Toyota


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Airbag sensor recall in NZ

Toyota New Zealand is recalling 3,408 Toyota and Lexus models due to a possible concern with the air bag sensor.

Impacted models include the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Hilux, and Lexus NX 200t, manufactured in the second half of 2015.

The recall is due to the possibility that the insulation layers around the pressure sensor may peel over time, causing the airbag warning light to illuminate.

This can also lead to the curtain shield (side) and front airbags becoming deactivated.

There are currently 765 Toyota Corolla, 2,542 Hilux, and 100 Lexus NX200t affected in New Zealand.

The remedy will be completed free of charge by Toyota and Lexus dealerships and will depend on inspection of the vehicle for time of repair.

Owners of the vehicles, which are traceable through registration data, will be contacted by Toyota New Zealand through a remedy owner letter. 

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Toyota has sold over 3,000 Mirai

Toyota has announced that it has sold over 3,000 Mirai fuel-cell sedans in California. With over 3,000 Mirai fuel-cell vehicles on the road, the Mirai now accounts for more than 80% of all hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the United States.

“Toyota remains at the forefront of developing and deploying hydrogen fuel cell technology, and we believe strongly in its potential to help realize a more sustainable and zero-emissions society,” said Bob Carter, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

“From our success in launching the Mirai to our work in building the world’s first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant, Toyota is proud to bring to market new uses for this versatile technology.”

The Toyota Mirai is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, one of the first such vehicles to be sold commercially.

To help further the adoption of fuel-cell vehicles, Toyota remains committed to supporting the development of a hydrogen refueling network.

Thirty-one hydrogen stations are now open in California, with an additional twelve stations projected to open in California in 2018.

Toyota has also teamed up with Air Liquide, to set up a network of 12 hydrogen fueling stations between New York and Boston, with the first station expected to launch in Boston later this year.

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Toyota takes out double

A bumper December has resulted in sales of new passenger vehicles coming in at 108,608 last year – 5.8 per cent ahead of 2016’s total of 102,644.

There were 8,151 units registered in the last month of 2017, which was a one per cent rise from 8,069 in December of the previous year.

The top-selling model for the year and month was Toyota’s Corolla on 7,801 units for 2017 and 1,116 in December, which represented an annual market share of 7.2 per cent. The RAV4 was second for the year on 4,635 and 4.3 per cent. Third spot went to the Kia Sportage with a market share of 3.3 per cent thanks to 3,559 sales.

The Corolla was 2017’s best-selling new passenger vehicle.

The marques ladder for 2017 was also topped by Toyota on 20,919 units and a market share of 19.3 per cent. Mazda took the runners-up spot with 9,927 units and 9.1 per cent. Holden secured an 8.9 share with 9,709 registrations to come third.

Overall, Toyota NZ is celebrating 30 years as the dominant brand for passenger and light commercial vehicles in this country. In 2017, its 68 dealers sold 33,008 new vehicles for a 20.7 per cent share of the market, according to the marque. It says this was up by 5,533 on 2016 for a jump of 20.1 per cent.

Neeraj Lala, general manager of new-vehicle sales, expects Toyota to remain at the top in 2018. “We have another exciting year ahead with a number of significant new models, including an updated Hilux. We expect market growth to continue, particularly in the SUV segment where we have six models.”

Another marque patting itself on the back is Mitsubishi Motors NZ, which reports overall growth of 29 per cent year on year.

“The Outlander has been a Kiwi family favourite for some time and the ASX resonates with a broad range of New Zealanders,” says Daniel Cook, general manager of vehicle sales and marketing. “With the Eclipse Cross having joined the family, we’re confident of continuing our market-leading growth in 2018.”

Cook describes breaking through 10,000 overall new-vehicle sales during 2017 as “massive – we set this target for a calendar year back in 2009 and haven’t let up since”.

Eight years of year-on-year growth have seen Mitsubishi increase its total car and light commercial market share to 7.4 per cent supported by “new releases, updates and a comprehensive approach to customer service”. It says it has been ahead of the curve in key areas – especially with ute and SUV sales.

“We have also kept innovation at the forefront of our new releases, such as the Outlander PHEV, New Zealand’s most popular plug-in hybrid SUV,” adds Cook. “We still have some big ambitions, so it’s important we set ourselves a challenge to build on recent success. We’re operating in a dynamic, highly competitive market offering more choice to consumers than ever.”

Last year was one that entered Subaru of New Zealand’s record books with more than 3,000 units sold. Its 3,347 new-car sales secured a market share of 3.1 per cent.

Managing director Wallis Dumper says that by November the marque was 27 per cent ahead year on year from 2016. The Outback made up nearly half of its total sales achieved in 2017. After a good 2016, it exceeded sales expectations to sit 15 per cent ahead last year.

“There has been remarkable demand for the new XV,” says Dumper. “The high numbers flying out of our dealerships means we don’t have enough supply to keep up with demand. In response to the unprecedented demand for our eight-model range of Boxer-engined beauties, we have received more production allocation from Japan.

“We were targeting this never-achieved-before figure of 3,000 sales at the beginning of last year and couldn’t have done it without our 16 partners across New Zealand.”

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Toyota introduces “e-Palettes”


Toyota Motor Corporation announced today a new mobility service, “e-Palette”, to tackle mobility and delivery services in the age of autonomous vehicles.

“This announcement marks a major step forward in our evolution towards sustainable mobility, demonstrating our continued expansion beyond traditional cars and trucks to the creation of new values including services for customers”, said Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation President.

The e-Palette is both an announcement of a mobility alliance and partnership, and a physical concept of that alliance, a blank slate for a variety of transportation needs.  

“The new e-Palette Alliance will leverage Toyota’s proprietary Mobility Services Platform to develop a suite of connected mobility solutions and a flexible, purpose-built vehicle.”

Launch partners include Amazon, Mazda, Pizza Hut and Uber, who will collaborate on vehicle planning, application concepts and vehicle verification activities.

The e-Palette is a fully-automated, next generation battery electric vehicle (BEV) designed to be scalable and customisable for a range of “mobility as a service” businesses. 

It comes in three different sizes, with their lengths ranging from 4 meters to approximately 7 meters and is purposely designed to be flexible and reconfigurable to accommodate a wide range of equipment and an even broader range of uses.

Each e-Palette is also designed to be shared between businesses and to quickly transition between applications.

The e-Palette could serve an Uber during the day and be quickly transformed for shipping packages overnight. The exterior appearance can also be quickly switched by changing the exterior graphics.

Toyota plans to conduct feasibility testing of the e-Palette in various regions, including the United States, in the early 2020s.  It also hopes to contribute to the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 by providing mobility solutions like the e-Palette and other innovative mobility offerings.

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VW – world’s largest automaker

VW group sales beats Toyota to be world’s largest automaker for 2017

Bild am Sonntag, a well-known German newspaper, has reported that Volkswagen Group’s vehicle sales rose to around 10.7 million last year, putting them ahead of Toyota to become the world’s largest automaker. 

Citing in-house Volkswagen estimates, Bild am Sonntag, reported that higher delivery figures helped drive revenue above US$265 billion, a significant achievement after last year’s record of US$260 billion. 

VW is due to publish official 2017 group sales data on Jan. 17 and will release core financial results in late February.

In 2016, the first full year after VW’s emissions test-cheating scandal, group sales rose 3.8 percent to a record 10.3 million cars, helped by a double-digit increase in China and gains in Europe.

Toyota relinquished its four-year title as the world’s top-selling automaker to Volkswagen last year. This was the first time the German company held the title. Toyota said in December that it expects to sell 10.35 million cars worldwide in 2017 across its Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino brands, up 2 per cent from 2016, and 10.5 million in 2018.

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Toyota creates new mobility company

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to merge two of its subsidiaries; Toyota Fleet Leasing Co. Ltd and Toyota Tokyo Rental & Leasing Co., Ltd into one new entity, Toyota Mobility Service Co., starting April 1, 2018.

The creation of the new company is to provide new mobility services in anticipation for the increasing demand of such services. 


In its announcement, Toyota was aware of customers’ diversifying needs, which not only includes conventional vehicle ownership, but also the growing need for shared utilisation via as car sharing, in which people use things only whenever the service is needed. 

Ultimately, Toyota’s goal is to become “the leading company of a mobility society” by developing and offering mobility services geared for a connected society. 

“Many corporations operating across Japan are based in Tokyo, where the earliest expansion of the mobility service society is expected to occur,” the release said.

“Consequently, Toyota plans to establish the new company there in order to quickly and flexibly respond to changing uses and needs for cars in this once-in-a-century revolutionary period in the automobile industry.”

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Toyota’s going electric by 2025

Toyota Motor corporation announced on Monday that by 2025 every model in their lineup will have an “electrified” option, meaning it will no longer develop vehicles that have solely engine-only powertrains.

The statement commits Toyota to a goal of selling more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles a year by 2030. It currently sells about 10 million vehicles a year worldwide.

Within those 5.5 million electrified vehicles a year by 2030, the company says there will be 1 million zero-emission vehicles.

The Toyota Mirai is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, one of the first such vehicles to be sold commercially.

Electrification across the Toyota and Lexus fleet

  • By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles. 
  • Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. 

Zero-emission Vehicles

  • Toyota will accelerate the popularisation of battery electric vehicles with more than ten of these models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s.
  • A fuel-cell EV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s.
  • In October 2015, Toyota launched the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible and contribute to realising a sustainable society. 

Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

  • The hybrid electric vehicle line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs.
  • Toyota also aims to expand its plug-in hybrig line-up in the 2020s.

Panasonic’s New Automotive Lithium-ion Battery Factory in China.

Current limitations with battery technology are also being addressed, with Toyota now developing next-generation solid state batteries which it aims to commercialise by the early 2020s. Partnering with Panasonic, Toyota will also start a feasibility study into a creation of a joint automotive prismatic battery business. 

“The auto industry faces many hurdles to developing next-generation batteries which are difficult for automakers or battery makers to tackle on their own,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said at a joint news conference last week.

“It would be difficult for us to meet our 2030 goals given the current pace of battery development. That’s why we’re looking to Panasonic and other companies to help us develop ever-better cars and batteries.”

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‘World’s greenest car company’ announced

Toyota has been rated the ‘world’s greenest carmaker‘ and ranked 16th amongst the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the world. 

Companies are rated against their industry rivals on a number of criteria, including energy consumption, water usage and waste levels. 

The award recognises Toyota for its track record of sustainability achievements and for its eco-sensitive hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, and places the world’s largest automaker ahead of such respected companies as Apple, Starbucks and Nike. 

The Toyota Mirai is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, one of the first such vehicles to be sold commercially.

Initiatives by the world’s largest automaker have helped save 350 million litres of water and reduced energy use by 22 per cent in their North American manufacturing plants. Toyota Financial Services was also the first in the industry to use an Asset-Backed Green Bond to finance the purchase of nearly 40,000 green vehicles.

“Globally, Toyota has demonstrated its leadership in sustainable mobility through its commitment to developing and improving existing and alternative vehicle technologies that reduce the impact on the environment,” said Sean Hanley, senior divisional manager for sales and marketing, Toyota Australia.

“The environment has been at the heart of everything we do at Toyota since our very beginning.  The launch of our Environmental Challenge 2050 in 2015 reinforced the key areas in which we are reducing our impact on the environment throughout the entire lifecycle of our products. This recognition from Newsweek proves that the sustainable strategy that we at Toyota have adopted is paying dividends,” added Dr. Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe.

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Toyota and Panasonic to partner

Toyota and Panasonic are partnering in a feasibility of study to develop battery technology for electric cars, or a “joint automotive prismatic battery business.”

The move by the Japanese car maker signals not only a deeper push into battery development but an encroachment on to rival Tesla’s territory. 

The joint announcement on Wednesday builds on an existing agreement under which Panasonic, a global market leader for lithium-ion batteries, develops and builds batteries for Toyota’s petrol-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s president, and Kazuhiro Tsuga, his counterpart at Panasonic, announced the companies would look at joining forces to speed up commercialisation of next-generation battery technologies.

Signing of partnership agreement between Panasonic and Toyota – Toyota Newsroom

If Toyota succeeds in commercialising solid-state batteries then it would go a long way to securing Panasonic’s industry leading position. It is currently the main supplier of electric batteries to Tesla.

“The auto industry faces many hurdles to developing next-generation batteries which are difficult for automakers or battery makers to tackle on their own,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said at a joint news conference.

Toyota President, Akio Toyoda – Toyota Newsroom

“It would be difficult for us to meet our 2030 goals given the current pace of battery development. That’s why we’re looking to Panasonic and other companies to help us develop ever-better cars and batteries.”

While Toyota continues to pursue hydrogen vehicles, the car maker is now focused on electric car pursuits after recognising that it was falling behind on the EV technology despite its early hybrid leadership with the Prius sedan.

The pair plan to expand development of prismatic batteries with higher energy density. Panasonic already makes prismatic batteries for Toyota, whereas for Tesla, it makes cylindrical batteries of a type similar to those used in laptops.

“Our cylindrical batteries are the most widely used batteries in pure EVs at the moment,” said Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga.

“But when you look at the future, it’s difficult to gauge which format holds more demand potential.”

“We need to be able to develop new battery technologies in a prismatic format, and this would be difficult on our own.”

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Record month for Australian auto industry

The Toyota Hilux was Australia’s best-selling vehicle in November.

According to the latest results released by VFACTS, November sales sky-rocketed which have kept the Australian motor industry on target for another best-selling year.

Industry sales rolled past the 1 million mark for the year to date as the November total reached 101,365, a gain of 2.5 per cent on the same month last year.

This keeps the industry running at 0.6 per cent ahead of last year’s record pace.

Toyota remained the market leader with an 18.6 per cent share of the November sales, followed by Mazda, Hyundai and Holden, with a share of 9.2, 8.7 and 7.8 respectively.

The Toyota Hilux was Australia’s best-selling vehicle in November with 4,103 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger, the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and the Mazda CX-5.

Comparing November with the same period last year, small cars showed a 6.4 per cent increase against a general decrease in passenger car sales, which is down 7.3 per cent.

Majority of the market movement was again with the uptake of small and medium SUVs, the small SUV segment being the star performer where sales increased by 31.1 per cent.

SUV sales generally were up 8.6 per cent and light commercials up 7.9 per cent compared with November last year. Year to date, the two segments have risen 4.7 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.

Strong sales were recorded across all states except for the two territories which suffered slight falls. 

Business buyers returned in force to the November market. While sales to private buyers fell 3.4 per cent on the November 2016 result, business purchases of SUVs and light commercials rose by 12.9 per cent and 14.6 per cent respectively.

The Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Tony Weber, said that with less than one month remaining, he remained confident that the industry would surpass last year’s record total.

“The momentum built in the market over the past few months appears to be continuing so we’re on target for another record year,” he said.

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All new Toyota Camry

Toyota New Zealand will introduce the all new Toyota Camry, New Zealand’s top selling medium-sized sedan in early 2018.

2018 Toyota Camry

The latest Camry boasts higher power and better fuel economy, a revamped chassis that sharpens driving dynamics and advanced new safety technologies.

“The 2018 Camry is a totally new car from bumper to bumper,” said Spencer Morris, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Product.

“There is a lot of new technology in next year’s Camry, starting with the adoption of Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), which has transformed the way Toyota vehicles are designed, engineered and packaged.”

The manufactured in Japan sedan, which replaces the Australian built car, has just been launched across the Tasman.

The cornerstones of the 2018 Camry are the redesigned hybrid system with a new four-cylinder engine that delivers more power, flexibility and efficiency, and a stunning new V6 engine with direct-injection technology and an eight-speed transmission.

Full details of the Camry model range and its pricing will be announced at the time of the New Zealand launch.

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