Thursday, July 28, 2016

Toyota Sales Drop Behind VW

From Bloomberg...
Toyota Motor Corp. lagged behind Volkswagen AG by global deliveries in the first half of the year, as demand for the newly redesigned Prius hybrid slumped in a U.S. market dominated by trucks and sport utility vehicles. 
Worldwide deliveries fell 0.6 percent to 4.99 million vehicles in the six months through June, Toyota said in a statement. Volkswagen’s sales climbed 1.5 percent to 5.12 million units in the same period.
One of the interesting things here, amongst many is how VW can increase sales even during the time which it is coping with the emissions cheating scandal. Apparently nothing can deter people from buying VWs.

Add in low gas prices, still at the lowest in years, depressing Prius sales and production disasters and you've got a near perfect storm that result in sales which knock Toyota from their four year stand at the top of global sales.

Still all, selling nearly five million vehicles in six months isn't exactly cry me a river territory.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Oh Florida, You're So...Florida

From the Orlando Sentinel...
After crashing a stolen Prius, 19-year-old driver Jean Sugrin emerged from the wreckage with his hands outstretched, a report says.

Then, as officers watched, a pink and silver handgun fell out of his pocket, according to his arrest report.

Sugrin's alleged crime spree ended after 3 a.m. Sunday.

Officers were on alert for two related crimes. A 2005 Toyota Prius was stolen in Ocoee. Then a man with a pink gun robbed someone in Lake County before heading east in a Prius on Colonial Drive.
And you're thinking, "Russell, come on, it can't get better. Can it?"
At 3:06 a.m., a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff's Office spotted a Prius matching the description of the stolen vehicle heading east on Colonial Drive at a "high rate of speed," a report said.

The deputy caught up to the vehicle at W. Colonial Drive and Tubb Street and determined it was the stolen vehicle by checking the tag. The deputy turned on his lights and siren and the Prius took off. 
"The suspect vehicle speeds were on average of 90 to 110 miles per hour as we continued east on W. Colonial Drive," an arrest report says. "The suspect vehicle ran the red light at W. Colonial Drive and Dillard Street and continued east into Ocoee City Limits."
And he was getting 55MPG the entire time.

So maybe that whole Prius as a crime tool commercial was more accurate than we previously thought. But wait...
The driver avoided tire-deflating "stop sticks" deployed by Ocoee police at W. Colonial Drive and the State Road 429 overpass.
The guy is like a stunt driver. But then, reality had to come home and...
Police said the driver then tried to make a northbound turn from West Colonial Drive onto Marshall Farms Road while speeding. The Prius crashed into a concrete barrier.

Sugrin got out, showed his hands as commanded and got on the ground immediately.
And like we said at the top...
That's when the gun, a pink and silver Taurus .380, fell out of his right front pant's pocket, the report shows

So yeah, that happened.
He remains held at the Orange County Jail on a slew of charges, including fleeing or eluding police, robbery with a firearm and grand theft. He also faces charges for carrying a concealed weapon and having a gun with an altered serial number.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I Loathe This Prius Commercial

I just do not understand it. I don't. Is it that Toyota, a company, the US arm of which, has been based in California since it began doing business in the United States, is that Toyota doesn't get California? Is that why they're moving their headquarters out of California and to Texas? After more than half a century based in California, they still really don't feel like they understand the place or the people?

And don't get me wrong. I'm not offended. Not in the least. I'm bored. This tedious commercial is just a recitation of all the trite and poorly placed insults and cheeseball stereotypes tossed at California and yes, I get it, it's supposed to be. Really? This was a good idea? This commercial is boring beyond belief and stupid past comprehension. It's just wrong.

My birth certificate says California. I spent most of my life there. I can't believe someone thought this was a good idea and would appeal to Californians.

H&L Partners launched a campaign for Toyota Prius, promoting the hybrid vehicle’s new model as “Redesigned, CA Style.” 
Based around the insight that Californians buy more Prii (according to the pitch we received, the plural of Prius — who knew?) than anyone else, the spot embraces and celebrates some common assumptions/stereotypes about residents of the state. 
“California, here we come/ Right back where we started from…” 
The two-minute anthem ad introduces the state as the “last stop for every weirdo and wild-eyed visionary who ever had a dream…or at least enough gas to get here” over an acoustic guitar (of course) and footage of the state’s natural beauty. Things take a turn for the even more self-congratulatory when the voiceover claims, “We like to be at the forefront, the first to grab on to the next big thing and make it ours,” championing the state as the birthplace of jeans, the smartphone and “putting avocado on everything.”
It then adds, “Maybe the environment just isn’t that big of a deal to them” about residents of other states who maybe just don’t understands the appeal of Toyota’s hybrid.  
It’s kind of weird that the one guy seems to be giving his car a luxurious wash though. 
Isn’t there still a big drought going on over there?

A trio of 30-second spots continues the theme, focusing on common stereotypes of Californians as “Hippies,” “Weirdos” and “Nerds.” 
The self-satisfied approach makes sense since Californians already love the Prius. But the effort is targeted specifically at the Northern California market, where its tone is not likely to offend viewers and may stoke state pride, especially among those who are already fans of Toyota’s hybrid offering.

Source: Agency Spy

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Betteridge Says, "No"

I say yes and no. And for now, I'm going be a tease and say wait for my reviews of the fourth generation Prius, coming out very soon now, to tell you more and why.

If It Was A Vampire, It Would Starve To Death

#Fail recombu
Number one, the Niro's direct competitor is the RAV4 hybrid, not really the Prius, Prius Prime. Maybe the Prius v but as we've speculated here several times, that vehicle may not be long for this world given the success of the RAV4 hybrid.

Anyway, being out for blood sounds good doesn't it? It sounds tough. It sounds aggressive. The problem, this is basically Hyundai's budget brand and the main attraction is going to be price and I think the Niro's biggest weakness is, it's not that much cheaper than Prius, Prius is far more advanced, has a track a record and a better nameplate. As for the comparison to RAV4 hybrid, well, RAV is more expensive but again, I think just sitting in the two cars demonstrates the major differences. Niro might blunt some of the new RAV4 hybrid sales but I don't see a lot of Toyota blood on the floor in this fight.

Simply Wrong

Our friends at posted this yesterday...
And the first line is where the whole thing falls down...
The new 2017 Hyundai Ioniq is coming to a Hyundai dealership near you very soon. This new fuel sipper will directly compete with the Toyota Prius and even the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3.
No. It won't. I've been in all the Ioniq variants. I have not driven it yet but from one, very important aspect, no, the Ioniq is not a direct competitor. That aspect, the interior. The new Prius is lightyears ahead of the Ioniq. I suspect that will also be true of the Tesla. The Bolt, well, maybe a closer a comparison is legitimate. But when I sat in the Ioniq I was shocked at how retro is felt. How, well, cheap the interior looked. The technology under the hood may be new but in the cabin, where, by the way, the people paying for the vehicle spend most of their time, it's more like a '85 Excel than anything made in this millennium. Yes, you might say that's where the investment belongs and generally speaking I'd agree with you, to a point. I happen to think that Hyundai may have made a serious misstep however in manner in which they've allocated the Ioniq's resources.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Weird Keep Getting Weirder

So, this is a screen cap of the entire page this "news" was discovered on...
But honestly, that's too weird for even me to post without doing some digging. A brief search through the magic of Google and all I can find searching the terms "Richard Rosenbaum" and "Prius" was this 2006 response our friend Sebastian Blanco of Autoblog, to a reader...
Of course, I have no idea if it's the same person, or even if the top thing is legit but there you go. It's Tuesday and Google says it so it must be true.