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Archive for February, 2014

Toyota ready to design more heart-racing Prius

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

'14-Toyots-Prius

Long praised for its fuel economy and reliability, the Toyota Prius has been no stranger to less-than-flattering remarks about its styling and sense of excitement. In fact, the model is a regular movie punchline. For evidence, see Mark Wahlberg in The Other Guys or, more recently, Ice Cube in Ride Along.

Apparently, Toyota President Akido Toyoda is getting the message and is pushing for what’s been translated as a more “heart-racing” design for both the Prius and the Camry, the Canadian website Driving says. The Camry and Prius accounted for about a third of Toyota’s US sales last year.

With the Camry as the best-selling US model for each of the last dozen years, Toyota US head designer Kevin Hunter noted at the Detroit Auto Show last week that the Japanese automaker is looking for a “more emotional” design for the boxy sedan. The Prius redesign may have more constraints, as aerodynamics have to be factored in to ensure top-line fuel economy for the world’s best-selling hybrid. Toyota used the Detroit show to show off the FT-1, a concept that many consider a preview of the new Supra. How this “Future Toyota 1” will affect the Prius and Camry redesigns, whenever they appear, remains in question but we like where things are headed.

 

Source: [autoblog.com]

Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota is world’s top-selling automaker for second year in a row

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

2012 Toyota RAV-4

Toyota is the top-selling automaker in the world. Again. Still. With total reported sales, including those from subsidiaries, of 9.98 million in 2013, Toyota’s performance was enough to outpace rival General Motors by around 270,000 vehicles. That’s a 2.4-percent gain over 2012, and it makes Toyota the top-seller two years in a row. Still, the gap between the top three is shrinking – Toyota held a 460,000-unit lead in 2012.

GM sold 9.71 million vehicles last year, a four-percent increase, coming in second place ahead ofVolkswagen, which sold around 9.5 million. According to Bloomberg, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said his company managed to win the sales race while also remaining more profitable than GM or VW.

It’s going to be another interesting year in 2014 as the three behemoth automakers vie for the title of World’s Largest. Toyota has predicted that it will increase sales in 2014 to 10.32 million – which would make Toyota the first automaker ever to surpass 10 million global sales – though General Motors and VW are expected to again fight for the lead in the massive Chinese market. Stay tuned.

Source: [Toyota Media]

Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota Becomes First Founding Partner of Historic DAYTONA Rising Project at Daytona International Speedway

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
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February 06, 2014
CHICAGO and DAYTONA BEACH (Feb. 6, 2014) – International Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: ISCA; OTC Bulletin Board: ISCB) (“ISC”) today announced a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc. that will make Toyota the first Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway as part of its unprecedented $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project.

DAYTONA Rising is ISC’s complete reimagining of the fan and sponsor experience at its iconic Daytona International Speedway, a multi-year project encompassing the Speedway’s nearly one-mile long frontstretch that, upon completion in January 2016, will create a world-class facility with premium amenities unmatched in the industry. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“When we started drafting the designs of DAYTONA Rising, we envisioned partnering with equally forward-thinking organizations like Toyota to bring forth the very best experience for our fans and guests,” said ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. “Toyota has been a great partner for many years and we will continue to work together to enhance the fan experience at many of our facilities across the country.”

Beginning in 2015, the 11-year agreement will provide Toyota with naming rights for one of five fan injectors.  The massive, new and redesigned entry statement includes over 20,000 square feet of Toyota engagement and fan experience that vertically spans four concourse levels.

The Toyota brand will also have a presence in the new “World Center of Racing” zone, the central “neighborhood” overlooking Daytona’s famed start/finish line inside the new frontstretch facility. The “World Center of Racing” zone is roughly the area of two football fields where Daytona International Speedway, its partners and race fans will celebrate the history and legacy of racing at the iconic motorsports venue.  Fans will be able to socialize and enjoy themselves in this area prior to, during and after a race.

Ten additional neighborhoods, each the size of a football field, will be located throughout the new frontstretch with custom bar, retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens to provide fans with non-stop views of on-track action while they mingle with friends. Toyota will also have branding rights to a neighborhood near the Toyota injector.

Additionally, Toyota will serve as an official partner of “The Great American Race,” the DAYTONA 500®, and will receive official pace car rights in 2015.

“DAYTONA Rising represents our commitment to delivering engaging and innovative ways for our partners to showcase their brand,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “We’re proud to integrate Toyota into this historic project. Our fans and guests will now enjoy more exciting, innovative and engaging experiences from the moment they enter the new facility to the time they reach their seats and beyond.”

In addition to the Founding Partner status with DAYTONA Rising, Toyota also extended the following sponsorship rights at other ISC venues:

  • Race entitlement sponsorship of the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races at Richmond International Raceway®
  • Pace Car rights at Auto Club Speedway®, Chicagoland Speedway®, Kansas Speedway®, Phoenix International Raceway®, Richmond International Raceway® and Watkins Glen International® for each NASCAR major event weekend, as well as Official Vehicle at Route 66 Raceway®

The partnership was announced today at the Chicago Auto Show, the same location where Toyota initially revealed its plans more than 10 years ago to participate for the first time in NASCAR, as part of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

“This is a unique opportunity for Toyota to elevate our brand in the motorsports community, especially through the DAYTONA Rising project,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. “ISC and Daytona International Speedway will provide strong platforms to interact with our guests and most importantly, our race fans.”

About International Speedway Corporation
International Speedway Corporation is a leading promoter of motorsports activities, currently promoting more than 100 racing events annually as well as numerous other motorsports-related activities.  The Company owns and/or operates 13 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities, including Daytona International Speedway® in Florida (home of the DAYTONA 500®); Talladega Superspeedway® in Alabama; Michigan International Speedway® located outside Detroit; Richmond International Raceway® in Virginia; Auto Club Speedway of Southern CaliforniaSM near Los Angeles; Kansas Speedway® in Kansas City, Kansas; Phoenix International Raceway® in Arizona; Chicagoland Speedway® and Route 66 RacewaySM near Chicago, Illinois;  Homestead-Miami SpeedwaySM in Florida; Martinsville Speedway® in Virginia; Darlington Raceway® in South Carolina; and Watkins Glen International® in New York.

The Company also owns and operates Motor Racing Network, the nation’s largest independent sports radio network and Americrown Service CorporationSM, a subsidiary that provides catering services, food and beverage concessions, and produces and markets motorsports-related merchandise.  In addition, the Company has a 50 percent interest in the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway.  For more information, visit the Company’s Web site at www.internationalspeedwaycorporation.com.

About Toyota 
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our ToyotaLexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants and directly employ nearly 40,000 people.  Our 1,800 North American dealerships sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment.  As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.

About DAYTONA Rising
DAYTONA Rising is a $400 million reimagining of an American icon – Daytona International Speedway. Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or “injectors,” will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests.  DAYTONA Rising: Reimagining an American Icon, expected to create 6,300 jobs, $300 million in labor income and over $80 million in tax revenue, will be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and DAYTONA 500. DAYTONA Rising was recently cited as a key source of expected job growth in Volusia County as part of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.
Barton Malow is serving as the design-builder for the project. In addition to DAYTONA Rising, Barton Malow has renovated the University of Michigan “Big House” and the Rose Bowl.

ROSSETTI, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm for the past 40 years, which headed the design for Ford Field NFL Stadium, University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena and five Major League Soccer Stadiums, is leading the master planning of the DAYTONA Rising site.

Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com and connecting with Daytona International Speedway on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest.  Also, fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year.  Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours or the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building for more information.

For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visitwww.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is the home of “The Great American Race” – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe, thus earning it the title of “World Center of Racing.” In addition to eight major weekends of racing activity, rarely a week goes by that the Speedway grounds are not used for events that include civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.

Source: [Toyota Media]

Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota Camry Hybrid SE adds a dash of limited-edition sport

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

'14-Toyota-Camry-Hybrid

For drivers who want to benefit from the increased efficiency of a hybrid sedan but who don’t want to look like they’d rather be hugging trees, Toyota has just announced its 2014.5 Camry Hybrid SE Limited Edition.

The SE LTD combines the exterior bits and pieces that make the SE look sportier than other Camry models with the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery pack of the Camry Hybrid. That means the Hybrid SE offers up 200 combined system horsepower to the front wheels, and we’d expect it to be rated at the same 40 miles per gallon city and 38 highway of the Camry XLE Hybrid.

Only 5,000 units will be produced between February and June of 2014, with an asking price of $27,845, which is about $700 more expensive than the base Camry Hybrid LE or $2,620 less than the Hybrid XLE that Toyota says shares a similar level of equipment. Sounds like a fair shake to us.

 

Source: [autoblog.com]

Posted in Automotive News |

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