Speed dating jan 11detroit

Environmentalists also have criticized Toyota for using hybrid technology to boost the horsepower and acceleration, rather than fuel efficiency, of its new Lexus RX 400h and Highlander hybrid models. Ogiso said his team of engineers is working on a new version of the Prius and other hybrid projects. "We need to be making drastic improvements."Here's an example of why Japanese auto companies will keep winning at the expense of GM and Ford: Behind Toyota's hybrid revolution Automaker's successful gamble with Prius fuels its image as a trendsetter . Hybrid vehicles, which use both gasoline and electric power to achieve better mileage, have been touted as a way to reduce consumption of oil and to reduce exhaust emissions. An April report by Consumer Reports concluded only two hybrids in the U. market offer savings over five years and 75,000 miles -- the Honda Civic and the Toyota Prius.

Some hybrids qualify for special car pool lanes in some states, a key benefit in traffic-clogged areas. Even then, the savings are small: 0 and 0 respectively.

" John Cleveland, vice president of IRN Inc., an auto industry consulting firm in Grand Rapids, Mich., said Toyota views environmental concern as simple business logic, not "do-gooderism." Toyota has been the most explicit automaker "about the environmental challenge facing the auto industry because it has always had such a long-term perspective, ever since the days of Mr.

Toyoda, when he started the company with a 50-year business plan," Cleveland said, referring to Kiichiro Toyoda, who founded the company in 1938 as an offshoot of his family's textile loom business.

Ogiso was one of the original team of about 100 engineers selected by Toyota chiefs in late 1993. "Our only instruction was that it should achieve a fuel-efficiency improvement of 50 percent, and it somehow should be the 'car of the 21st century.' " The insistence on fuel efficiency was highly unusual.

At the time, the price of oil averaged below per barrel, Americans were snapping up ever-bigger SUVs, and saving gasoline seemed like a politically correct anachronism.

"For a long time, we couldn't solve that," Ogiso said."Other companies are trying to imitate it, but they have not yet reached the same level," he said. "Toyota is two-faced," said Yurika Ayukawa, director of the climate change program at the World Wildlife Fund of Japan."It wants to be seen as an eco-company, as environmentally committed, but it's really just business as usual." Ayukawa noted that Toyota has joined with U. automakers in filing lawsuits in state and federal court seeking to block California's landmark 2004 rule ordering all automakers to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the cars they sell.But Toyota is expected to overtake the nearly bankrupt General Motors this year as the world's largest automaker.While GM and Ford are closing factories and losing billions of dollars annually, Toyota is expanding at a red-hot pace around the world. automakers were building bigger and bigger SUVs and trucks, Toyota threw itself into hybrid gasoline-electric research, investing more than

"For a long time, we couldn't solve that," Ogiso said.

"Other companies are trying to imitate it, but they have not yet reached the same level," he said. "Toyota is two-faced," said Yurika Ayukawa, director of the climate change program at the World Wildlife Fund of Japan.

"It wants to be seen as an eco-company, as environmentally committed, but it's really just business as usual." Ayukawa noted that Toyota has joined with U. automakers in filing lawsuits in state and federal court seeking to block California's landmark 2004 rule ordering all automakers to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the cars they sell.

But Toyota is expected to overtake the nearly bankrupt General Motors this year as the world's largest automaker.

While GM and Ford are closing factories and losing billions of dollars annually, Toyota is expanding at a red-hot pace around the world. automakers were building bigger and bigger SUVs and trucks, Toyota threw itself into hybrid gasoline-electric research, investing more than $1 billion in the then-little-known field.

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"For a long time, we couldn't solve that," Ogiso said."Other companies are trying to imitate it, but they have not yet reached the same level," he said. "Toyota is two-faced," said Yurika Ayukawa, director of the climate change program at the World Wildlife Fund of Japan."It wants to be seen as an eco-company, as environmentally committed, but it's really just business as usual." Ayukawa noted that Toyota has joined with U. automakers in filing lawsuits in state and federal court seeking to block California's landmark 2004 rule ordering all automakers to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the cars they sell.But Toyota is expected to overtake the nearly bankrupt General Motors this year as the world's largest automaker.While GM and Ford are closing factories and losing billions of dollars annually, Toyota is expanding at a red-hot pace around the world. automakers were building bigger and bigger SUVs and trucks, Toyota threw itself into hybrid gasoline-electric research, investing more than $1 billion in the then-little-known field.

billion in the then-little-known field.

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