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Auto blogFri, 15 Nov 2013 10:15:00 EST
Subaru may be set to end production of the Toyota Camry at its Lafayette, IN facility by 2017, according to a report from the Louisville Journal-Courier and a CBS affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina. Speaking to the plant's Executive Vice President Tom Easterday, the whole affair sounds like a done deal.
"Based on changes in Toyota's production plans, they have decided that the award-winning Camry production contract will not be renewed," Easterday said. Easterday was quick to emphasize that just because Camry production would end, doesn't mean jobs will be lost. "There will be no loss of jobs at SIA as a result of this," he said, before adding that the loss of Camry production will have no impact Subaru's $400 million investment to ready the plant for Impreza production in 2016. That said, adding a promised 900 jobs may take longer than originally planned, as Camry production staff are set to be retrained on Subaru production.
SIA currently has the capacity to produce 100,000 Camrys per year, and began production of the family sedan in 2007 alongside production of the Subaru Outback, Legacy and eventually, the soon-to-be-discontinued Tribeca.
It's easy to poke a joke here and there about John Davis, the long-time host of MotorWeek. His voice is so monotonous that, from time to time, if you closed your eyes, you may think it's generated via a computer. But you have to give him and the rest of the show a lot of credit. The program has been on the air for decades, giving people direct, straight-down-the middle automotive reviews.
MotorWeek's massive back catalog of reviews are slowly making their way onto YouTube, and they provide a fascinating chance to look back on how performance cars rank against their contemporaries from back in the day. Two recent additions include the show's old looks at the 1986 Toyota Supra, the dawn of the third-generation model, and the now-iconic 1991 Acura NSX.
Both reviews are interesting in their own way. These days you hear nary a negative word about the original NSX, but MotorWeek isn't afraid to point out a few flaws. And the Supra really shows the progress of suspension tuning in the intervening decades because it has some serious body roll in the corners. Scroll down to check out both videos and get a blast from the automotive past.
Volkswagen Group believes it can sell over 10 million vehicles in 2014, with hopes of overtaking Toyota as the world's largest automaker in the process. If VW can do it, it would meet that goal four years earlier than planned. Of course, Toyota isn't sitting still - it also hopes to top the 10 million-car threshold this year and has the advantage of already holding the top spot.
"With rising volume and new models, we will increasingly see positive earnings effects as well," said VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn during its annual press conference, according to Automotive News. The company is spending huge amounts of money to propel it to the top, investing 84.2 billion euros ($117 billion) through 2018, and according to AN it plans to introduce over 100 new models worldwide among all of its brands by the end of next year.
The German automaker may get an extra boost as the European car industry shows signs of emerging from its yearlong stagnation and China continues to grow. In January, VW Group was up 8.5 percent in Europe and 15.5 percent in China, according to its own figures. However, the US has been slowing with Volkswagen brand sales down 19.04 percent in January and down 13.81 percent in February.