Archive for January, 2012

These last few years have not been kind to Toyota. With its ongoing recall issues, last year’s earth quake and tsunami in Japan and just the overall malaise of the worldwide economy, the Japanese automaker can only hope that its future will bring a rosier dawn. And, with the Toyota NS4 concept car, the carmaker just may have good reason to be optimistic.

The NS4 is a display of what a plug-in hybrid Camry will probably look like in model-year 2015. Stylistically, its body does not offer much of a departure from the more aerodynamic sedans that are tooling about our roads today. However, with the NS4 being a concept car and one made for the auto show no less, this one came with powered doors that opened and closed with nary a whisper and touch-screen cluster controls. Moreover, it boasts the pre-collision warning system that some other models already feature.        

Its power source is where the Toyota NS4 concept is to truly distance itself from its ancestors. The engine on display at the auto show appeared to be a hybrid motor that is a step forward from what the most-recent Prius offers.  Check here for the latest Toyota Camry deals and incentives.

Toyota Sees Higher Gas Prices and Prius Sales

Toyota’s President of the USA division, Jim Lentz, sees a rosy future for the company and its Prius Hybrid.  He sees the price of gasoline rising “substantially” in 2012, one reason why Toyota is expanding its hybrid product line to accommodate around 200,000 Prius sales this year. 

For a while there, Toyota’s vaunted reputation as the world’s most reliable carmaker seemed destined to fall.  Recalls due to sticking accelerators made almost daily headlines in the first half of 2010, and then the massive earthquake and tsunami the first few months of 2011 caused supply line problems in Japan.  But with momentum building in the last few months of 2011, Lentz is confident the worst is behind them.

“The plan for this year is to grow sales to almost $1.9 million,” Lentz said last week at the North American International Auto Show.  The gasoline-electric version of the Prius is projected to increase by 60% this year over last, in part because of the introduction of a new, smaller version of the hybrid car.  The new five-door version will debut at just below $19,000 and offers an impressive 53 MPG in city driving conditions.  Lentz expects that many current Prius owners will be “rotating and bringing those…back through to buy more Priuses.”

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