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Toyota will be heading to this year’s Auto China Beijing show with a new concept car, releasing two teaser images prior to its debut.
The popular blue shade that Toyota normally associates to its hybrid vehicles hints that the upcoming concept will either be a hybrid or electric vehicle. In fact, it’s believed to be a hybrid created in China specifically for the Chinese market.
Recently, Toyota announced its new framework called Toyota New Global Architecture in hopes to develop multiple models simultaneously to boost the quantity of common parts used across its vehicles. The NS4 plug-in was our first hint at the Japanese automaker’s hopes on a new design and it’s clear that Toyota believes it in with another concept sharing a similar look.
The other teaser image points to a compact or even a sub-compact (perhaps Yaris-sized) concept.
GALLERY: Toyota Beijing Motor Show Concept Teasers
Toyota has delivered its 400,000th hybrid in Europe, marking a huge milestone for the Japanese automaker. Their entrance into the European hybrid market began back in 2000, and since then there has been three generations of their popular Prius and more recently, the Auris Hybrid in 2010.
The 400,000th hybrid delivered in Europe was an Auris Hybrid and was sold as a company car to CTG, an IT consulting agency. The company recently ordered a fleet of 20 Auris Hybrids.
“We are very proud to deliver our 400,000th hybrid in Europe to a customer in Belgium where we have a strong presence with our European headquarters, our R&D centre, our parts and vehicle logistics operations,” said Michel Gardel, Vice President of Communication, External and Environmental Affairs at Toyota Motor Europe. “It shows that Belgian and European customers are not only ready to consider a hybrid vehicle purchase but for Toyota, they have been doing so in large numbers – in fact 10% of our sales in Europe were hybrid vehicles last year,” he added.
And even though it’s quite the achievement for Toyota, putting it into perspective shows just how much more accepting Americans are of hybrids than Europeans. Last year alone, Toyota sold 150,000 hybrids in the United States; so for the automaker to take 12 years to hit the 400,000th mark in Europe proves that Europeans still prefer diesels over hybrids.
The Toyota Prius family could grow even larger as the automakers studies additional versions of the three row Prius.
The Japanese automaker wants to sell 1 million hybrids a year and in early 2012, Toyota will launch two more Prius family members. The members will include the Prius C compact hybrid and the Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Toyota will be taking two paths with the hybrid section. The dedicated Prius platform, and optional hybrid variant of existing vehicles like the Camry, Venza and Sienna.
Bob Carter Toyota Division Manager said the three-row Prius would have to come from a dedicated hybrid platform, have the Prius’ aerodynamic shape, get at least 40mpg and have a modest price tag.
However, research and development costs for other hybrid vehicles are almost unaffordable for Toyota. In the next 20 months, 10 new or redesigned hybrids will be introduced in within the Toyota brand.
[Source: Automotive News]
The assembly lines had been shut down following the Mar. 11 Japan earthquake, and resulting tsunami that is still causing trouble for the industry.
A Toyota spokesperson was not able to confirm restored production from one of three battery factories damaged during the natural calamity, and which normally supplies the Prius assembly line.
It is speculated by those in the know that the battery plant could still be out of business. If so, this would fit with previous Toyota warnings that U.S. Prius availability will be limited due to the affected battery plant.
[Source: Autoblog Green]
Toyota‘s iQ microcar will get a fully electric version in 2011, the Japanese automaker has confirmed. The iQ will come as part of a plan to launch 11 hybrid or electric vehicles by 2012, including a hybrid version of the Yaris hatchback, a plug-in version of the Prius Hybrid and a Prius-based minivan.
In a statement released by the firm, Toyota stated that “improving the efficiency of its internal combustion engines, which account for the majority of sales, while raising performance, reducing costs and expanding the range available”. The company is also investigating new battery technologies that will bring big advances in performance that will be needed for electric cars to succeed in the mass market”.
Toyota announced today that they will build a small hybrid car in France, apparently based on the Yaris compact. Toyota already builds the Auris hatchback in Europe, which is available with a hybrid system.
In a statement released by the company, the Japanese manufacturer said “This decision fits in Toyota’s strategy to extend the full hybrid technology to an increasing number of models.” Honda is expected to unveil a hybrid version of the Fit subcompact, that would directly compete with the new Toyota model.
The new model Over 300,000 Toyota and Lexus hybrids have been sold in Europe over the past decade. The plant will get a $70 million investment as part of the hybrid production plans. Toyota is aiming to have a hybrid model of each car in its lineup by 2020.
[Source: Automotive News]
According to Japan’s daily Nikkei daily business paper, Toyota will not sit back and watch Honda succeed with its Insight. Nor will Toyota let Honda hold on to the claim of selling the most affordable hybrid in the U.S. for long.
A yet-unnamed sub-compact model from Toyota is scheduled to go into production and be on sale in Japan as early as 2011. The new model will use a gasoline powerplant smaller than the 1.5-liter four-cylinder in the current Prius model – one possibility being the new 1.3-liter engine found in the iQ in Europe.
Currently the Insight sells for $19,800 – or $20,470 with the destination charge included. This makes it significantly cheaper than the $22,720 Prius. The new model from Toyota would be priced below $20,510.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line via Nikkei]