2001 Toyota Highlander Base Sport Utility 4-door 3.0l on 2040-cars
Pocola, Oklahoma, United States
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Auto blogFri, 24 May 2013
Judging by the destruction the Oklahoma City area experienced earlier this week, residents are going to need a lot of help in coming months. Fortunately, a number of automakers - including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Honda and Toyota - have stepped up to donate money, supplies and vehicles to aid in the recovery and rebuilding processes.
Here's a quick rundown of which automakers have pitched in and what each contributed so far:
Ford Motor Company has donating $250,000 and a Transit Connect to the American Red Cross, and it will match all other donations made to the Red Cross (up to $250,000) using a special URL tied to the latter's website (link here). Additionally, its local Oklahoma dealers have thrown in an extra $150,000 for the United Way and the automaker will be offering an extra $500 toward the purchase of a new Ford vehicle.
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and apparently that includes the Toyota's effect on the economy. The giant Japanese automaker's new headquarters in Plano, TX, will add an estimated $7.2 billion to the state over the next 10 years, according to a new study commissioned by the city and cited by Bloomberg.
The benefits appear to be an absolute steal compared to the direct incentives that Plano and the state are giving Toyota. The report finds that by the time the automaker's campus is complete in 2018, it could have 3,650 full-time workers there at an average salary of $104,000. The city has prepared $6.75 million in grants, plus property tax discounts, according to Bloomberg. In addition to that, the state is offering the business $40 million in incentives from its Texas Enterprise Fund. This is still a fraction of what Toyota is estimated to bring in.
Toyota announced in April that it would move its US operations to Plano after being headquartered in California since 1957. The move affects thousands of employees from the sales and engineering divisions. The first workers will arrive there this fall, but Toyota will eventually have a whole campus in Plano by late 2017. The move is expected to save it huge amounts in taxation and offer employees a lower cost of living. Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz also says that the Texas location puts the headquarters closer to more of the business' factories in the south. Texas certainly appears to be showing it some southern hospitality.
It's been two decades since Toyota dominated the World Rally Championship with its Celica Turbo 4WD. But this past weekend, Toyota hit the rally stage in a very different vehicle.
That, as you can see, is the Japanese automaker's Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV), which is still in its prototype phase. We're still at least half a year away from seeing the FCV in production trim, but the model has already been pressed into duty as the "zero car" at the Shinshiro Rally, the last round of the Japanese Rally Championship.
The zero car, for those unfamiliar, is to rally what a pace or safety car is to circuit racing, driving the rally stage to check for signs of trouble before the competitors put their feet to the floor, so it's not as if the FCV needed extensive modifications. From the looks of things, it just needed some jazzy stripes, mud flaps, probably different rolling stock and an interior with racing buckets and harnesses, roll cage, radio equipment and maybe a bit more ground clearance.