October 9th, 2012 at 11:40am
Toyota’s chairman says he won’t approve any new models that are not waku waku doki doki. What does that mean? Find out. Four major companies agree to accelerate the pace of fuel cell development and infrastructure. Toyota makes good on damaged cars in recent protests. All that and more, plus Andrew Justus has Autoline’s first look at Ford’s new dedicated hybrid, the C-MAX.
Welcome to Autoline Daily. I’m John McElroy and here’s the news.
ARE YOU WAKU DOKI?
Toyota introduced the automotive world to words like Kaizen, which means constant improvement, and poke yoka, which means mistake proofing. But those don’t sound nearly as funny as waku waku doki doki. That loosely translates into an over-brimming heartbeat. The whole idea is that when you see a new Toyota your heart beat races up. And they’re dead serious about it. It may sound funny to us but Akio Toyoda, the chairman of the company says he will not approve any new model unless it has the feeling of waku waku doki doki. Me? I just love the way it sounds.
BANKS WILLING TO EXTEND CAR LOANS
Want to know why car sales are the one bright spot in the American market? Because banks are more than willing to extend car loans. Mike Jackson, the CEO of Autonation, says that’s because during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, car payments became the Number One priority payment for households. They would make their monthly car payments ahead of their mortgage payments, their credit card bills and even their children’s education. With that kind of prioritization, banks feel comfortable extending more car loans, and that’s why the automotive market is one of the few bright spots in the American economy.
BOOST IN CELL COUNT
Fuel cell cars just took a big step forward. Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai all signed a memorandum of understanding with a group representing Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark, to support and accelerate the introduction of fuel cell vehicles and a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the countries between 2014 and 2017.
LEG IT OUT
Chinese car buyers sure like a lot of back seat leg room. So the Chinese version of the Ford EcoSport will get a longer wheelbase. It’s only 40mm longer than the Latin American, Indian, and European models, that’s about an inch and half, but I guess that’s enough. The elongated EcoSport will feature the 1.5L but it will also get a 1.0 liter turbo engine in 2013 when Ford completes it’s engine plant in Chongqing.
CADILLAC XTS IN CHINA
And the Chinese version of the Cadillac XTS will offer either a turbocharged 2.0L or a 3.0L V6. The U.S. version, by comparison, gets a 3.6 liter V-6.
THAT’S JUST SMASHING!
Speaking of China, Toyota announced it will compensate owners of vehicles that had been smashed or damaged by protesters angry over those islands that China and Japan are squabbling about. FAW Toyota will also offer subsidies of nearly $3,200 to purchase a new vehicle.
FORD C-MAX HYBRID
(The Ford C-MAX Hybrid overview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)
Don’t forget to join me and Peter De Lorenzo, that bodacious Autoextremist, this Thursday night for Autoline After Hours. One of the topics we’ll be covering is the kind of fuels we might be using in our cars in the not too distant future. That’s because our guest will be Candace Wheeler, one of GM’s top fuel experts. So join us this Thursday starting at 6PM ET at Autoline.tv
And that wraps up today’s report, join us again here tomorrow.