April, 2011

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TOYOTA SHUTS PLANTS, DEALER SUPPLY SHORTAGE SUMMER 2011

Monday, April 11th, 2011
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Earthquake Effects On Toyota

Toyota says that it will suspend production at its North American plants in a series of one-day shutdowns this month as a result of parts shortages caused by the earthquake that hit Japan.

The temporary shutdowns will affect workers, but there will be no layoffs. Toyota gets about 15 percent of its parts from Japan for cars and trucks built in North America. Those parts include electronic and rubber components, and a paint additive

All 13 of its North American plants will have down time, though the duration may vary at a few plants. For most plants, the one-day shutdowns will begin April 15 and end April 25, the company said.

In a related development, Toyota has warned its U.S. dealers that the supply of new vehicles could become “significantly impacted” downward by the summer, 2011.

TOYOTA ENTUNE APP-ROAD STRATEGY

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
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Toyota Entune

Toyota Entune App is putting Bing, Pandora, and OpenTable on wheels, in action,and its looking  like it could be pretty good. Making a dinner reservation while driving there sounds pretty good.

The Entune dash uses your phone as a sort of modem, pulling in data for its apps via 3G, and then shuttling it over to the car with Bluetooth. Bing web results (and corresponding map directions) seem snappy enough. Pandora radio is also a nice touch, for when FM reception is driving you nuts.

For those choked up on any safety issues that touch interface might present, Entune does compensate by including some voice recognition support. The interface  running on Toyota software is clean and should require just few taps to go from main menu to driving directions.

As great as this seems, I’m staring at my iPad and can’t help but think though that it might be easier, better, and far cheaper just to have a car stereo shop stick an iPad in the dash…

Toyota has not been specific on cost and what models will have the entune option first.