June 25th, 2012 at 12:02pm
Toyota will shift production of Yarises built in Japan for North America to France, the first time Toyota will export from Europe to North America. General Motors announced it’s boosting production in Russia. Yamaha plans to introduce a new motorcycle in India with a price of just $500. All that and more, plus John McElroy test drives the 2013 Lexus GS 350.
Hello again and welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily. It’s Monday the 25th of June, 2012. I’m Craig Cole, filling in for John McElroy who is out of the office. Anyway, here’s all the news that’s fit to broadcast.
TOYOTA SHIFTS YARIS PRODUCTION
Japanese automakers are slashing exports from their home country because the strong yen is cutting into profits. Now Reuters reports Toyota will shift production of some Yarises from Japan to France of all places. Annually the company plans to export around 25,000 Yarises from France to North America starting next year. This marks the first time Toyota will export from the Old World to the New.
TOYOTA & BMW EXPAND PARTNERSHIP
And speaking of Toyota, German magazine Der Spiegel reports the Japanese automaker will expand its partnership with BMW. Last year the two companies agreed to swap diesel and hybrid technology. Starting in 2014, BMW will supply Toyota with diesel engines for the European market while Toyota will help BMW with lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Now reports say the two companies have agreed to collaborate on new projects. Details are expected to be announced shortly.
AUTOLINE AFTER HOURS
And just a programming note here, in a couple short weeks we’ll be bringing you the second annual Autoline After Hours Fantasy Draft. With new players and more action YOU won’t want to miss it. The big day is Thursday, July 12 starting at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Again that’s Thursday, July 12 at 6:00 p.m. Mark your calendars, jot down a little note or tie a piece of string on your finger because you won’t want to miss it.
GM EXPANDS IN RUSSIA
General Motors just announced it’s boosting production in Russia. The company’s plant in St. Petersburg will see its annual production capacity more than double from 98,000 units to 230,000 by 2015. The plant will build Chevy and Opel models including the all-new Astra. The manufacturing boost is part of a $1 billion expansion in Russia.
YAMAHA LAUNCHES LOW-COST BIKE
Speaking of expansion, Yamaha is looking to nearly triple its share of the Indian motorcycle market. Right now the Japanese OEM can claim about 3.5 percent of two-wheeler sales on the subcontinent, but it wants to reach double digits – 10 percent – by 2016. That works out to roughly 2 million sales annually. To hit that target The Wall Street Journal reports it plans to introduce a new bike with a price of just $500 – its cheapest model in the world. India is hugely important to motorcycle manufacturers. It’s the second-biggest market for bikes on the planet.
Look out below, especially if you drive a red car! According to the British publication Daily Mail, scientists have determined that crimson-colored vehicles are more likely to be on the receiving end of bird droppings than any other color. Yes, they apparently get paid to research this stuff. In this study, 18 percent of red cars were found to be defiled, compared to just 1 percent of green ones – the least-soiled hue. Of course this isn’t a very scientific study, but still, it raises many questions. Do birds see red and think “danger!”? Can birds even see color? Also, why do our avian allies always seem to target shiny, freshly washed vehicles? The world may never know.
Coming up next, John McElroy reviews one of Lexus’ newest models.
LEXUS GS 350
(The Lexus GS 350 review is only available in the video version of today’s program.)
That new GS 350 is a pretty nice car and the hybrid version is an absolute rocket! The GS 450h is the first vehicle equipped with a CVT that I’ve actually enjoyed driving.
Anyway, that’s a wrap for today. Won’t you join us again tomorrow? We’ll see you then!