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Mon, 01 Apr 2013 18:31:00 EST
Scion is simultaneously celebrating its ten-year anniversary with the 10 Series models and trying to figure out what to do with itself over the next ten years. Once a go-to consideration for young, first-time buyers who wanted something cool and different, in 2013 it has a model everyone is still talking about in the FR-S, a model few are still talking about in the iQ, and three models in between in the tC, xB and xD that make everyone wonder, "What happened?"
Sun, 09 Feb 2014 11:02:00 EST
Automotive News spoke to Toyota's North American CEO, Jim Lentz - he was the VP in charge of Scion when it launched - about the options, and Lentz said one of them could be a move upmarket to challenge the established luxury brands that are moving downmarket. "There's going to be a big need in the $25,000 range for a fun-to-drive, nice-looking, value-oriented product," he said, and the FR-S, which starts at $25,255, could provide the platform for Scion to climb up a notch or two in price and perception. An idea like this could conceivably work in tandem with a proposal to move entry-level Scion products over to the Toyota brand - but remember, this is all just ideas on a whiteboard at the moment.
As opposed to an "entry-luxury fighter," the brand could swing back to the other option that was considered when it was formed, directly challenging the Korean makes that have usurped its cachet with first-time buyers. Lentz said Scion could go either way, and the tone of the piece seems to indicate that the final direction is still a ways away from being resolved.
According to those all-too-nebulous "people familiar with the matter," Toyota is close to a settlement with the US federal government to end a criminal probe over its long-running unintended acceleration fiasco. Though Toyota has never admitted guilt, the deal could reportedly crest a billion dollars and would likely include a criminal deferred prosecution agreement, and while we're not legal experts, The Wall Street Journal explains that such a deal would "[force Toyota] to accept responsibility while avoiding the potentially crippling consequences of federal criminal convictions."
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:00:00 EST
The report from WSJ also suggests that Toyota is facing charges that it "made false or incomplete disclosures" to various government agencies regarding possible defects to its cars. Such charges may include mail and wire fraud violations. Toyota has already paid out fines totaling $66.2 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because it failed to report safety defects in a timely manner.
This deal with the federal government is not related to the billion-dollar class-action settlement reached with Toyota owners over falling vehicle values, and it's also different from the roughly 400 lawsuits still in courts alleging personal injury of wrongful death due to cases of unintended acceleration. In other words, don't expect to hear the end of such courtroom verdicts and settlements anytime soon...
It's a common refrain among auto enthusiasts to bemoan the current models being sold for being overly complex and expensive and to wish that automakers would just make vehicles like the old days. Sure, they might not have been as safe or efficient, but there was often a certain rugged simplicity that's gone today. Well, Toyota is actually doing it and thinks there's enough demand to put the Land Cruiser 70 back into production in Japan for its 30th anniversary. Sadly, it's only for one year.
The original Land Cruiser 70 served a long life in Japan from 1984 to 2004. Even today, the proven model remains in production in some regions abroad. People in its home country still love the vehicle though, and Toyota is brushing off the mothballs to give customers what they want. For the first time ever there, it's also offering the double-cab pickup version in addition to the traditional enclosed body. The company thinks that it can move about 200 of these classic trucks this year, which isn't too shabby for a vehicle that's three decades old.
Looking at the pictures above, these look like the same old Land Cruisers, but Toyota is updating them slightly to meet modern safety rules. The grille, hood and headlights are all tweaked, and they now come with airbags and anti-lock brakes. A 4.0-liter V6 is under the hood making 228 horsepower (170 kilowatts) and 266 lb-ft of torque (360 Newton-meters), and the only available gearbox is a five-speed manual. Part-time four-wheel drive is standard. If you're really afraid of getting stuck in the wilderness, locking front and rear differentials and a winch are available as options.