Monday morning car news roundup, January 26, 2015

Today is Monday

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With Toyota’s new minivans, a new management strategy is revealed

Alphard launch 1 - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Toyota’s new Alphard and Vellfire minivans, revealed today in Tokyo, are laden with new technology, like the impression to the driver that the car is transparent, or a computer, that parks the car nearly by itself. The minivans also come with Naoya Ukaku, a Toyota designer, and the trailblazer of a new, design-driven management concept.

Ukaku’s title is “Project Chief Designer.” Beginning with the Alphard and Vellfire, all new Toyota models will have one. “The PCD is like a chief engineer for design development,” Toyota’s Dion Corbett told me this afternoon. “He remains the car’s chief designer from idea development, through commercialization design all the way to sales preparations.” Until now at Toyota, these functions were handled by three different departments. The departments remain, but in the future, the Project Chief Designer stays with the car, and transitions with it from department through department while it gestates from the rough scribble on a napkin to final launched product.

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Today, very heavy hints of a range-doubling Nissan Leaf by 2016

Katagiri - picture courtesy Bertell Schmitt

Ever since the DailyKanban broke the story of the range-doubling Leaf nearly two months ago, facts have been dribbling out of Nissan drop by drop. At the Detroit Motor Show, Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn dropped a few heavy hints. Today, we came as close to confirmation as possible at this point in time. In a press conference at Nissan’s Yokohama HQ, Nissan’s dapper Japan Chief Takao Katagiri told reporters to expect “a more efficient EV with an improved battery” during Nissan’s fiscal 2016, which goes from April 1 2016 through March 31 2017. In the “a picture says more than a thousand words” dept., a slide Katagiri put up against the wall during his remarks was more forthcoming. [Continue Reading]

Friday morning car news roundup, January 23, 2015

Today is Friday

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Thursday morning car news roundup, January 22, 2015

Thursday-N-courtesy-happyhealthylonglife.com_

ANALYSIS: Has Audi reached a limit with model proliferation? - Just-auto: Audi's continuing success has come with a stream of new products but is a TT family a step too far? European cities move against diesel cars - FT: Politicians concerned … [Continue reading]

List of carmakers poisoned by Russia’s toxic market

Like a BRIC into the wall

“Hit by a plunge in the Russian rouble and increased buying incentives in the United States,” (an interesting combination of events, presented by Reuters) Hyundai’s net profit took a 19 percent plunge for the October to December quarter. Will other … [Continue reading]

Toyota remains world’s largest, thinks global car market has peaked

Speed kills

As predicted by the DailyKanban for about six months, Toyota remains World’s Largest Automaker. Also as predicted, new numbers suggest that Toyota might lose its crown by the end of 2015. That was the unsurprising part of the news. The surprising … [Continue reading]

Wednesday morning car news roundup, January 21, 2015

Wednesday-N-courtesy-Wikipedia.org_

  Two Films About Evil Cars Trying to Kill Someone - Via Google News: Elliot Silverstein's entry in the once-ubiquitous genre is more outlandish in conception, as the evil automobile in question may well be acting under the... UK: … [Continue reading]