Lexus, Toyota to Adopt Tesla Production Method for Next EVs

First Up 11/28/23

Lexus, Toyota to Adopt Tesla Production Method for Next EVs

Toyota Motor Corp. has tapped premium brand Lexus to lead the company's shift toward using gigacasting for large aluminum parts. According to Automotive News, the production method pioneered by electric vehicle leader Tesla Inc. is being adopted by automakers such as Volvo — starting in 2025 for its next-generation EVs — as well as Ford and Hyundai. Lexus President Takashi Watanabe said at the Japan Mobility Show here last month that the brand plans to use gigacasting for EVs starting with the LF-ZC. Lexus showed a concept version of the midsize sedan and plans to start making the production model in 2026. "Gigacasting will play a very big role in the LF-ZC, as we want to drastically simplify the manufacturing process of our next-generation EVs," Watanabe said. Lexus is spearheading Toyota Motor's EV transition. The premium brand will get new-generation battery-powered cars a year ahead of Toyota, which will add them in 2027. Lexus aims to be an electric-only brand by 2035. Click here for the full story.

Mike Maroone’s Insights on EVs, Affordability, Expansion, Attracting and Retaining Talent, Succession, and Much More

The auto industry has experienced several ongoing changes in the five years since CBT News host Jim Fitzpatrick last spoke with industry legend and former AutoNation Executive Mike Maroone in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For the industry to survive in a post-pandemic market, dealers continue implementing new strategies and technologies. Initially, Maroones’ Chevy dealership was a Roger Dean store. Roger Dean was one of those mega dealers that put numerous people in business, including some of the most prominent dealerships in America. In addition, Maroone recently opened a brand-new Chevrolet dealership in West Palm Beach, Florida. On the latest episode of the Executive Profile, Maroone further elaborates on how dealers have managed to stay ahead of EVs, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and much more. 1. With a mere $30,000 and no money down, Marrones’ father purchased his first dealership in 1955. Following years of aspiration to emulate his father, Marrone succeeded his father as dealer principal in 1997 by acquiring nine franchise locations and a merger with AutoNation. Click here for the full interview.

2024 Toyota Tacoma First Drive Review: Best-Seller Finally Worthy of its Fanfare

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma is a massive deal. It's the first completely new Tacoma in more than a decade and a half (the 2016 redesign was really just a heavy refresh). It’s also the best-selling model in the segment by a huge margin, but that segment is more competitive than ever, with new, refreshed and soon-to-be-new models from every truck maker in America. And we rank them all higher than the current Tacoma. Fortunately for Toyota and for its customers, the new Tacoma is back in the game, maybe even a segment leader. We say maybe because we've only been able to try out Tacomas with the new 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, reports Autoblog. Those will be the first to hit dealers, sometime before the end of the year. The also-new, higher-performance hybrids won’t arrive until early next year, so we won't have a chance to try them out until then (that sadly includes the hybrid-only TRD Pro and Trailhunter). The hybrid could very well be the powertrain that makes the Tacoma the clear pick for your every midsize truck need, but we don’t know yet. Click here for the full story.

Dealers Face New Safeguards Rule Requirement

The Federal Trade Commission will require car dealers to report data breaches of some unencrypted customer information beginning on May 13, 2024. According to Wards, the announcement was made Nov. 27 during a webinar hosted by Brad Miller, chief regulatory counsel for the National Automobile Dealers Assn., and featuring speaker Katherine McCarron, FTC chief of staff and an attorney in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection. The breach notification requirement is an amendment to the FTC’s Safeguards Rule. “The Safeguards Rule was issued a few years ago, and the deadline for compliance was June 9 of this year,” says Miller. “But it’s not sort of ‘set it and forget it.’ Keep (that) in mind if you are still sort of finalizing some of the parts of your program or updating it or managing it as you go along.” This latest amendment requires non-banking institutions, including car dealers, to report a breach if it involves unencrypted information that affects 500 customers or more, says McCarron. Dealers must make the notification no later than 30 days after the breach is discovered through a link on the FTC website that has not yet gone live. Click here for the full story.

Hyundai Says Next-Generation Palisade Will Be "Next Level"

Hyundai shocked the world when it revealed the latest Santa Fe, which dropped its conventional crossover styling in favor of a boxy shape that resembles a Land Rover Defender. Speaking with the South Korean automaker at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show, CarBuzz learned that we can expect a similar shake-up for the next-generation Hyundai Palisade. "We're also redesigning the Palisade," Olabisi Boyle, VP of product planning, responded when asked if the rugged new Santa Fe might steal sales from the company's larger SUV. Due to customer demand, Hyundai also added a third row, which was offered on and off on the previous model. "It's still going to be smaller than Palisade. As we are doing all of the next-generation models, we are designing them for each segment space that's appropriate." "I think you will be very excited," she added in reference to the next-generation Palisade. "We want to take the things that they like to the next level. I'm excited for when it comes, but I have to keep myself from saying too much." Boyle hinted that the changes for the Palisade would be equally dramatic but not necessarily similar to the Santa Fe. Click here for the full story.

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