The last Toyota Aurion has rolled off the line at Toyota Australia’s Altona manufacturing base after 11 successful years, racking up over 110,000 sales domestically, as well as 70,000 that were built for the export market. Toyota’s answer to the big-Aussie V6 family sedan, it broke cover at the 2006 Melbourne International Motorshow, and succeeded the Avalon as Toyota’s largest family sedan.
At the time it featured the most advanced and powerful engine ever offered in a Toyota vehicle in Australia – a new 3.5-litre Quad Cam V6 developing 200kW of power at 6200rpm and 336Nm of torque at 4700rpm on regular unleaded petrol. Current Toyota Australia design chief Nick Hogios was at the centre of the design, further adding to the car’s Aussie-built, Aussie designed credentials.
Melbourne-based Chadstone Toyota Dealer Principal, Graeme Ward, was welcomed to Altona to take delivery of the final Toyota Aurion – high-grade white Presara – meeting with the team who built the final car.
Despite the departure of the Aurion from Toyota’s local line-up, Australian buyers looking for a six-cylinder V6 can rejoice as that engine configuration is confirmed in the line-up of the all-new Toyota Camry featuring an advanced direct-injection system paired with an automatic eight-speed gearbox set for release later in November.
In line with what was previously confirmed, the final Aurions rolled off the line this month, with Camry Hybrid vehicles to follow in September and Camry Petrol vehicles in October.
Electric vehicle owners in Denmark are parking their vehicle and feeding power from the battery back into the grid, earning nearly $2000 a year. Trials carried out by Nissan and Italy’s largest utility Enel have showed electric car batteries could help balance supply and demand at peak times and provide new revenue streams for owners.
Technology linking vehicles to the grid marks another challenge for utilities already having trouble integrating wind and solar power into their distribution system. As the use of electric vehicles spreads, grid managers will have to pay closer attention to when drivers draw from the system.
While Nissan has trials with more than 100 cars across Europe, only those in Denmark are able to earn money by feeding power back into the grid. So far, fleet operators are collecting around 1300 euros ($1946) a year using the two-way charge points.
Electric car demand globally is expected to soar, putting further pressure on grid operators to find new ways of balancing demand. Power consumption from vehicles will grow to 1800 terawatt-hours in 2040 from just six terawatt-hours now, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Tata Motors??? owned Jaguar Land Rover has given a moral boost to the UK economy by announcing that it will hire up to 5000 personnel as it increases its skills in autonomous and electric technology.
JLR said it would hire 1000 electronic and software engineers as well as 4000 additional staff mostly in manufacturing and based in Britain. The company employs more than 40,000 people around the world. The company will build its first electric vehicle, the I-Pace, through Magna Steyr in Austria but is aiming to bring production back into the UK if there is support from government.
Manufacturers are competing in the race to produce greener cars and advance in the lowering of charge times as demand is growing and air quality targets are increased. JLR has said half of all its new models will be available in an electric version by the end of the decade, requiring new skills among its staff. The company builds almost a third of Britain’s 1.7 million cars sold annually.
Day two of the Autopromotec 2017 show saw Automechanika and AICA announce a cooperative alliance between the two companies, presenting the largest shows directed at the aftermarket industries in Europe and around the world.
Italy’s position as a leader in the development of ever changing technologies required for the modern automotive industry has led to a number of global equipment companies establishing themselves in the country. Advanced technology includes systems presented at previous shows aimed at automatically harvesting data from vehicles, which is especially useful for combating fraud and building better information systems.
Connectivity was one of the highlights of the shows with visitors seeking to experience the latest technological offerings in a hands-on demonstration environment.
Automechanika Brand Manager, Michael Johannes, explained that the 16 events that make up the Messe Frankfurt platform for the automotive aftermarket means that Italian companies can benefit from the association and access to new markets that Automechanika can enable. He expressed his excitement about the alliance for strengthening the integration of the Automechanika brand within the Italian market. “These Italian companies are an important part of our clients who exhibit in Frankfurt and by cooperating with AICA we hope to improve support for this important group of our clients,” he said.
Johannesburg and Shanghai are upcoming events that will maintain the cooperation and will benefit companies from joint marketing activities. “The members, the associations, Automechanika shows and the visitors will all benefit from this new alliance and these events can promote access to vibrant markets in Africa and China,” said Johannes.
He continued: “It’s about cooperation and the realisation that European companies and platforms need to work together to present their products to a global market. This is in order to build relationships with prospective and existing customers.” According to Johannes it is these platforms that can assist in ensuring competitiveness for European technologies, companies and countries.
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru Australia vehicles, has announced the change in the company name to Subaru Corporation effective from April 1, 2017. FHI President and CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, said: “We have long strived to make excellent products. In recent years, our effort has been expanded from making good products to delivering distinctive value which only Subaru can bring to our customers.
“This change in the company name declares Subaru’s determination to thrive as a brand that delivers value. When customers are satisfied, we see happy faces. We want to encourage even more smiles and create even more Subaru fans. Together with the new company name, let’s all make the Subaru team shine brighter!”
There will also be changes to names of affiliated FHI companies in USA, Beijing and Singapore. To mark the change, renaming ceremonies were held for employees at the company’s Head Office in Ebisu, Tokyo and three other domestic facilities. The all-new Impreza and a large-scale model of the advanced variant of the 412EPI helicopter were displayed at the Head Office ceremony to symbolize Subaru’s commitment to growth as a distinctive global brand in the automotive and aerospace industries.
The corporation will continue to bring customers the distinctive Subaru value of “enjoyment and peace of mind” by focusing on its customer-first principle as part of their management philosophy.
Intel, the largest computer chip manufacturer has decided to buy driverless technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion. Intel said it expected the transaction to close within the next nine months. Mobileye accounts for 70 per cent of the global market for advanced driver-assistance and anti-collision systems.
The two companies are already collaborating with BMW on a project to put a fleet of around 40 self-driving test vehicles on the road in the second half of this year. For a decade, Mobileye has relied on STMicroelectronics to produce chips which the company sells to many of the world’s car manufacturers for its current, third-generation of driver-assistance systems.
However Mobileye also teamed up with Intel for its fifth-generation of chips that aim to be used in fully autonomous vehicles and are scheduled to be delivered around 2021.