Unlike General Motors and Chrysler which have chose not to hold press conferences at this year’s L.A. Auto Show, Ford is using the show as an opportunity to roll out several new models including the Ford Mustang, Lincoln MKZ, Mercury Milan and the Ford Fusion. The centerpiece of the automaker’s next generation Fusion and Milan is hybrid technology, a first for Ford’s popular mid-size sedans.
The hybrid model is the biggest newsmaker as the 2.5L engine (paired with a six-speed automatic transmission) gets class leading city fuel economy, what Ford says will be 6 mpg better than the comparable sized Toyota Camry Hybrid. If that assertion holds up, then the Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Hybrid will return 39 mpg in the city based on the 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid’s EPA certified fuel economy of 33 mpg. In other words, the Ford twins will have the best city fuel economy of any car on the road, even beating out the Smart ForTwo and any diesel or other hybrid model.
For the driver who prefers something besides a gas-electric hybrid, the Ford twins offer three engine choices when the new models go on sale in Spring 2009: a 2.5L I4, 3.0L Flexfuel V6, and a 3.5L V6. Across the entire model line, six speed automatic transmissions are standard, helping to maximize fuel economy with these five passenger sedans. Ford says that this new combination will increase fuel economy by 17% with the base engine and 10% for the other engines, a trend in the right direction for an automaker scrambling to provide a much more fuel efficient fleet of passenger vehicles.
Will the Fusion Hybrid be the death of the Toyota Camry? Not hardly. The Camry remains the best selling car in America with approximately 500,000 units sold in good years. However, Ford is making a strong case for buyers to consider the Fusion given that the Camry offers just a five-speed automatic transmission and its own hybrid now trails the Fusion in city fuel economy.
For Ford, which is reeling under stiff financial pressure, the new models cannot come soon enough. Perhaps consumers will sit up and take notice that Ford is in the fuel savings game to win.
By: Toyota USA Blog
Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) members pick Camry LE, Camry Hybrid and RAV4 as category winners for the 2007 Canadian Car of the Year. Toyota Trio were given the top honors. Toyota Camry LE won in the Best New Family Car, Toyota Camry Hybrid, in the Best New Family Car, and Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport in the Best New SUV/CUV category.
“Toyota is very happy to accept these awards and on behalf of everyone at Toyota in Canada, I’d like to thank AJAC’s members for these honors,” said Stephen Beatty, Managing Director at Toyota Canada Inc. “The Toyota Camry is North America’s most popular passenger car. The Toyota Camry Hybrid represents an important evolution of gasoline-electric hybrid technology in the second most popular market segment in Canada. And the redesigned Toyota RAV4 will be manufactured in Woodstock, Ontario when our new assembly plant, currently under construction, begins production in 2008.”
Toyota Camry, a midsize car built in Georgetown, Kentucky plant, is the best-selling car in the United States for 8 of the last 9 years starting in 1997. Now in its sixth generation, auto parts for Toyota Camry have been notably redesigned though the length of the car remained unchanged. Kentucky plant produces approximately 45,000 Camrys annually.
Toyota Camry OEM parts boast functionality and style. The new Camry is also being manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation Australia. The new generation Camry in Australia went on sale last August. Its model range is composed of the Altise, Ateva, Sportivo and Grande.
This year, Toyota created a hybrid version of Camry. It was introduced alongside with the redesigned Camry. The car employs Hybrid Synergy Drive setup, which is identical to that of Prius, Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h. Camry Hybrid uses a 4-cylinder gasoline engine that is capable of producing 192 horsepower. Standard features of the Camry Hybrid include knee airbags, side torso airbags and side-curtain airbags, remote entry and start.
Toyota RAV4, on the other hand, is a compact crossover SUV which was significantly redesigned for the 2006 model year. For now, Toyota RAV4 auto parts are assembled in the automaker’s Tahara, Aichi, Japan assembly plant. However, the assembly is expected to be transferred in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada assembly plant when the latter comes online.
“These three vehicles are extremely important to Toyota’s vision of the future of personal transportation in Canada,” Mr. Beatty continued. “Therefore, we’re pleased that they have been selected by AJAC’s members as the best in their respective categories.”
AJAC is an association composed of professional journalists, writers and photographers who are responsible for the coverage in Canada’s auto industry.
Toyota has been enjoying much success in the US. So much successful, in fact, that they are expected to take over the spot occupied currently by General Motors as the world’s largest car manufacturer. The company has been selling cars which has broken record after record for sales. The company’s lineup also includes models that have won different awards. Not only that, they are also the leading producer of the world’s most popular green car, the Toyota Prius.
But Toyota has recently received another feather on their cap. Aside from breaking their sales record for February, the company was also voted as the 3rd “Most Admired” company in the United States. Fortune magazine conducted a survey on 3,332 executives, directors, and securities analysts in order to seek out the ten most admired companies in the country. The winners of this year’s distinction from Fortune magazine are known for their environment-friendly policies.
Toyota fits perfectly in that category since the car maker is one of the frontrunners in the auto industry when it comes to producing green cars. The Prius, the hybrid vehicle from Toyota, has been received warmly by the motoring public. The demand for fuel-efficient cars saw the sales of the Prius reach 100,000 last year. This year, the Toyota Prius remains to be one of the stronger selling models in the Toyota lineup. The Prius’ popularity is emphasized on the fact that it has replaced the Hummer as the vehicle of choice for Hollywood residents.
Aside from the Prius, Toyota’s lineup also features the best selling car in the U.S. since 2002 – the Toyota Camry. The Camry is the best selling car from Toyota and its popularity is still increasing as shown in its rising sales. Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota features the leading luxury car brand in the U.S. for seven straight years. These vehicles show that Toyota has been enjoying much success in the U.S. auto market and the company is still growing in terms of sales of their vehicles. These vehicles are like power antennas which propel the company to newer heights and increase the popularity of the company among different communities.
Toyota also boosts the economy of the country by providing jobs in their plants located in the U.S. Last year, the company produced more than 1.55 million vehicles and 1.4 million engines in their 14 plants in North America. The number of their plants located in the U.S. is still on the verge of increasing since Toyota has announced that they will be starting the construction of another assembly plant in Mississippi. Aside from the jobs generated by these plants, Toyota also indirectly creates hundreds of thousands of jobs.
By: Joe Thompson
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