Fri, 30 Aug 2013 16:31:00 EST
With uncertainty in the US and Chinese markets, automakers are scrambling to rev up their efforts in what were traditionally secondary markets. Take Toyota's efforts in Latin America. A recent story from The Wall Street Journal highlights the Japanese brand's push in the southern hemisphere, particularly in Brazil, where it has expanded its operations and installed new executives with a greater range of powers, all in a bid to grab a bigger slice of the ever-growing South American pie.
Wed, 20 Nov 2013 11:02:00 EST
South America is dominated by General Motors, Fiat and Volkswagen, which maintain a combined 60 percent of the market share - Toyota holds a mere 4.5 percent. The WSJ spoke with Steve St. Angelo, Toyota's boss in Latin America, who said, "We are playing catch up, but we're catching up fast. We now have the resources to give the region the attention it really needs and deserves."
That attention includes an all-new, locally produced small car called the Etios. As bewildering as it seems, Toyota wasn't competing in the low-cost economy car market in South America. With the Etios, which arrived in September of 2012, its sales in the first seven months of 2013 are up 75 percent.
As far as beasts of burden go, New York City's new - and much maligned - Nissan NV200 "Taxi of Tomorrow" isn't a bad one. It's space efficient, reasonably economical, and its simple construction should mean it's pretty robust over the long haul, too. But it lacks panache and a sense of occasion - let alone a sense of humor - three things this this Toyota JPN Taxi Concept we found at the Tokyo Motor Show has in spades.
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 16:16:00 EST
Unfortunately, that's about all the information we have on this cheeky London-taxi-inspired showcar. Toyota hasn't provided much in the way of details, other than to proclaim that the five-seat JPN was "created with Japanese hospitality in mind" and it "aims to enliven city streets." Japan's livery landscape has long been occupied by traditional three-box sedans - models like the Toyota Crown and Nissan Cedric. The JPN Taxi at just over 171 inches would appear to offer both a tighter footprint and added whimsy, both of which are in the automaker's favor; we hear it hopes this concept will one day become the country's own version of America's yellow Crown Vic cab.
Toyota isn't providing powertrain specifications, but we like the airy feeling of the interior (Japanese cabs typically don't have cumbersome partitions between cabbie and passengers), the minimalist driver area with three screens, and the widescreen overhead video system for passengers that bookends the panoramic moonroof. Check it out in our gallery of live shots and let us know what you think in Comments.
As basic transportation goes, there's not a lot to complain about with the Toyota Yaris. The five-door hatch (not to mention its JDM cousin, the Vitz) are due for upgrades, though, having toddled along in its current form since the 2011 model year. Now, we have what looks to be leaked images of the new Yaris, straight from a Japanese brochure.
The next-gen Yaris was previewed in Frankfurt by the Yaris Hybrid-R Concept. Surprisingly, both the standard version and the RS (shown above) share a strong resemblance with the Frankfurt concept. That gaping lower intake remains, while a pointy, sharp front end shares a resemblance with the new Aygo city car (though the Yaris won't have a giant X on its face like its smaller cousin). The lower intake is flanked by a pair of what we're guessing are non-functional grilles, which house the fog lights. There are only a few small images of the rear of the car, which looks more like an evolution of the current five-door hatch.
The interior looks rather racy, with a small, thick-rimmed, leather-wrapped steering wheel and black cloth seats with red contrast stitching. There's a bright red button to the right of the steering wheel on this right-hand-drive JDM model, which could indicate the arrival of pushbutton start. Under hood of this Mazda-built Toyota should be a Mazda Skyactiv engine. That gives us hope that this latest Toyota compact will be imbued with some sense of driving fun.