AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Toyota and Yamaha announced today that they have formed a collaboration to bring communications linked, next-generation vehicles to the market with concepts debuting at the upcoming 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. With the aim of building a new society for the future, the two next-generation vehicles on display will be a communications-linked electric commuter concept and an electrically power-assisted bicycle concept.
But Toyota and Yamaha has three objectives to make this collaboration a success. First is to build a comprehensive information infrastructure so that vehicles built by both Toyota and Yamaha can share the same charging infrastructure and integration with Toyota Smart Center. Secondly, both companies wish to establish new transportation systems, including those to a aid vehicle sharing system. Lastly, they wish to reduce development costs for IT services.
Toyota will make vehicle navigation and telematics services utilizing smartphones and WiFi available to certain Yamaha vehicles, providing them with charging-station locations, availability and charging-completion notifications. Jointly, both companies will also work towards expanding charging infrastructure so that they can be shared by both two-wheeled vehicles and automobiles.
GALLERY: Toyota/Yamaha Communications Linked Next-Generation Vehicles
For some, it’s been a long time coming, especially as the current Liberty, despite a fairly recent refresh, is one of the oldest vehicles in the Jeep, or for that matter Chrysler portfolio.
Nonetheless, next week, CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to make an announcement on November 16 while touring the Toledo North assembly complex where the current model is built. It’s perhaps quite timely, for the plant is scheduled to build the last examples of the Liberty’s Dodge counterpart, the Nitro, next month.
The next generation Liberty will most likely be built off Fiat’s new CUSW architecture, which will underpin a number of next generation Chrysler group small and mid-size cars and SUVs. The current car is based on a traditional SUV platform suitable for the kind of hardcore off-roading that Jeep buyers expect, so a car-based platform would be a substantial break from the norm.
There’s also a possibility the name could revert to Cherokee (which current Liberty models are labeled in overseas markets). At present other details are scarce; nonetheless Chrysler is attempting to reassure local workers, along with state and local governments, that Toledo does indeed have a future, having declared that it plans to invest some $365 million in the facility, as well as creating 1,105 jobs to produce the next generation Liberty.
In the meantime, despite its age, the current model is still doing reasonably well in terms of sales, as orders are up some 34 percent through October this year.
[Source: Automotive News]