Tesla’s deal with Toyota to supply the automaker with battery packs and motors for the latter’s RAV4 EV will come to a close by the end of 2014 at the same time the electric crossover is expected to cease production.
Change is inevitable, but it isn’t always predictable. Such was the case with a recent death in the family. Eighty-five-year-olds typically aren’t long for this world, but her stroke and swift passing was still sudden.
After some hurried preparations and two flights, I found myself standing on a rental lot. To distract myself from weightier matters, I sought out something I hadn’t driven before. The Toyota RAV4 was redesigned for model year 2013, but I hadn’t driven one yet. Hoping for a vehicular cocoon, I blew through the paperwork and headed east for New Jersey.
“Are you interested in our Thousand Dollar Test Drive raffle?” the saleslady eagerly asked. A row of new Corollas beckoned at the front of the lot; their freshly redesigned maws were hungry for customers.
Currently, there is only one Lexus plant outside of Japan. A Toyota factory in Cambridge, Ontario makes the Lexus RX crossover, while Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant will come online in 2015. Like other Japanese auto makers, Toyota is moving towards a localization of its production facilities, but one thing they won’t be doing is producing Lexus vehicles in China.
Toyota’s decision to shift sales operations to Texas has been the subject of much hand-wringing over the past few days, but the high-water mark for hate speech so far has come from Christie Schweinsberg at Ward’s Auto.
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Unconfirmed industry rumors shared with TTAC today seem to indicate that Toyota Motor Sales will be closing its offices in Torrance and heading to a more business-friendly location.
Toyota’s champion revealed its new look before the world and those in attendance at the 2014 New York Auto Show. Beneath the new Camry’s updated, more aggressive appearance, Toyota added spot welds throughout the chassis for added stiffness as well as a revised suspension, all of which is aimed at improving handling and ride quality.
Though Toyota already has a presence in South Africa, the automaker is eyeing the last untapped market in the world: The African continent.