Strong Yen Makes Toyota Rethink Production in Japan

In a press conference by Toyota Motor Corp.’s president Akio Toyoda today, Toyoda announced that the strength of the Japanese yen may cause Toyota to shift production of compact cars to other countries. Toyota is not the first Japanese car company to come out against the yen. Nissan has also pleaded to the government to weaken the yen, or they would pull out of domestic production as well.

The yen has been incredibly strong against the U.S. dollar as of late, causing profit margins to erode for many of the domestic Japanese automotive manufacturers. Coupled with lagging demand in the U.S., and supply chain disruptions due to the earthquake, Japanese brands have had a difficult set of circumstances as they struggle for sales in a tough year.

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Experience the star power of Toyota’s ENTUNE Mobile Technology!

Toyota USA is reaching out to let people know about the launch of their new TV spot enlisting some of America’s favorite stars personifying capabilities of their new app-powered Entune™ multi-media technology, available in the all-new reinvented 2012 Toyota Camry. The “Crew” is comprised of Kelly Clarkson (new album, Stronger), James Lipton (Inside The Actors Studio), Chris Berman (ESPN) and Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods), each representing a capability of Entune.

Experience the star power of Entune and view behind the scenes footage with the stars talking about what they’d like to reinvent.

Entune is all about keeping you connected and integrating your lifestyle in the reinvented 2012 Camry, whether you’re a pop star, cinephile, sports fanatic or a foodie:

Music: Sing out loud and create custom streaming music channels with apps Pandora and IHeartRadio

Movies: Get ready for popcorn, plan your entertainment on the go through MovieTickets.com

Sports: Can’t watch the game? Get the latest sport scores with Bing.

Food: No reservations, no problem. Use OpenTable.com.

From the office to the man cave, it’s all about making your life easier so you can focus on what really matters. Now all you need to do is turn on the game.

  

Toyota FT86 Leaked

Normally, scans from an automaker’s internal parts catalog would not make headline news; unless they showed a hotly anticipated new car that is. Scans from Modellista, a Toyota parts magazine, seem to show the brand new Toyota FT-86. Like those of bigfoot, these grainy images show hope that the car is out there, and will not be bloated up and dumbed down for production. Toyota has not commented on the leak, but the production version of this car should be seen at the Tokyo International Auto Show next month.

Source: FT86club

  

Global Launch of All-New 2012 Toyota Camry

Join Toyota live via webcast as they introduce the completely redesigned 2012 Camry on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 beginning at 10:00 a.m. Pacific. This first-of-its-kind reveal for Toyota will include a presentation by Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manger, live from Hollywood, and a visit to the Camry plant in Georgetown, Ky. to view the first vehicle coming off the assembly line. In addition, a special NASCAR-related announcement will be made as part of the program.

With the Camry being “America’s Car,” Toyota is engaging the public in this unique event by offering consumers the opportunity to view the program live on Toyota.com and, following the webcast, Bob Carter will be hosting a TweetChat via Twitter at 1:00 p.m. PDT (4:00 p.m. EDT).

Toyota is inviting media and consumers alike to participate in the event via Twitter using the hashtag #CamryLive and to pose questions during the TweetChat with Bob Carter using the hashtag #CamryChat. Details are below.

WHO: Bob Carter, Toyota group vice president and general manger, Toyota Division

WHAT ELSE: Camry has been the best-selling car in America for nine years running and 13 of the last 14 years. Since it was introduced in 1983, more than 8.5 million have been sold in the U.S. and 15 million worldwide. Designed to meet the needs of the 21st century driver, the 2012 Camry will provide technologically advanced features, a contemporary design inside and out, improved performance and fuel efficiency, and refined ride and handling. The all-new Camry and Camry Hybrid will arrive at Toyota dealerships this fall.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT/1:00 p.m. EDT/12:00 p.m. CENTRAL

WHERE: To view the live webcast and download related Toyota materials following the broadcast, click here.

  

Scion IQ Priced

Scion, the “Youth Brand” of Toyota, has priced their newest car for the American market, the iQ. The Scion IQ is set to hit our shores with a price tag of $15,995. The iQ is Scion’s version of the Toyota iQ sold in foreign markets.

Personally, like the Smart car, I don’t really see the point of this car at all. People buy city cars for style and/or frugality. The iQ posses none of these traits.

First, the iQ looks like the design they threw away while making the Toyota Yaris, which is no looker itself. Short, squat, and wide, the iQ is the exact opposite of how to make a pretty car. In addition, it is a Scion. This may be a plus if you consume bucketfuls of energy drinks per day, and wear flat-brimmed baseball caps, but if you are an actual adult, the Scion badge is a detriment. The iQ’s Quasimodo looks especially come to light when sat alongside the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500, its European competition, who have won a case full of international design awards.

Secondly, it is not frugal in the slightest. At $15,995 it is nearly the most expensive in its segment outside the better equipped and better looking Ford Fiesta hatch (the Fiesta sedan is cheaper than the iQ). The Mazda2, Hyundai Accent, and Fiat 500 all undercut it in price and all offer either looks (Fiat), value (Hyundai with its 10 year warranty), or driving performance (Mazda). Not to mention all these cars are larger and will not be mistaken for windup toys when pulling up to someone’s house for a first date. The most glaring flaw is that across the sales floor, Toyota offers the Yaris for around 13K, which is also larger and at least boring to look at instead of outright atrocious.

Finally, you may think that it gets fantastic gas mileage because of its small size and light weight (around 2100 pounds). Wrong again. The iQ gets only 37mpg highway. All of the mentioned competition, except the Yaris, gets more miles out of a drop of gas. Plus, The Yaris only gives up one mpg on the highway to the iQ while also being larger.

At the end of the day, there is no point to the iQ. It is a three year old, warmed over Toyota with a Scion badge that is not cheap, not frugal, and not pretty. The urban commuters the iQ wants to attract are too focused on fashion and badge snobbery to even make a passing glance at a Scion. Fuel misers will go right for more efficient offerings, and people shopping on price won’t buy it either. In fact, Scion’s targeted youth clientele may not buy it either since nothing about a rebadged Toyota that looks like a melted ice cream scoop screams youthful exuberance. The iQ is just another sign that the Scion brand is floundering for life. The car enthusiast’s only hope for the Scion brand is the upcoming FT-86.

  

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