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Auto blogFri, 14 Mar 2014 11:29:00 EST
Toyota is on track for record profits, and in return, its Japanese workers are receiving their first increase in base wages since 2008, plus higher pay based on seniority and a larger bonus for 2014. The Japanese automaker predicts the average laborer will net a 2.9 percent income gain.
The average Toyota employee will earn 2,700 yen ($26.28) more each month, a 0.8 percent increase from last year. Workers will also receive about 7,300 yen ($71.09) more monthly based on seniority and promotions. Finally, the company's union pushed through a median bonus of 2.44 million yen ($23,768) for 2014, the highest in 6 years.
The pay boost comes as Toyota forecasts a record 1.9-trillion yen ($18.5 billion) profit for the fiscal year ending on March 31, according to Bloomberg. It has been helped by the Japanese government's efforts to weaken the yen on international markets and expand inflation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been asking businesses to increase compensation to end years of deflation and offset upcoming higher sales taxes. Honda and Nissan have also raised their wages there in recent months.
Happy April, everyone. And we all know what this first day of the month means: April Fools' Day. Today is a national holiday for pranksters with the Internet acting as a serious enabler, and it's always fun to see what kind of vivid imaginations exist out there in the automotive world. The abundance of fake news gets a little old as the day rolls on, but we did manage to get in a few chuckles thanks to a handful of major automakers and automotive news outlets that got into the pranking spirit this year
Some of our favorites this year includes Subaru showing what happens when you combine a bunch of rumors, a Corvette some may have already thought was a joke or Honda providing some in-car innovation circa the late 1980s. Honestly, we're still waiting for official confirmation from Mitsubishi that the recently introduced 2014 Mirage is an elaborate April Fools' joke using a failed design intended for the 1995 Geo Metro. We dug up as much "official" OEM foolishness we could find, as well as some of our other favorites, and posted them all below.
Honda doesn't have any exciting new mechanical or aesthetic changes for the 2015 Pilot eight-passenger crossover, but it is adding a new trim level to give families a compromise between the EX and EX-L models.
The new Special Edition trim is available on either the front-wheel or all-wheel drive versions of the Pilot, and it adds Pewter Gray aluminum wheels, a power moonroof, a rear seat entertainment DVD system and Sirius XM radio. Prices come to $33,950 for the two-wheel drive version, after the $830 destination charge, or $35,550 for all-wheel drive after destination.
Prices for the rest of the trims are up $200 over last year, and they all still come standard with remote entry, a rearview camera and Class III trailer hitch. Power is still provided by a 3.5-liter V6 with 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque with a five-speed automatic. Fuel economy is unchanged as expected with front-wheel drive models rated at 18 miles per gallon city, 25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined, and four-wheel drive models make 1 mpg less at 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. Scroll down to read the official release.