Toyota on Thursday released a preview of what to expect on its stand at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month and it’s all sorts of steampunk and futuristic weirdness, but more on that in a moment.
While the Scion FR-S isn’t flying off dealer lots here in North America, the Japanese seem to like their compact sports coupes. The S-FR, according to Toyota is ” a lightweight, sporty concept offering a fun, responsive driving experience” and slots below the Toyobaru twins and go head-to-head with the Honda S660 kei sports that America won’t get because of course we won’t.
If I say the name “Carol” to the average American and mention a total width of 51 inches and a curb weight of a little over 1200 pounds, they will naturally think I am speaking about a woman who looks like Honey Boo-Boo’s mom. If I say the same thing to the average Japanese person, their mind will flash immediately to the cute little car produced by Mazda. It’s well they should, because when Mazda decided to team up with Suzuki in 1989 to produce a new Kei class car for their just launched youth-oriented “Autozam” brand they cornered the market on “kawaii.” (Read More…)
Japan’s minivehicles or “kei” cars could lose their (next to their cuteness) biggest attraction: The tax benefit. The Japanese government is thinking about charging the same tax for regular cars and mini vehicles alike, The Nikkei [sub] writes. (Read More…)
Honda lifted the embargo on its updated NBOX+, a sister-model of its bestselling NBOX minivehicle that passed our feared “from the backseat” test drive with flying colors. (Read More…)
Sometimes I wonder how it’s even possible for some vehicles to slip through all the steps that should stop them from washing ashore on Crusher Island. Something as useful as a kei-sized dump truck, for example. (Read More…)
Freshly wedded Suzuki and Volkswagen are not losing any time in consummating the marriage. Joint work will start immediately, or rather on January 10, 2010 said Suzuki Chief Executive Osamu Suzuki to Reuters. With that date, Suzuki-San is already bowing to Wolfsburg’s ingrained culture. As of this coming Friday evening, everybody who is somebody at VW will be off skiing in Zermatt or soaking in the surf of the Maledives, not to return before January 10th. No linkup with Suzuki will change that.
If you are a daily reader of the Nikkei, as we are in the Schmitto-san household, you can sometimes lose your confidence in Japanese precision and accuracy.
Yesterday, we quoted the Nikkei as saying that “sales of new cars and trucks rose 36 percent year on year to 293,410 units in November, marking the fourth straight month of increase, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Tuesday. Passenger car sales surged 43.8 percent to 268,450 units.”
Today, we read in the Nikkei that “new-vehicle sales increased 18.3 percent to 436,535 units in November for a third straight year-on-year gain, according to industry data released Tuesday.”