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You are currently browsing the Toyota of Tampa Bay Newsletter archives for April, 2013 .

Archive for April, 2013

Toyota Announces 2013 Corolla LE and S Special Edition Models

Monday, April 15th, 2013

(2013 Toyota Corolla XLE Shown Right)

Toyota Motor Sales has announced two 2013 Corolla Special Editions that will offer consumers appealing equipment at an attainable price point.

The 2013 Special Edition Corollas will offer unique standard features in two grade levels, LE and S. The LE Special Edition offers equipment targeted at consumers who value comfort and convenient entertainment, including 16-inch alloy wheels, Display Audio with Navigation and Entune™ (three-year subscription), Power and heated Beige leather-trimmed seats, Special Edition floor mats and exterior badging, and a unique Black Currant Metallic exterior color.

The sporty Corolla S Special Edition will provide youthful styling along with 17-inch alloy wheels, Display Audio with Navigation and Entune™, Sport fabric seats coordinated with a unique Hot Lava exterior color, and Special Edition floor mats and exterior badging.

A total of 7,500 Corolla special edition vehicles (2,250 LE and 5,250 S) will be manufactured during a two-month period beginning in April at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC).  Each Corolla Special Edition model will be offered at the MSRP $20,550 (pricing excludes the Delivery, Processing, and Handling (DPH) fee of $795). The Corolla Special Editions arrive at dealerships in late April.

 

Source: [Toyota Pressroom]

Posted in Automotive News |

All-New 2014 Toyota Highlander SUV Makes World Debut at 2013 New York

Monday, April 15th, 2013

(2013 Toyota Highlander Shown Right)

The all-new third-generation 2014 Toyota Highlander mid-size SUV made its world debut today at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

An all-new exterior design conveys both refinement and strength, complementing a new interior that will raise the bar in the mid-size SUV segment.  With three-row seating for up to eight, an array of standard features, a host of available in-cabin technologies, and increased cargo capacity, the new Highlander will offer a nuanced  balance of style, comfort and utility.  The total package is capped off with three powertrain choices: a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine a powerful V6 with a new six-speed transmission that will produce excellent all-around capability, and a V6-powered Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain for enhanced mileage and fewer emissions.

Sophisticated, Dynamic Exterior is Sleek and Strong
Sophisticated and dynamic, the new Highlander features a progressive silhouette, a lower roofline for improved aerodynamics, and sculptured side-door panels.  The exterior has grown in length by approximately three inches while width is increased one-half inch, conveying a sleek and strong appearance.

From the front, Highlander’s hood merges with a redesigned trapezoidal grille, wraparound headlamps and deeply chiseled fenders for a more aggressive appearance.

The length of the profile, from the front fenders to the rear quarter panels, boldly stands out with sculptured wheel wells at the corners, allowing for prominently protruding wheels.  The total package is capped off by a newly designed rear lift-gate with one-touch power open/close and driver selectable memory height settings, and taillights and bumper that exude style and strength.

Highlander’s body structure will include high-strength steel in the front pillars for increased rigidity.  Visibility has been improved through precise repositioning of the front A-pillars, while the size of the rear quarter glass has been increased to provide a wider view for driver and occupants.

Refinement is enhanced through improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measures.  Interior noise reduction is achieved through a 30 percent expansion of silencing insulation materials in the floor areas.  Acoustic-type glass is used for the windshield to help reduce noise entering the cabin, and even the panoramic moonroof design works to help reduce wind noise, even when the moonroof is open.

Vibration is minimized through expanded coverage of the dash silencer, enhancements to body sealing, and the strategic placement of three hydraulic engine mounts.  Improvements in the exhaust layout have been made for additional noise and vibration reduction.

Premium Interior Design with Advanced Functionality
Toyota engineers raised the bar on interior design for the mid-size SUV segment by adding even more refinement and functionality to the new Highlander.   The 2014 model will offer a premium interior highlighted by increased spaciousness for up to eight people, and an array of standard comfort, convenience and technology features.

The new Highlander’s interior utilizes premium materials to offer an upscale experience, with most models featuring standard contrast seat stitching. All Highlanders will come equipped with a soft-touch instrument panel; and silver-painted, satin, and chrome-plated accents that are thoughtfully placed throughout the interior.  Wood-grain pattern trim can be found on the front dash and door trim for an added touch of elegance.  Premium fabrics, available smooth and perforated leather-trim seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob add to Highlander’s redesigned upscale interior.  The adoption of a high quality knit roof lining and available second-row sunshades add to Highlander’s refinement and comfort.

A new roll-top center console box with a dampened sliding door provides a comfortable armrest, or when fully opened is large enough to hold a large handbag.  All Highlanders will feature a newly designed in-meter-cluster Multi-Information Display.  Available ambient lighting around the front dash and doors add to the refined environment.

The second row offers bench-seating for three passengers or two captain’s seats featuring a collapsible tray with cup holders for added convenience.  Getting into the third-row is made easier with the addition of a one-step second-row sliding seat function that provides nearly three more inches of space for easier entry and exit to the third-row.  An overall interior width increase of 4.3 inches in the third-row and a standard recline function creates added comfort for up to three passengers.  Like the second-row bench, the third-row will be 40/60 split for added passenger and storage flexibility and convenience.  Rear cargo space behind the third-row has also increased by up to 34 percent for added storage.

Additional available convenience features include an Automatic High Beam System, Auto Cruise Control, Smart Key, driver’s seat memory, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain’s seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Improved Dynamic Performance, Handling, Efficiency
The new Highlander will be available in three powertrains.  A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is equipped with a variable intake manifold and dual Variable-Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls phasing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to optimize torque and fuel efficiency. The 2.7-liter engine is teamed with a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.

A 3.5-liter V6 is also equipped with dual VVT-i and a variable intake manifold. Acceleration and fuel efficiency are improved thanks to a new six-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission (ECT) that offers selectable manual sequential shifting.

The Highlander Hybrid model’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system pairs the 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator for additional power and fuel efficiency.

The new Highlander will provide a more dynamic driving experience, with new technologies that include Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive (AWD), enhancements in suspension performance, and optimized electric power steering.  The spring rates and the shock absorbers have been optimally tuned to help enhance the vehicles handling characteristics.

Highlander will have a MacPherson strut front suspension, double-wishbone rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels and available 19-inch alloys.

Highlander’s Dynamic Torque Control AWD system automatically shifts from front-wheel drive (FWD) to AWD when accelerating or when sensors detect wheel slippage.  The driver is able to view the torque-distribution settings on the meter display.

The Dynamic Torque Control AWD system continuously monitors and controls the torque transfer between the front and rear wheels via an electromagnetically controlled coupling positioned in the rear differential.

Front to rear torque distribution can vary from 100:0 to 50:50, with front-wheel drive (100:0) automatically engaged under normal driving conditions to help improve fuel consumption.

The Dynamic Torque Control AWD system uses information sent from various sensors (speed, steering angle and speed, throttle angle and yaw rate) to automatically govern the transmission of torque to the rear wheels, as required.

A sophisticated, high-speed interactive management system coordinates control of the Dynamic Torque Control AWD, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems to enhance Highlander’s performance, handling and safety.

Advanced In-Cabin, Multimedia Connectivity
All new Highlanders come equipped with Toyota’s Entune™ multimedia system.  The Display Audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth® and voice recognition is standard, while an eight-inch touchscreen system and Toyota’s Entune™ app suite with12 JBL speakers is also available.

The new Highlander will also offer an available Rear Seat Entertainment system with an RCA coaxial input terminal at the rear of the center console to allow external devices, such as gaming systems, to be connected.

Comprehensive Array of Safety & Convenience Features
All 2014 Highlander’s will have eight standard airbags.  Like every Toyota, Highlander will feature the standard Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology.  All Highlander’s will also come equipped with a standard backup camera and Hill-start Assist Control.  All AWD models will have an AWD LOCK switch.

New available safety and convenience features include rear parking sonar, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Departure Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a Pre-collision System.

All Highlanders are assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton, Ind. The all-new Highlander will reach dealer showrooms in early 2014.

 

Source: [Toyota Pressroom]

Posted in Automotive News |

Teen Vogue and Toyota Partner on Safe Driving Campaign to Help Educate and Empower Teenage Girls

Monday, April 15th, 2013

New Research Shows Texting While Driving and Other Distractions Are Commonplace among Teen Girls

In conjunction with Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, Teen Vogue and Toyota announced today “Arrive in Style,” a safe driving campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving among teenage girls and inspire them to make a mutual commitment with their mothers to drive safely.

While cars today are safer than ever, automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. In 2010 seven teens between the ages of 16 and 19 died every day on average from motor vehicle injuries.

“We are thrilled to partner with Toyota on this important initiative. When we saw the scary statistics around distracted driving, we knew this was a cause worth taking on,” said Jason Wagenheim, Teen Vogue Vice President and Publisher. “Teen Vogue’s influential young readers are the perfect ambassadors not only to participate in this initiative, but also to help build awareness and educate their peer groups on the importance of driver safety. Toyota, with the success of their ongoing work in this arena, is the ideal partner.”

Teen Vogue really shares our commitment to help keep teens safe, and with their reach and readership they’ve been a great partner to help amplify our longstanding efforts to empower teen girls to be safer drivers,” said Marjorie Schussel, Corporate Manager of Corporate Marketing for Toyota Motor North America (TMA).  “We also are excited to involve moms since our approach to teen safety has always included outreach to parents as well.”

The “Arrive in Style” campaign – developed in partnership by Teen Vogue, Toyota Motor North America and their ad agency of record, Dentsu America – launches this week and includes print, digital and social media elements that will run through February 2014. Kicking off with the May print edition of Teen Vogue, which hits stands this week, monthly advertorials will feature helpful tips and advice from Toyota on different safe driving topics.  The campaign will also include stories and online videos of Teen Vogue readers and their mothers about their commitment to driving safely, underscoring the special roles that mothers and daughters play in inspiring each other.

Extending into digital, the campaign will drive Teen Vogue’s audience to the “Arrive in Style” online hub, teenvogue.com/arriveinstyle. The site will feature Toyota’s Mutual Driving Agreement that mothers and daughters can e-sign and share via Facebook for a chance to win monthly prizes. In addition to signing the Agreement, teens can upload a photo on the microsite of them and their mom “air driving” for a chance to win a trip to New York City to be featured in the February 2014 issue of Teen Vogue.

Study Reveals Distracted Driving Is Pervasive Among Teen Girls

“Arrive in Style’s” unique approach of involving mothers is based, in part, on the recent study by Toyota and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), which found a significant correlation between teen and parent driving behaviors, suggesting that parents are a major influence on a teen’s driving habits.

“We know from our Study with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute that parents who engage in distracting driving behaviors more frequently have teens who engage in distracting behaviors,” said Dr. Tina Sayer, Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) Principal Engineer and teen safe driving expert.  “It is critical for parents to talk to their teens about driving safety and to always be the drivers they want their teens to be.”

In conjunction with the launch of “Arrive in Style”, Toyota released new findings from the Study regarding driving behaviors of teen girls:

  • Sixty-two percent of teen girls report using a cell phone while driving (handheld and/or hands-free).
  • Nearly one in three girl teens (30 percent) reads a text or email once or more every time they drive.
  • Almost a quarter of girl teens (23 percent) respond to a text once or more every time they drive.
  • Almost one in five (19 percent) of teen girl drivers report that they have extended conversations via text message while driving.
  • More than half (51 percent) of girls say they search for music on a portable music player, such as an iPod, while driving.
  • Twelve percent of girls report that they update or check social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, while driving.
  • Seventy percent of teen girl drivers report they drive with two or three teen passengers and no adults in their car, whichis associated with a doubling of a driver’s risk of being killed in a crash, as compared to having no passengers

For additional findings from the Study, please visit www.toyota.com/csrc.

“Arrive In Style” is the latest initiative from Toyota that is designed to help keep teens safe on the road.  Toyota Driving Expectations (www.toyotadrivingexpectations.com) provides hands-on, real world defensive driving courses that go far beyond what is taught in standard driver education courses, while Toyota Teen Driver (www.toyotateendriver.com) offers free online teen safety resources to parents, teens, educators and schools.   The Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (www.toyota.com/csrc) works with leading North American Universities, hospitals, research institutions and agencies on research designed to better understand teen drivers’ risks and behaviors and identify effective recommendations to help keep them safe.

 

Source: [Toyota Pressroom]

Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota Motor Sales No. 1 Retail Manufacturer in March 2013

Monday, April 15th, 2013

All-New Avalon Sales Doubled; Lexus Luxury Utility Vehicles Increased Nearly 18 Percent

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported March 2013 sales results of 205,342 units, an increase of 4.8 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. Unadjusted for 27 selling days in March 2013 versus 28 in March 2012, TMS sales were up 1.0 percent over the year-ago month.

For the first quarter, TMS reported sales of 529,444 vehicles, an increase of 10.1 percent over the same period in 2012 on a DSR basis.  With 76 selling days in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 77 selling days in the first quarter of 2012, sales were up 8.7 percent on an unadjusted raw volume basis.

“The auto industry continued its string of impressive monthly results, and at Toyota we had our best month since Cash for Clunkers in August of 2009,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.  “A strong first-quarter close and increased consumer confidence continue to position the auto industry as a leader in the economic recovery.”

Toyota Division posted March total sales of 182,152 units, up 3.1 percent year-over-year on a DSR basis.  Volume-wise, Toyota Division sales decreased 0.5 percent over March 2012.

Lexus reported March total sales of 23,190 units, up 19.4 percent on a DSR basis and up 15.1 percent by raw volume compared to the same period last year.

“With our strong new products, Lexus’ March sales were up 19 percent, and year-to-date we are now 17 percent ahead of last year’s sales pace,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “For me, it’s great to be back at Lexus, and I look forward to partnering with our dealers and associates to continue Lexus’ innovation and success.”

Other Highlights:

  • Toyota, Lexus and Scion combined were the No. 1 retail manufacturer
  • Toyota was the No. 1 retail nameplate
  • Avalon sales of 6,982 units, up 109.9 percent
  • Corolla sales of 31,423 units, up 11.1 percent
  • Toyota Division truck sales of 75,119 units, up 7.3 percent
  • RAV4 was the best-selling truck with sales of nearly 16,500 units
  • Tacoma and Tundra up 21.2 and 7.9 percent, respectively
  • Sienna sales of 12,062 units, up 17.8 percent
  • 4Runner sales of 4,609 units, up 13.4 percent
  • Lexus passenger car sales up 13.1 percent
  • Lexus LS sales up 71.0 percent, with 980 units sold
  • Lexus ES sales of 6,798 units, up 116.4 percent
  • Lexus RX sales of 9,072 units, up 28.6 percent
  • Total Lexus Hybrid sales of 3,617 units, up 7.4 percent on a DSR basis

*Note: Unless otherwise stated, all figures reflect unadjusted raw sales volume (compared to the year-ago month).

March 2013 Sales Chart
March 2013 Sales Conference Call (audio clip)

 

Source: [Toyota Pressroom]

Posted in Automotive News |

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