Cars Coming Soon: The $1 Million Toyota

Lexus LF-LC concept

Lexus LF-LC Concept

While Toyota has no plans to build a Camry that costs a cool million, the company responsible for the remarkable Lexus LFA just might have a supercar sequel in mind.

How can the automaker top its efforts on the $375,000, 202-mph, 552-hp, 4.8-liter V10-powered scream machine? Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought it would be possible without striving for Bugatti Veyron-type numbers. Which, it turns out, could be a possibility. The rumor mill is churning with “leaked information” that Toyota isn’t satisfied with the LFA’s performance and wants a car that’s faster, more powerful and priced at close to a million bucks.

This is the type of story I’d take with a hefty dose of the proverbial salt, but the thought sure is enticing. It’s also a bit more believable considering the recent efforts Toyota has made at building sporty cars. In addition to the untouchable LFA, the Scion FR-S will arrive shortly, and the Lexus LF-LC concept looks hot.

Continue reading >>>

Toyota’s “100 Cars For Good” Program Needs Your Help

Summit Assistance dogs

At the dentist’s office yesterday I read a nice article in Fortune about Toyota’s return to glory. The story highlighted the company’s leader, Akio Toyoda, and his management strategy, which has gotten Toyota back on track after a horrendous spell of bad luck.

Of course, the article spent plenty of time discussing Toyota’s perception as a transportation appliance, its traditional lack of styling and how it is working to overcome those perceptions. It was actually an inspiring story about a proud Japanese businessman humbled by recalls, quality problems, devastating natural disasters and a steep decline in sales and production of its vehicles.

What the article never mentioned is the good Toyota wants to spread by giving away some if its cars.

Continue reading >>>

Who Do You Want Running Your Car Company?

Dan Akerson at a GM Town Hall meeting

We thought it might be enlightening to look at the CEOs of three of the largest car companies so you can decide whom you want to replace Henrik Fisker (Monday joke, of course). We didn’t include Alan Mulally, because most of you know his record at Ford.

Dan Akerson, 63, came to General Motors in 2010 after five years in the Navy and wide business experience, mostly as head of global buyout for the Carlyle Group and in telecommunications. He had a track record in private equity but not in manufacturing or autos.

So, despite coming in cold, Akerson is a turnaround guy and, according to most analysts, has done extremely well in bringing back GM from the dead, paying back government loans, and making saleable and respected product again.

It has been a dramatic transformation, one not without costs to those whom GM’s bankruptcy burned. Most of you know about the success of cars like the Chevy Cruze and the Buick Verano. The Volt has been a disappointment but was an experiment that may yet pay off.

Continue reading >>>