Toyota has unveiled new generation Yaris. While the previous Yaris was loved because of its spacious interior, the new generation Yaris would be much loved because of its sleek design and comfort. The upgraded Yaris receives new front and rear bumpers and a new mesh grille, designed to give it a more aggressive appearance, as well as redesigned headlights and new 15in and 16in alloy wheels.
In what seems to be a year going from bad to worse for the automobile industry, Toyota has asked for a recall as many as 6.5 million vehicles as a result of a power window switch issue. The company has already been through controversy recently with the airbags and this seems to be compounding its problems. According to Toyota, the problem here is that the power window master switch from the driver’s side had a chance of short circuiting and this would mean overheating in the car. The overheating had plenty of problems such as melting of parts as well as possibility of fire.
Models recalled by Toyota include the RAV4, Corolla, Camry and the Yaris which were produced between 2005 and 2010. The company though has made it clear that there are yet to be any reported incidents of the glitch causing any crashes or issues with the driving of the car. Numbers wise, the Japanese giant has called back about 2.7 million vehicles in North America, 1.2 million vehicles in Europe as well as 600,000 in Japan.
Presently, the company is globally the biggest carmaker and in India too have been doing fairly well. A refreshed edition of the Etios was launched by them recently which has been doing good business this festive season. However, news of this recall as well as the previous recall will definitely play on customers minds when it comes to deciding on the quality of the company.
The new updated Liva hatchback has been launched by Toyota at a price of Rs.5.76 lakh for the petrol edition and Rs.6.79 lakh for the diesel variant. The car sees a few minor cosmetic changes and will have dual airbags as a standard across models.
The powertrain has been left unchanged with the 1.4-litre diesel engine and the 1.2-litre petrol engine continuing to service the car and both coming mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
Changes though can be seen in terms of a dual tone paint scheme with the roof, pillars and the OVRMs being painted in black. The car also has sleek and stylish looking 15 inch alloy wheels and the interiors also see a significant upgrade. The car has a new dashboard which comes with a wood finish and there is Bluetooth equipped music system. The force limiter on the front seatbelts is a standard and so are dual airbags making this one of the most safety conscious cars in its segment.
As per Senior Vice President, Akitoshi Takemura of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd, the company is constantly looking to improve its line up of products and has been innovating in order to meet the expectations of customers. The company has already been honoured with the tag of the “Most Promising Brand 2015” and will look to continue the good work in the coming year and make its mark this festive season.
Three new concepts are to be debuted by Toyota at the Tokyo Motor Show. This includes the likes of the FCV Plus, the Kikai and the S-FR.
The FCV Plus is being touted as a successor to the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car of the company. The company is looking to change the game in the automobile industry by making fuel-cell vehicles go from eco cars to energy cars. Not only from the hydrogen tank of the vehicle itself, the car can also generate electricity with the help of hydrogen which is stored outside the vehicle. The car will also not be just a means of transport either and will allow power generation capability to be shared across communities making it that much more useful as compared to traditional cars.
The Kikai is a concept car that would take the machinery, which is hidden, and make it openly viewable through the car. The upper control arm movement would be visible through the windshield and the driver would sit alone in front with two passengers behind in a triangular design.
The S-FR on the other hand will be a fun to drive lightweight sports car from the company. Made in a two door coupe frame, the car will be a straightforward front engine with rear wheel drive. Toyota claims that it will have fantastic cornering as well as smooth acceleration making it fun and responsive to drive across the board.
The Sportio edition of the Etios Liva hatchback has been discontinued by Toyota. The petrol version of the car had a 1.5-litre engine that was more powerful with the diesel also featuring some cosmetic changes that made it look sportier.
The idea behind the launch of the Sportio models was to have stronger accessories vertical at company dealerships and the cars had additional body kits, decals as well as a special badging.
The Sportio edition had been designed in conjunction with Toyota Racing Development (TRD) and was meant to showcase the various accessories that could be picked up at the showrooms by customers. However, the hatchback didn’t meet the success that the company had planned for it and it is likely that this was the reason for the company to stop sales for this particular model. In addition to this, the fact that the Sportio petrol version had a bigger engine, meaning it attracted more duty, made it more expensive and therefore quite unpopular with customers.
The Liva though will continue to be available in its four petrol as well as four diesel models and will continue to be Toyota’s primary hatchback offering in India for a while to come. The car has airbags as standard on all models and there is also an ABS-EBD which is added on the base level variant of the diesel model.
Bangalore saw the launch of the ‘Toyota Auction Mart’ recently, which made Toyota the first car maker in India to look at used car auctioning as a business model. Toyota is looking to give buyers a great user car buying experience and will look to provide this through their Bidadi facility.
Toyota will be undertaking as many as 203 point inspections for each car before putting it up for auction and will look to meet global standards in terms of QDR for all purchasers.
Cars from all brands will be sold through this facility and there will be apt documentation to meet requirements. According to the Toyota management, the used car market has great potential in India, but suffers as a result of being unorganised. This initiative will help bring this in line with the organised sector and create a transparent and reliable used car market making it easier for cars to be auctioned at the right quality and price.
Toyota Auction Mart would not just make things better for buyers, but OEM dealers will also benefit immensely from this move as this will mean more cash in their hands and a shorter inventory turnover. Therefore, they will be free to buy more cars and increase their sales as well. Toyota has begun marketing this initiative quite aggressively and if it gets the push in the right direction, it is likely to bring about some much needed stability and transparency in the industry.
Toyota has decided to invest 50 million USD in the coming five years in research and development of a self driving car prototype. In this endeavor, the company will be assisted by none other than big names like Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where the company has already decided to set up a joint research facility to develop this ‘intelligent’ car of the future.
At the beginning, the focus will be to develop systems where the car will able to recognize its surroundings and take actions accordingly. This will prevent accidents and improve road safety. Two people will head the research teams in two universities. Fei-Fei Li, Director at Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, will head the research team in Stanford, while Daniela Russ, professor of Electrical Engineering and Electrical Science at MIT, will head the research team there. From Toyota’s side Gill Pratt, an ex-program manager of DARPA will be in charge.
According to senior Toyota officials, the immediate goal is to develop technology which will reduce accidents and improve road safety, while ultimately the purpose is to enhance “quality of life through development of advanced robotics and mobility”.
Toyota has launched the Xlusive edition of its Etios sedan in India starting at Rs.7.82 Lakh for the petrol variant and Rs.8.92 lakh for the diesel edition. Both are ex-showroom prices of the car in Delhi. The car only gets some minor additions both on the outside and the inside, but remains same as far as design layout and engine is concerned.
On the outside, the car includes, chrome inserts on the ORVMs which are electronically adjustable, addition of the Xclusive badge, and door visors. The car comes in three different color shades – an exclusive blue metallic shade, white and silver. On the inside, the Etios Xclusive gets a touchscreen Infotainment system which can be controlled through gestures, fine dual tone fabrics, arm rests and woodgrain finish to the instrument panel.
As we have mentioned earlier, the engine and other specification of the Xclusive remains same. It still carries the 1496cc four-cylinder engine that can produce a peak power of 88bhp and a peak torque of 132Nm of peak torque for the petrol version and the 1364cc four-cylinder engine that can produce a peak power of 67bhp and a peak power of 170Nm of peak torque for the diesel version.
First half of the current year goes to German automaker Volkswagen. The company has 5.04 million vehicles worldwide, beating its closest rivals Toyota and General Motors. While Toyota registered worldwide sales of 5.02 million vehicles in the first half of this year, the figure was 4.86 million for General Motors for the same period.
While these sales figures may seem staggering, all the three companies have actually experienced a slump in these figures compared to last year. The slump figure for Volkswagen is 0.5 percent, while it is 1.5 and 1.2 percent for Toyota and General Motors.
What has worked for Volkswagen is the increased demand for cars in Europe. But condition of the carmaker in its biggest market, i.e. China is not so good. It is facing tough competition there from local manufacturers who are offering cars at a much cheaper price. If Volkswagen has to fulfill its dream of becoming the largest car manufacturer in the world by 2018 then it needs reinvent itself as far as the Chinese market is concerned.
2016 Toyota Fortuner has been revealed at simultaneous events in Australia and Thailand ahead of October sales debut in 2015. One of the rugged off-road vehicles of Toyota based on Toyota HiLux – the Fortuner is to that ute – as Ford’s Everest to Ranger, Isuzu’s MU-X to D-Max…understood? It’s a wagon, based on a ute. Tony Cramb, Marketing Director at Toyota Australia said that the 7-seater Fortuner as an-in-demand diesel alternative to petrol only Kluger range.
Pricing for the all-new Fortuner hasn’t been revealed yet, but the company describes it as new entry point to the range, which will slot between big Prado that costs $59,990 and midsized RAV4, which is priced at $27,490. Looking at the pictures, one can easily that it will be sold alongside HiLux with same rough and tumble image of practicality and capability.
Motivation for the Toyota Fortuner comes from a 2.8 liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel 1GD direct injected powerplant that’s mated to either new 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox. The new powerplant generates 130kW of power with 450 newton meters of torque. 2016 Fortuner comes with a trailer sway control and offers the maximum towing capacity of 3000kg.
Available in three different trim levels – GX, GXL and Crusade, the new Toyota Fortuner which will come fitted with large touchscreen audio displays, front and rear air-conditioning, side steps, Toyota Link connected mobility, disc brakes front and rear, air-conditioned compartment, which keeps drinks and food warm or cold and 17 or 18-inch wheels. While foglamps, roof rails, keyless smart entry and start, downhill assist control and reverse parking sensors have been reserved for Crusade and GXL trims, LED daytime running lamps, bi-LED head-lamps, 18-inch alloy wheels with highway tires and power back door are available only on Crusade grade.
As compared to lead spring rear suspension in Toyota HiLux, the new Fortuner adds a more passenger friendly coil-spring 5-link rear suspension layout. All models will be equipped with a 4WD, which means the engine will drive all the four wheels. Some of the standard safety features include A-TRAC action traction control system, reversing camera, emergency stop signal, hill start assist and seven airbags.
2016 Toyota Fortuner will compete with the likes of Isuzu MU-X, Ford Everest, Holden Colorado 7 and Mitsubishi Challenger in ute-based SUV market.