Sunday, June 26, 2016

Nice Review At The Guardian

Short, sweet and to the point. No depth but a compliment is a compliment. Go read it.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

My Bailiwick

Let's put this simply, being a sarcastic smart ass is my skill set. Some might say, it's my only skill. Some might say, well, let's leave it at, I know and understand good commentary and this, is, well, it's just kind of mean and brutish in many ways.
Here's the first, the very first paragraph...
First launched in 1997 to relatively little acclaim, the Toyota Prius is the car that pretty much started the hybrid revolution. Now a common sight outside most clubs and bars at around closing time, the Prius is the perfect drunk-carriage, and can get you home at a super-efficient 85.6mpg.
Well alrighty then. While I could argue somewhat with the first sentence, and the last sentence is likely more true nowadays than at anytime before a year or two ago, it's still pretty rough. But, some writers like to start with shock and awe and then move on.
The Toyota Prius may look more than a little sci-fi on the inside, but scratch the surface and it’s surprisingly basic.
I can't really fight this in some ways this has been the complaint of many Prius owners for many years now. Where Prius was once the car that innovated and incorporated new tech features first it's become, in many ways, a followers for who innovation is anathema.

The story, before too long, moves past the single USB and single AUX connection to the nav.


In some ways I think this author is too nice about the navigation. Given what it costs and what is available in the market, Toyota's is abominable.

I won't parse the whole thing. After starting out rough the writer seems to settle down and, more or less, appraise the new Prius for what it is.


Special EFX

At least for me, this is one special effect that isn't nearly as exciting or interesting in reality and it might sound like it might be.

From the Weekend...
Runware Audio Visual Integrated Solutions (PVT) Ltd, an audiovisual and event service agency recently created an amazing hologram of the Toyota Prius 2016 to perfection at the recent launch of the car. 
Standing at nearly 4 feet tall and 8 feet wide, this 360 degree hologram was the largest ever created in Sri Lanka and the second largest in the world, the agency claims.
"hologram was the largest ever created in Sri Lanka" well then. Woo-hoo!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Going Full Metal Tabloid

I suppose it's that kind of day really. I know, you're reading this first as it's higher up the page but if you can, keep in mind this was the third article of the morning when you read the next two lower down.
Yes, we were all wondering who would get custody of the Prius. Well breathe a sigh of relief, Mandy got it. The deets courtesy of PageSix...
Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams’ divorce settlement has been finalized.
The “Walk to Remember” actress, 32, leaves her six-year marriage with a 2012 Toyota Prius and a Beverly Hills condo, according to TMZ.
Adams, 41, gets to keep his comic book collection, pinball machines, a 2008 Porsche Carrera and a 1959 Cadillac.
As for the money matters, they’re separately retaining any publishing earnings during their marriage. However, Adams will take over some of their bank accounts. 
But it’s not a total loss for Moore. She’ll get a $425,000 payout to make things more equal between them.

Not Gonna Do It

It's that kind of morning.

This morning's other story was a rambling sort of article, usually the kind written for $3 by some faceless person "creating content" for a story farm site like, well, like this one. So, no linky.
If you can get past the outright ridiculousness of the thing I think you can see a tiny kernal of...wait, it's all bullshit. Let's be real. I hate the series of bank robbery commercials for the new Prius but no one but an out and out idiot thinks Toyota is promoting crime.

This whole piece is just weird.

There are times when I quote articles and link back to sources. And there are times, like this one, when I just screen shot some or all of it and do not present a link because I don't think the piece merits a potential click. Yeah, this is the latter.

And that weird, tiny text bit at the bottom. It's even weirder than you might think. Here it is blown up.

This reads like some bad Google translation or something written by a bot. All I can say, uh, hey, I don't like the commercials either but wow, nothing like going off the deep end, amirite?


Autoevolution is one of those sites I don't link to because they're link-baity as hell. But I do think this story lead in is so indicative of the type of press Toyota has garnered with the 4G Prius it's worth mentioning.
In theory, the 2016 Prius with its basic Nickel battery pack is a crude, old-fashioned car dressed like a clown. But this real-world test will prove that Toyota is still the king of being green.
And the test does indeed go on to prove that. But wow, that lead in. And it's not even totally unfair even though it's wildly inflammatory and just rude.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Failures And Sales Targets - The Prius Prime Picture Sharpens Slightly

Our friends at InsideEVs posted a story about the Prius Prime, Toyota's latest Prius plug-in case your cave isn't wired with cable.

The two big takeaways:

-Someone at Toyota allegedly referred to the first generation Prius plug-in a "failure."

-The sales target, globally, for the new Prius Prime will be 60k units, split, more or less, evenly between Japan and North America (the EU and the rest of the world are a priority, right now, for this vehicle).
Ok, I'll take those points in order.

First, the first gen plug-in was a failure. Well, I would chalk that up to Toyota's conservative stance in development and outright refusal to be more aggressive with, specifically, EVs. Toyota has acted and talked and to one extent or another, continue to act and talk as though EVs were some foolish flash in the pan that only appealed to hipsters or idiots or idiots hipsters or something else they were not interested in selling cars to. Why this is, I cannot explain but I can describe what I've seen. So, the idea that the product of this attitude didn't do to well in a marketplace where pure EVs and plug-in were a growing sector is only a surprise to one group of people, Toyota.

And to be fair, the first gen plug-in wasn't a bad car. It was a hobbled, short range plug-in but, it was still a Prius and as such, delivered a great overall experience and, if you could live within its minuscule range, worked as a plug-in. I said as much when I first drove the car way back in 2010.

The other thing is, Toyota gave up on this car before they started shipping it marketing wise. Toyota, it seems, just had no desire to really get this car into dealerships and to do the heavy lifting required to train those dealers about it and to educate the public. So yeah, guess what, it didn't sell.

So, I don't think the vehicle itself was a failure. I'm sort of glad Toyota is at least willing to see it in that light but I hope they are seeing the failure for the right reasons. Their tepid design and specs weren't strong enough to compete in the market. Looking at Prime, I would guess, they get this, sort of.

Second and finally, The sale target, on one hand it's an aggressive number given the sales of the 1st gen plug-in. On the other, this vehicle has little or nothing to do with the first gen. plug-in or even the current gen Prius. So Toyota has done something positive, I think, in making that differentiation. I still think the specs are tough and a lot will depend on Toyota's pricing but the Prime does look to be a stronger competitor, for now.

The problem for Prime is the future. The Chevy Bolt is supposed to be in showrooms starting this fall and everyone knows Elon Musk is working hard to cash in those half million Model 3 deposits he's sitting on. So...competition is only going to get more brutal, quickly.

The "I Told You So". A lot of us, not just me, have been saying that Toyota, once a leader in advanced tech cars, was in danger of getting leapfrogged by other companies and I think that's happened. Now Toyota is playing catch up and that is a danger game indeed in this sector. No one wants the second coolest hybrid/plug-in/EV and Toyota has known this for a long time. I think it's up to catch up and get ahead of the curve.

We'll see what happens.

And, I hope to actually drive the Prius Prime at some point soon to get a better idea of what this newest Prius can do.