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Auto blogWed, 13 Mar 2013 19:58:00 EST
According to the Toyota UK blog, engineers for the automaker were so excited developing the GT86 coupe that they investigated producing a whole family of models based on the rear-wheel drive sports car. And at least one engineer - product chief Tetsuya Tada - still hopes it can happen, even if not everyone at Toyota is onboard. Tada: "Actually we tried to do this secretly but the executives found us out. They said: 'What are you doing? Will you please focus on the coupe.'"
Those mooted variants included both a four-door sedan and a shooting brake. Why? Aside from the pure excellence of a lightweight, brilliantly handling hatchback, Toyota was keenly aware of the fact that it may need to spread the cost of development out across several models. Tada says that's part of the reason why it was so easy to create the convertible. The company knew from the outset that a softtop version was in the cards, and built the machine's structure to accommodate having the roof sliced off.
Tada also made mention of the already-announced collaboration between Toyota and BMW. The engineer said that the GT86 was particularly helpful because it demonstrated just how successful a product conceived and designed by two different companies can be. While he didn't say exactly what Toyota and BMW are up to, it's clear the two are looking into a number of possibilities. It's an interesting read with a lot of
MIT Technology Review, a magazine all about innovation, has announced its list of the 50 most disruptive companies in 2013, and both Audi and Toyota made the cut. While the term "most disruptive" may carry a negative connotation in most uses (especially in the classroom), the acknowledgement in this case is an accolade, signifying that the company is at the forefront of its industry. In a nutshell, a disruptive company is a business whose innovations force other businesses to alter their strategic direction.
Audi made the list for "pushing autonomous cars closer to fruition with a laser-scanning road detector that fits in a vehicle's front grille," and Toyota for "expanding its dominance of the hybrid-car market with its new plug-in version of the Prius." Click on the image above to be taken to the original graphic at MIT Technology Review, where clickable colored squares reveal information about each of the 50 winners, compiled from a variety of industries.
It's official, Toyota is relocating its US operations to Plano, TX. And it won't be a symbolic 'all ranch and no cattle' gesture - the Japanese automaker, whose headquarters have been in California since 1957, has decided to base nearly all of its operations in the Lone Star State, including much of its engineering, finance and sales and marketing teams.
The move, which will see the establishment of a new headquarters campus in the Dallas suburb will not only affect employees at the company's current Torrance, CA Toyota Motor Sales USA campus, it will also touch the lives of thousands of employees at the company's other operations, including 1,000 workers at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America in Erlanger, KY and some New York-based staff as well. The Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, MI is not facing relocation, however, and it actually stands to gain responsibilities as Toyota overhauls its US org chart. Toyota says that its reorganization will affect about 4,000 employees in total.
According to Automotive News, while Toyota is adopting an "'everyone is invited' stance for the relocation," some attrition is expected from employees who aren't interested in relocating southward from the Golden State. For its part, the automaker is reportedly making expenses-paid visits to Plano available to full-time staffers and spouses to help them make the relocation decision, as well as a lump-sump payment if they decide to go through with the move.