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Toyota Motor Co., the world’s largest automaker, has been producing cars for more than 70 years. It wasn’t until after World War II, however, that production started to pick up. Toyota went from making 8,500 cars a year in 1955 to 600,000 in 1965. Models like the Toyopet and Land Cruiser hit the United States in 1957. Today Toyota is among the leaders when it comes to hybrid technology.
Since the 1980s, draconian federal importation laws have meant enthusiasts in the United States must wait a full 25 years before some of their favorite brand’s models are legal on these shores. And every year, groups of enthusiasts take to the internet to contemplate what cars will be available for importation with the turn of the new year. The arrival of each new calendar year then becomes a celebration of the past, a revisit of forsaken models, a festival of other-market obscurity.
The Land of the Rising Sun is becoming more than just a source for tuners looking for their next drift car. That’s right, Japanese cars are now collectible.
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Toyota doesn’t immediately spring to mind when a buyer thinks of driving excitement. Far from it, in fact.
While the brand carries an enviable reputation of reliability, strong resale value and general popularity, it suffers in the performance and youthful appeal department. That could change, with Auto Express reporting that Toyota could build on its return to the World Rally Championship with a production hot hatch.
Volkswagen Golf R, Honda Civic Type R, Ford Focus RS…Toyota Yaris? Read More >
The departed Toyota FJ Cruiser was a vehicle of contrasts, depending on who you talked to. Too big, or not big enough. Too refined, or too often used as a grocery getter. Too retro, or not retro enough.
An homage to its long-dead predecessor, the retro SUV defined “niche vehicle,” and it sold like one too. Not in huge numbers, but in consistent ones. When Toyota phased it out of the North American market after 2014, it left a vacuum that went unnoticed by most.
Is Toyota now planning to fill that void? Read More >
The long-awaited battle to retake the northern Iraq city of Mosul — an ISIS stronghold for the past two years — began this morning, with Allied forces supporting the Iraqi Army troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in their quest against the Islamic State.
One player has a heavy presence on both sides of the battle, and it isn’t a person or organization. It’s the Toyota Hilux, the go-to vehicle for terrorists and allies in the war-torn region. So numerous is the do-anything pickup, that the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. questions how so many Toyotas could find their way into ISIS hands. Read More >
There’s a single BMW X3 out there that could burst into flames at any moment.
That, Mercedes-Benz offers EV charging with no wires or plugs, Toyota pours staff into Texas, and Honda wants its Civics to stand still … after the break! Read More >
Toyota shoehorned a lot of cutting-edge technology into the current-generation Prius, but the fuel-sipping vehicle has a low-tech Achilles Heel.
The automaker is recalling 340,000 2016 and 2017 Prius models to fix a potentially deadly parking brake problem, the Associated Press reports (via USA Today). In the Prius, it could lead to “sudden acceleration” of a different kind. Read More >
This could be the start of a beautiful business partnership.
After its romance with Volkswagen AG ended in a bitter breakup last year, Suzuki is considering hopping into bed with the world’s largest automaker.
Toyota and Suzuki issued a joint press release today announcing their intention to get together and see where it goes. Read More >
Interbrand released its annual list of the world’s top 100 brands, a ranking that now contains an independent automaker.
While Toyota climbs one spot to the No. 5 position (the highest of all automakers), Tesla has muscled its way onto the field, slotting at No. 100. Volkswagen continues the brand value descent it began last year, falling from No. 35 to No. 40 and posting a value decline of 9 percent.
There’s grim news for GM, as none of its brands made the list this year.
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On the surface, it seems creepy and/or pathetic, but it could be a healthy new revenue stream for Toyota.
The automaker plans to begin offering a small, talking robot to Japanese customers this winter — a strategic product for an aging population with a low birthrate, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Kirobo Mini is designed to replace family members you don’t have, which might explain why it will criticize your driving habits. Read More >
Toyota first showed off its funky C-HR small crossover at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, but it waited until Paris to reveal the model’s powertrain lineup.
Unlike its Nissan Juke competitor, don’t expect a high-performance C-HR when the model bows in 2017. At least, not just yet. Read More >