We’ve been saying it for years that Toyota, along with several other automakers, will launch a hydrogen fuel cell car in 2015. Two years ago, you heard it from Toyota’s Chief Engineer Satoishi Ogiso. A month ago, Toyota’s America-chief Jim Lentz promised that “the first fuel cell sedan is coming to the U.S. in 2015.” Now, Bloomberg says that “at the Tokyo Motor Show in November, Toyota plans to show a hydrogen-powered sedan that would be sold as a 2015 model.” (Read More…)
From the “how did we miss that?” file comes this Automotive News [sub] story, filed at the beginning of the week, which asked GM Europe boss Nick Reilly about plans for Volt-based variants. Reilly replied
We won’t do it with this generation, and that will run to 2015. You’d have to wait until after that until you see it.
Which is peculiar, considering GM just announced that it will build a Cadillac Converj-style Volt variant at some point. GM has also shown a near-production-look Volt MPV5 Concept, although that has never been confirmed as a future production model. But Reilly explains that current Volt’s slow ramp-up and “expensive technology” have doomed any possibility of a Volt family of vehicles before the next generation drivetrain launches.
The ominous Hydrogen Year 2015 is popping up again. Last year, Byung Ki Ahn, general manager of Hyundai-Kia’s Fuel Cell Group said: “There are already agreements between car makers such as ourselves and legislators in Europe, North America and Japan to build up to the mass production of fuel cell cars by 2015.” Going through the many files produced in Brussels, you find that in Europe “car manufacturers are getting ready for the commercial production of hydrogen vehicles by 2015.” (Read More…)
Throwing caution of top government officials in the wind, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) expects car production in China to reach 30 million by 2015, with 5 million units earmarked for exports, China’s Global Times reports.
The CAAM calls the estimate “conservative.” China’s 21st Century Business Herald cited sources that are betting on 34 million annually in five years. The surprising part is not the total. 25m sold domestically by 2015 is lowballed. At the rate the world’s second largest economy is growing, anywhere between 30 to 40m units annually is doable.
What is surprising is the export number they have in mind. (Read More…)