Toyota Exclusive Auto Sponsor of Ny Marathon Mix

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Toyota the producer of high quality Toyota parking brake cables will join the marathon that will take place on the streets of New York. The Japanese automaker and currently the world’s largest automaker have signed a three-year contract to become the official and sole auto sponsor at both the ING New York City Marathon and the NYC Half Marathon presented by Nike. The financial portions of the deal were not disclosed but the Japanese automaker will feature its hybrid platform, including the Prius, Highlander SUV and the Camry Hybrid, via the regional TV and print, on-and off-course.

The contract would call for the operational usage such as transporting athletes and officials, and aside from the monetary prize both the men and women winners at the ING New York City Marathon will receive a Prius.

The coalition will also set off in support of the NYC Half Marathon presented by Nike on Aug. 5 while the ING New York City Marathon will be held on Nov. 4. The previous sponsor of the said events was DaimlerChrysler’s Smart microcompact in 2005.

According to Bryan Riss, Toyota’s vehicle operations manager, New York region, “Prius is our glamour hybrid—it gets the most attention from the Hollywood crowd—but we want to support our entire [hybrid] line.”

Riss also said that Toyota’s long-term plan is to have a hybrid for each model that the company builds and with this new alliance it will help to make consumers aware of the importance of hybrid vehicles. Avis, which is also one of the sponsors of the New York Marathon, said that it would include Prius as a car rental option beginning this summer.

Ann Hinegardner, svp-business development and marketing strategies at New York Road Runners, which oversees both marathons and numerous other running events year- round said, “The car category is very important to the marathon, and signing Toyota is in line with our commitment to the environment and health. Toyota plans a full activation now through November.”

The AST Dew Tour will employ several strategies in place as it embarks on its third season this week, Baltimore, Salt Lake City and Cleveland have replaced Louisville, San Jose, and Denver as tour stops. MTV has also been added to the media mix plus the tour name has been changed from the Dew Action Sports Tour with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew remaining as the title sponsor with the rest of other leading sponsors.

The schedule begins with the Panasonic Open at Baltimore on June 21-24 and runs through the PlayStation Pro at Orlando on Oct. 18-21 with top action sports athletes in BMX, motocross and skateboarding vying for points and monetary prizes.

Wade Martin, President and General Manager at the AST Dew Tour, Aurora, Ill., said, “This is the first part of our strategy to build AST [Action Sports Tour] as an umbrella brand that will encompass other events. We want AST to become what Nascar is to fans and consumers.”

He also added that the AST plans to include a US winter action sports tour and global events. The tour will also reach people via numerous outlets such as NBC and USA Network, Fuel TV, FSN radio, VOD in a potential of 30 million homes and iTUnes. New for this year on MTV and MTV2 will be the two behind-the-scenes shows and features prior to each of the tour events. Attendance in 2006 was about 250,000 which increased to 15,000 from the inaugural tour. The AST Dew Tour is owned by NBC Universal and Live Nation.

Martin further stated, “The challenge in our third year will be the same challenge in our 10th year: getting more people to attend in person, watch or access the events and support our sponsors.”

The other tour stops will include the Right Guard Open at Vleveland on July 19 to 22, Vans Invitational at Portland, Ore., on Aug. 16 to 19 and then finally the Toyota Challenge at Salt Lake City on Sept. 20 to 23.

By: Toyota USA Blog

Vw’s Magotan to Compete With Toyota’s Camry

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Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest automaker and the biggest overseas car maker in China has started selling Magotan sedans in the country and in the process challenging Toyota Motor Corp.’s Camry which is equipped with high quality Toyota thermostat.

The Magotan sedans are equipped with 1.8-liter or 2-liter engine and have a base price starting 192,800 yuan or $25,000 basing in an email coming from Volkswagen. On the other hand Toyota’s China-made Camry has a price that starts at 197,800 yuan more expensive than the Magotan by 5,000 yuan.

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The Wolfsburg-based automaker plans to add as many as 14 new models in China by the end of 2009 in an effort to maintain its market lead. Likewise, the automaker’s Santana and Jetta sedans has claimed the top two spots in the first-half sales rankings in the country and comparing that with Camry which went on sale last year and was only able to obtain the fourth rank.

According to Tiecheng, President of FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co. one of Volkswagen’s China ventures, “The Magotan helps to diversify FAW-Volkswagen’s product structure, allowing us to be more competitive in the market.”

Europe’s largest automaker, Volkswagen has about 19 percent of China’s car market accomplished in the first half of the year after boosting sales by a quarter to 431,369. The FAW-Volkswagen which is a venture with China FAW Group Corp. will make the Magotan which is offered as the Passat in Europe. Volkswagen also has a venture with Shanghai Automotive Co. the listed unit of SAIC Motor Corp.

In other news, Jim Press, the President of Toyota North America has made a rather bold statement saying that “eventually, everything will be a hybrid.” And aside from that he has shown his confidence in Toyota’s ability and so proud of their product line that he goes as far as saying that the ground-breaking Toyota Prius hybrid is just like Ford’s Model T.

It should be noted that the Ford Model T has often been considered as the first of its kind and a car which was made accessible to the masses. It was somewhat advance for its time and has helped in shaping the automotive industry into what it is today. Mr. Press is also saying that the Prius just like the Model T is equally revolutionary.

The everything-will-become-hybrid speech of Mr. Jim Press has aroused various reactions and of course there are those that contradict Mr. Press’ statement saying that not everything will be hybrid. But with the present trend in the auto industry maybe who knows we might all end up driving hybrids.