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    • By William Maley
      Toyota Motor North America Reports March 2017 Sales
      Toyota division set March and first quarter sales record in light trucks Toyota division SUVs up over 15 percent Lexus division light trucks, Total NX sales set new March best ever PLANO, Texas (April 3, 2017) – Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) Inc., today reported its U.S. March 2017 sales of 215,224 units, a decrease of 2.1 percent from March 2016 on a volume basis. With the same number of selling days in March 2017 compared to March 2016, sales were down 2.1 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. 
       
      Toyota division posted March 2017 sales of 187,289 units, down 1.2 percent on a volume and DSR basis.   
       
      “The industry might see its first dip below a 17 million SAAR since June 2016, although it will likely be nearly flat to last March,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, Toyota division. “The Toyota division set a new light truck record for the month and quarter as we saw SUV sales sizzle with a best-ever March for RAV4, Highlander, and 4Runner, all up double digits.”
       
      Lexus posted sales of 27,935 units, down 7.5 percent on a volume and DSR basis. 
       
      “In March, luxury utility vehicles continued to move off dealer lots,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “NX posted sales up 24 percent, and GX rose by 31 percent as our dealers met customer’s needs with better inventory during our Command Performance Sales Event.”
       
      March 2017 Highlights:
      Camry posts sales of 35,648 units Corolla records sales of over 30,000 units TMNA, Toyota, and Lexus divisions all post new March record for light truck sales RAV4 sales rise 10.3 percent; a best-ever March and first quarter Highlander up 20.8 percent; a best-ever March and first quarter 4Runner up 25.5 percent; posts best-ever March and first quarter Tacoma sales of 16,728 Lexus luxury utility vehicles up 9.5 percent for the month NX up 24 percent for the month, sets new best ever March RX posts sales of 9,445 units GX gains 31 percent in March, up 5.7 percent in first quarter LX up almost 21 percent for the month
    • By William Maley
      For the past few years, luxury automakers have been trying to fill every single niche they could think of. It's why we have such models as the BMW 5-Series GT and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Coupe for example. But now, BMW and Mercedes-Benz admit they have too many models and are planning to cut some.
      “The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, to Car and Driver.
      “There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out,” Robertson went on to say.
      Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars harbors the same thoughts.
      “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”
      Yep, it seems coupes and convertibles are on the chopping block - not the SUV-coupe things you were likely hoping for. Now Zetsche did say that would still offer two-door models, but it would not be “in the variety we are having them right now.” Taking into consideration there are coupe and convertible versions of the C, E, and S-Class, along with the SLK and SL roadsters, and the AMG GT coupe and convertible, we wouldn't be shocked if a couple of those models disappear.
      Source: Car and Driver

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      For the past few years, luxury automakers have been trying to fill every single niche they could think of. It's why we have such models as the BMW 5-Series GT and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Coupe for example. But now, BMW and Mercedes-Benz admit they have too many models and are planning to cut some.
      “The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, to Car and Driver.
      “There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out,” Robertson went on to say.
      Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars harbors the same thoughts.
      “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”
      Yep, it seems coupes and convertibles are on the chopping block - not the SUV-coupe things you were likely hoping for. Now Zetsche did say that would still offer two-door models, but it would not be “in the variety we are having them right now.” Taking into consideration there are coupe and convertible versions of the C, E, and S-Class, along with the SLK and SL roadsters, and the AMG GT coupe and convertible, we wouldn't be shocked if a couple of those models disappear.
      Source: Car and Driver
    • By William Maley
      Toyota appears to be building out their sports car lineup with the 86 and the rumored Supra coupe. There is now talk of third sports that would mark the return of the 'Three Brothers'; MR2, Celica, and Supra.
      Evo reports that Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the Toyota 86 and head of Gazoo Racing revealed that a spiritual successor to the MR2 is in the works. The successor would act as the starting point for the 'three brothers,' with the 86 serving as the successor to the Celica and the Supra as the top dog. Tada said the company hopes to have the trio in production together, "as soon as possible."
      Details are slim, but Evo expects the model to be smaller and lighter than the 86 coupe. There is the possibility of a hybrid powertrain, using tech from Toyota's Le Mans prototype race car.
      Source: Evo

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Toyota appears to be building out their sports car lineup with the 86 and the rumored Supra coupe. There is now talk of third sports that would mark the return of the 'Three Brothers'; MR2, Celica, and Supra.
      Evo reports that Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the Toyota 86 and head of Gazoo Racing revealed that a spiritual successor to the MR2 is in the works. The successor would act as the starting point for the 'three brothers,' with the 86 serving as the successor to the Celica and the Supra as the top dog. Tada said the company hopes to have the trio in production together, "as soon as possible."
      Details are slim, but Evo expects the model to be smaller and lighter than the 86 coupe. There is the possibility of a hybrid powertrain, using tech from Toyota's Le Mans prototype race car.
      Source: Evo
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