% of all vehicle sales in the U.S.

Product News!

The segment is growing because the mid-sized SUV with three rows of seating has become the vehicle of choice for active families, Colon said. The Highlander has had a strong position in the mid-sized segment ever since the first generation Highlander appeared in 2001. Toyota replaced the original Highlander in 2008 and Toyota started building the third generation Highlander at its big assembly plant in Princeton, Ind., earlier this month. (more…)

2014 Highlander Caps Toyota’s Product Offensive

New safety features and a more “sleek” design.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.27, 2013

Toyota's 2014 Highlander is the centerpiece of the maker's New York Auto Show stand.

Like an army on the march, Toyota is moving ahead with one of its largest product offensives ever, rolling into New York with the new iteration of the its most popular utility vehicle, the 2014 Highlander.

The new version of the midsize Highlander is designed to continue Toyota’s new focus on “passionate” design, something the maker admits has been a critical weakness that it hopes to address with all of its brands. The new look for the Toyota Highlander is mean to convey a sense of refinement and strength, which complements a new interior with seating for up to eight as well as an array of standard features.

Feed Your Need for News!

In line with the family buyers midsize crossover-utes like Highlander appeal to, the 2014 update will add a number of new safety features, including optional Blind Spot Monitor and Cross-Traffic Alert.

The 2014 Toyota Highlander will come with three powertrain choices: a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, a new 3.5-liter V-6 mated to an equally new six-speed automatic, and a V-6-powered Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain for enhanced mileage and lower emissions.

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