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Toyota, Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG)
#1 of 78 Toyota to add more hybrids.....
Jul 17, 2003 (6:38 pm)
Automotive News for 7/14 reports that Toyota is poised to add 3 more Hybrid gas/electric models to it's US lineup for '05.
Toyota, ironically the maker of one of the most comprehensive lineups of SUVs, plans to add hybrid versions of the Highlander and the Sienna
minivan to the redesigned Prius in 2005.
A Lexus RX400H (a hybridized RX330)is due for US sale as soon as Spring 2004.
Engineers are studying possible hybridized Camry and Lexus V8 models for future development.
Toyota Motors, with the largest cash hoard in the industry is clearly willing to spend heavily to dominate the hybrid vehicle maket.
GM, Ford and Honda are also developing hybrids and others are researching them but Toyo's effort clearly dwarfs any known competitive plans.
Jul 18, 2003 (12:08 pm)
there's a huge hybrid market, just waiting to be tapped, for large SUVs, pickups, and even larger commercial rigs. Gas-hybrids and diesel-hybrids are coming, and I think it's great.
If it were possible to get 30 -35 mpg out of a Tundra/Sequoia hybrid or a Tahoe/Suburban hybrid, there would be far less criticism of such vehicles. I just hope they are priced within reach of mere mortals...
Jul 21, 2003 (8:03 am)
Reading a link yesterday on another site: GM to bring a hybrid truck to japan next year for some delivery company. Something in the article about japanese companies being unable to use the tech. they already have. I think it was US News.
Will try and find the link and post !
Jul 21, 2003 (12:13 pm)
"... there's a huge hybrid market, just waiting to be tapped, for large SUVs, pickups, and even larger commercial rigs."
Actually, some of the earliest hybrids are commercial vehicles. The house-sized dump trucks used in mining operations are hybrid-electric vehicles.
I think Toyota is making a smart move. Honda is the only company currently presenting any sort of challenge in the NA market. Toyota can out-spend them many, many, many times over. While Honda may have been the first with a hybrid here on NA soil, Toyota will get the recognition. With a hybrid option in most major lines (small car, mid-sized car, SUV, and minivan), they will have far greater reach. This will most likely force Honda to seek out less profitable niches for their hybrid offerings.
As for the others... They are late to the game without much to show for it. Solutions like GM's soft-hybrid option are seen by most hybrid fans as half-hearted attempts. A hybrid that powers only the A/C and other auxiliary systems simply isn't as sexy. Driveline hybrids (which are also in development by GM) are the ones being taken seriously. Nissan, Ford, GM and others have signed up to purchase Toyota systems and electronics. While that may get their name in the paper, I doubt very much Toyota will allow them to become seriously competitive. That is... unless they are making serious cash on the deal. Subaru has only done one concept car that I know of and Hyundai hasn't completed much of anything, either. Economic uncertainties have sent their main product lines into a tizzy. So, the domestic's HEV projects are low on their list or priorities. They have bigger fish to fry and initial offerings are more or less PR moves to prevent Toyota from running away with the market. You can almost hear the marketing guys shouting, "me too! me too!", from the sidelines.
#5 of 78 Support for the position GM's only hybrid option is
Jul 21, 2003 (1:02 pm)
to buy from Toyota?
I've seen the claim made on the web. But have not seen any reliable source to back it up. GM is developing its own hybrid program, using technology it already has in place from the EV-1 project.
As far as I know, when the hybrid VUE hits the streets late next year, it will be have the largest hp gas/electric combination on the market. Given Saturn's limited dealership networks, the VUE is selling very well. The hybrid VUE will provide a clear chance to see how much the market really wants hybrids.
Jul 22, 2003 (2:03 pm)
Not their only option. Just one they apparently took in addition to their own efforts. As mentioned in other threads, the articles which described the relationship have been purged from news websites. The links are dead.
My point was not to dismiss the engineering prowess of others. Rather, this shows how Toyota is leading the way. They are the "goto guys" for hybrid technology. This gives them a certain degree of control over anyone using their technologies.
As for the VUE, what are the combined engine and motor ratnigs? Ford has the HEV Escape going on sale this fall/winter (starting with fleet sales). Estimates are around 200 hp, same as the gas-only V6.
#8 of 78 For some reason, I thought the hybrid Vue
Jul 22, 2003 (4:50 pm)
would beat the Escape to the market. Carguy's good link shows I am wrong by about 9 months.
But the link also shows that Ford and Saturn will beat Toyota to market with affordable small Hybrid suvs.
IMO, the small hybrid suvs are the best manifestation of the technology for US drivers. On the one hand, a lot more Americans will buy them over small cars. And with the greater hp and interior room, the hybrid suvs will not make their customers feel they are giving up anything by going hybrid.
The Japanese failure to beat Ford and GM to market with small hybrid suvs underscores some points the pro-Japanese people hear gloss over. The Japanese did not beat the US to market with small hybrids because of some internal vision. Rather, the Japanese government mandated and backed up the mandate by paying Toyota and Honda to make hybrids for the Japanese market. Japanese tend to buy small cars, so naturally, the hybrids were small cars.
What makes the willingness of the Japanese government to underwrite hybrid research all the more interesting is that Japan, in its 13th year of recession has a deficit that by percentage of GDP, dwarfs that of most other first world nations. At the same time, in order to keep the yen weak (and by doing so exporting auto companies' profits high), Japan has been spending billions of dollars it does not have on US Treasury bonds and dollars.
Curiously, either due to lack of political will, or perhaps some odd sense of self-sacrafice for perceived national good, the Japanese tax payer make narry a peep about this extravagence.
In the US, on the other hand, US taxpayers would scream bloody murder if the government spent money at the level of Japan to help private industry. Indeed, many American people would welcome the entire collapse of the US auto industry, if some of the other topic strings are indicative of US opinion.
I am not a flag waver. In fact, I believe in social Darwinisim. I plan to retire to a farm I own with my wife's family in Brazil. But I do find the almost gleeful desire of Americans to bring down what our folks worked so hard to make somewhat odd.
#9 of 78 hold on a minute
Jul 22, 2003 (9:38 pm)
won't the hybrid RX400H be available to retail consumers (ie NOT fleets) BEFORE either the VUE or Escape hybrids? That is a small SUV, and it is a Lexus.
#10 of 78 The linked article in no. 7
Jul 23, 2003 (9:40 am)
says the Ford is in production now and will be in the showroom by the middle of next year.
It also says the Toyota suv is the Lexus 330. I am not aware of the Toyota you are talking about. Is there a link?