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Monday, August 22, 2016

Toyota Research Institute Partners with University of Michigan to Accelerate Artificial Intelligence Research

$22 million investment to begin research collaborations focused on autonomous vehicles and advanced robotics projects
 
Research focused on artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous driving at the University of Michigan (U-M) will get a major boost thanks to an initial $22 million commitment from the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), announced today by TRI-CEO Gill Pratt in an address to the U-M faculty.

“Toyota has long enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the University of Michigan, and we are excited to expand our collective efforts to address complex mobility challenges through artificial intelligence,” said Pratt. “We look forward to collaborating with U-M’s research faculty and students to develop new intelligent technologies that will help drivers travel more safely, securely and efficiently. We will also focus on expanding the benefit of mobility technology to in-home support of older persons and those with special needs.”

Under the agreement, TRI will provide an initial $22 million over four years for research collaborations with the U-M faculty in the areas of enhanced driving safety, partner robotics and indoor mobility, autonomous driving and student learning and diversity.
 
Recently, TRI announced the establishment of its new Ann Arbor research facility (TRI-ANN) and the hiring of U-M robotics professors Ryan Eustice and Edwin Olson to support autonomous vehicle research.  Both will retain U-M faculty positions part-time. TRI-ANN is the third TRI facility, joining TRI offices in Palo Alto near Stanford and in Cambridge, near MIT.
 
TRI was drawn to Ann Arbor because of the broad strengths of the university and the region, particularly in areas related to the emergence of high-level driver-assist systems, eventually leading to fully autonomous vehicles. TRI will also be near two well-established Toyota Technical Center campuses.
 
The partnership builds on Toyota’s strong and active presence in the Ann Arbor community. The two offices of the Toyota Technical Center have long worked with U-M on connected vehicles and safety research. Toyota is a founding partner of U-M’s Mobility Transformation Center (MTC), an interdisciplinary public-private research and development initiative that is developing the foundation for a commercially viable ecosystem of connected and automated vehicles.
 
MTC operates Mcity, a unique “mini-city” on a 32-acre site on campus that allows researchers to test emerging vehicle technologies rapidly and rigorously in a safe, controlled environment. In addition, Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center is a major sponsor of research at the U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) focused on advanced safety technologies.  
 
"Our labs at U-M push the envelope of what robots can sense and understand about the world, and TRI provides an opportunity to apply these discoveries into real-world products," said Eustice, associate professor at U-M.  "The challenges that TRI faces with autonomous cars will leverage our labs' research into complex behaviors, like merging and understanding the intention of other vehicles from their actions," added Olson, associate professor at U-M.
 
This collaboration is an effort to leverage robotics to improve quality of life in a variety of ways.
 
“At U-M, we are working closely with partners in industry and government to drive a revolution in connected, automated, and autonomous vehicles that will dramatically enhance the safety and efficiency of moving people and goods,” said S. Jack Hu, vice president for research at U-M. “Our expanding partnership with Toyota will help accelerate progress toward that goal.”
 
As part of this agreement, U-M will issue a broad call for proposals from faculty across the university to address challenges in mobility, safety and home robotics.
 
“For decades, U-M has provided a steady stream of ideas and people to fuel the broad ecosystem of automotive R&D facilities in this region and beyond,” said Alec Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at U-M. “We look forward to working more closely with Toyota to spur a new era of innovation that will have worldwide impact.”

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Toyota Financial Services Offers Payment Relief to Customers Affected by Louisiana Flooding



Toyota Financial Services (TFS) announced it is offering payment relief options to its customers affected by the flooding in Louisiana. This broad outreach includes any Toyota Financial Services (TFS) or Lexus Financial Services (LFS) customer in the FEMA designated Louisiana disaster areas. 
 
We at Toyota Financial Services care about the safety and well-being of our customers and want to help those impacted by the storms and flooding.  Impacted lease and retail customers residing in the devastated areas may be eligible to take advantage of several payment relief options, some of which include:
  • extensions and lease deferred payments 
  • redirecting billing statements
  • arranging phone or on-line payments
 
Customers who have been affected by the flooding and would like to discuss their account options are encouraged to contact TFS or LFS:
 
Toyota Financial Services customers may call (800) 874-8822 or contact TFS via email using the Mail Center function after logging into ToyotaFinancial.com.
 
Lexus Financial Services customers may call (800) 874-7050 or contact LFS via email using the Mail Center function after logging into LexusFinancial.com.
 
We extend our heartfelt thoughts to those affected by the natural disaster. 

 
About Toyota Financial Services
TFS is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the United States, offering retail auto financing and leasing through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and Toyota Lease Trust. TFS also offers extended service contracts through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS). Lexus Financial Services is the brand for financial products for Lexus dealers and customers. TFS currently employs approximately 3,100 associates nationwide, and has assets totaling over $114 billion. It is part of a worldwide network of comprehensive financial services offered by Toyota Financial Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. We announce material financial information using the investor relations section of our website (www.toyotafinancial.com) and SEC filings. We use these channels, press releases, and social media to communicate about our company, our services and other issues. While not all information we post on social media is of a material nature, some information could be material. Therefore, we encourage those interested in our company to review our posts on Twitter at www.twitter.com/toyotafinancial
 
Points of Light has named TFS one of its Civic 50, the most community-minded companies in the nation.  For more information about the company’s support of financial literacy, after-school programs, and other community initiatives, please visit www.tfsinthecommunity.com.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tenth Annual Lexus Eco Challenge Launches with a Chance to Win $500,000

National STEM Competition Scholarships and Prizes Await…Who Will Be the Next Winning Team?
  • Middle and High School Students Eligible
  • Lexus and Scholastic Committed to Education and the Environment
  • Lexus Eco Challenge Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Over the past nine years, the Lexus Eco Challenge has been changing the lives of students and teachers across the U.S. Students have learned about the environment through hands-on projects, inspired their entire communities to improve the environment globally and   demonstrated their passion for science, technology, engineering and math.  Many have used their prize winnings to continue their schooling and pay for college.  The Lexus Eco Challenge is an excellent opportunity for middle and high school students to help clean the air, water, and land in their neighborhoods and beyond. To learn more about the program visit: http://www.scholastic.com/lexus.

Through this unique program, students will learn about the environment, teamwork and how they can take steps to make their communities better. More than 30,000 middle and high school students have earned over $5 million for themselves, their teachers, and their schools through the Lexus Eco Challenge

“The Lexus Eco Challenge has changed the way I teach. It’s changed my classroom, it’s changed the lives of my students, and it’s changed my school — all for the better. This is such a great way to get kids to care about the world around them and not only think about the ‘moment;’ but also think about what a difference they can make,” said JoAnne Brown, Science teacher at Olympus Jr. High School, Holladay, Utah.  Mrs. Brown has had over 600 students participate in improving the environment since 2006.

In its tenth year, the Lexus Eco Challenge is an educational program and contest for students across the U.S. in grades 6-12 that inspires and empowers young people to learn about the environment and take action to improve it.  The program is now open for registration and students are invited to participate for a chance to win part of $500,000 in prizes and scholarships. 

Lexus and Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, have joined together to create this popular and successful STEM program.

Teams of students can enter both of the first two challenges, which are focused on Land & Water and Air & Climate.  This year, the Land & Water Challenge will run first, Aug. 15-Oct. 16, followed by the Air & Climate Challenge, Oct. 19-Dec. 12.  Winners from each challenge are then invited to go on to participate in the Final Challenge, Jan. 16 - Feb. 27, 2017 with a top prize of $30,000 for both the winning middle and high school teams.
 
The Challenge Elements
  1. The Lexus Eco Challenge also includes supplemental educational materials created and distributed by Scholastic that support standards-based skills and encourage teachers to integrate creative lesson plans about the environment into their classrooms.  For each challenge, the website (www.scholastic.com/lexus) has lesson plans and teacher instructions, including questions to help guide a discussion about the current challenge topic, facts about the topic and guidelines for a specific classroom project.
  2. Competition to reward environmental action helps young people apply what they’ve learned in class through the program and empowers them to make improvements in their community by participating in the eco-focused team challenges.
The Challenge Rewards
The Lexus Eco Challenge registration is open now for the Land & Water Challenge and will conclude on Oct. 17, 2016.  Middle and high school teams, comprised of five to ten students and one to two teacher advisor(s), are invited to define an environmental issue that is important to them, develop an action plan to address the issue, implement the plan, and report on the results.  The first-place and grand-prize-winning teams will be announced in November 2016 for the Land & Water Challenge, while Air & Climate Challenge winners will be announced in January 2017.

Each of the challenges will have 16 winning teams – eight middle school and eight high school teams.  The winning teams will each receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships and prizes to be shared among the students, teacher and school.  In addition, the winning action plans will be featured on a special webpage to inspire other students to take action in their communities.

The winning teams from the first two challenges will be invited to participate in the Final Challenge.  Teams will be asked to reach beyond the local community and inspire environmental action around the world through innovative ideas that are communicated to a wide audience.

From the Final Challenge entries, eight first-place teams and two grand-prize-winning teams will be selected.  Each of the eight first-place teams will receive a total of $15,000 in prizes and scholarships, and the two grand-prize-winning teams will each receive $30,000. The money will be shared by the students, their teacher advisors and their schools.

Teachers are encouraged to visit http://www.scholastic.com/lexus to learn how they can take part and to review the Official Rules.  The Lexus Eco Challenge is open to students in grades 6-12 who are enrolled in a public or accredited private school or who are schooled at home in compliance with the laws of the students' primary state of residence and who are legal residents of the United States (one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia) by law.  Only a teacher advisor (not a student) may submit an entry on behalf of a team. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

Lexus’ Environmental Efforts
Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader with six low-emission hybrid vehicles available. When Lexus began selling hybrids in 2005, it helped advance the concept of sustainability without sacrifice.  The Lexus Eco Challenge is part of The Lexus Pursuit of Potential, a philanthropic initiative that generates up to $3 million in donations each year for organizations that help build, shape and improve children’s lives.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Team Spirit Tops Podium in New National Toyota Campaign

Toyota and Saatchi Join Hands in New Work to Support Spirit of Competition

What do skydivers, Toyota team members and world-class athletes Summer Sanders and Amy Purdy have in common? Teamwork.

Toyota is encouraging people to come together in the spirit of friendship and fair play through the simple act of holding hands in a new ad campaign, “Stand Together.” In addition to broadcast, the campaign will use outdoor advertising and social media elements to create an uplifting message around the teamwork theme.

Developed by Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, the campaign will launch with a :60 spot on NBC’s Olympic Opening Ceremonies broadcast Aug. 5. The ad features people across the world, from Toyota team members to skydivers to Team Toyota athletes Sanders and Purdy joining hands and celebrating teamwork. Set to the track of The Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin',” the spot communicates Toyota’s commitment to mobility that facilitates shared experiences.

A special :90 online-only, extended cut version of the spot can be watched on Toyota’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lak6y1S9gM0&feature=youtu.be

“Teamwork is ingrained in Toyota’s DNA – it’s a founding principle,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president of marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “We believe, as our founder did, in the ‘power of togetherness’ and athletics is an amazing example of the power of teamwork. While we do not compete at the highest levels of sport on the playing field, we celebrate the spirit of collaboration every day, whether it is within the walls of Toyota, or in our interaction with our guests.”

The commercial also includes a call to action. For every person who creates a video of people joining hands and shares it using the campaign hashtag, #LetsJoinHands, Toyota will donate $20 to United Way, up to $250,000. In addition, Toyota will mix content from user and influencer submissions into pre-roll and social videos, continuously delivering fresh edits throughout the media run.

A prominent portion of the campaign will be the #LetsJoinHands outdoor touchboard installations that combine live video feeds with real-time collaborative drawing tools to create a connective engagement between New York City’s Herald Square and Los Angeles’ Hollywood and Highland from August 12-14. Users have the opportunity to email or tweet video captures of their drawing sessions directly from the screens. An advanced cloud-based rendering engine automatically generates highlight reels featuring users' digital drawings, suited to social sharing. The touchboards aim to capture the magic of the engagement while immortalizing these fleeting, yet genuine connections and collaborations.

“Toyota is a brand that is founded on the power of movement and over the decades has enabled people to move forward and explore. The “Stand Together” campaign is a reflection of the physical and emotional places we can go and the goals we can achieve together. By giving people a chance to engage with technology and people in unexpected ways, the campaign extends and redefines what it means to join hands and we hope to start a conversation around teamwork,” said Fabio Costa, executive creative director, Saatchi LA.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Team Spirit Tops Podium in New National Toyota Campaign

Toyota and Saatchi Join Hands in New Work to Support Spirit of Competition


What do skydivers, Toyota team members and world-class athletes Summer Sanders and Amy Purdy have in common? Teamwork.

Toyota is encouraging people to come together in the spirit of friendship and fair play through the simple act of holding hands in a new ad campaign, “Stand Together.” In addition to broadcast, the campaign will use outdoor advertising and social media elements to create an uplifting message around the teamwork theme.

Developed by Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, the campaign will launch with a :60 spot on NBC’s Olympic Opening Ceremonies broadcast Aug. 5. The ad features people across the world, from Toyota team members to skydivers to Team Toyota athletes Sanders and Purdy joining hands and celebrating teamwork. Set to the track of The Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin',” the spot communicates Toyota’s commitment to mobility that facilitates shared experiences.

A special :90 online-only, extended cut version of the spot can be watched on Toyota’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lak6y1S9gM0&feature=youtu.be

“Teamwork is ingrained in Toyota’s DNA – it’s a founding principle,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president of marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “We believe, as our founder did, in the ‘power of togetherness’ and athletics is an amazing example of the power of teamwork. While we do not compete at the highest levels of sport on the playing field, we celebrate the spirit of collaboration every day, whether it is within the walls of Toyota, or in our interaction with our guests.”

The commercial also includes a call to action. For every person who creates a video of people joining hands and shares it using the campaign hashtag, #LetsJoinHands, Toyota will donate $20 to United Way, up to $250,000. In addition, Toyota will mix content from user and influencer submissions into pre-roll and social videos, continuously delivering fresh edits throughout the media run.

A prominent portion of the campaign will be the #LetsJoinHands outdoor touchboard installations that combine live video feeds with real-time collaborative drawing tools to create a connective engagement between New York City’s Herald Square and Los Angeles’ Hollywood and Highland from August 12-14. Users have the opportunity to email or tweet video captures of their drawing sessions directly from the screens. An advanced cloud-based rendering engine automatically generates highlight reels featuring users' digital drawings, suited to social sharing. The touchboards aim to capture the magic of the engagement while immortalizing these fleeting, yet genuine connections and collaborations.

“Toyota is a brand that is founded on the power of movement and over the decades has enabled people to move forward and explore. The “Stand Together” campaign is a reflection of the physical and emotional places we can go and the goals we can achieve together. By giving people a chance to engage with technology and people in unexpected ways, the campaign extends and redefines what it means to join hands and we hope to start a conversation around teamwork,” said Fabio Costa, executive creative director, Saatchi LA.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Toyota Announces 2017 Prices on Select Models

Toyota has announced the 2017 prices, but don't forget that here at Burien Toyota we always give our customers the best deal we can! What 2017 model are you looking forward to?



Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) for the 2017 Prius Liftback, Yaris and Yaris iA, RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid, Sienna minivan, and Tundra full-size pickup truck. 
 
Prius Liftback
The 2017 Prius Liftback features Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) as standard on all grades, reflecting an excellent value.  TSS-P includes four active safety technologies, including Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Automatic High Beams (AHB), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, and Full Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). 

The MSRP for the 2017 Prius Liftback will range from $24,685 for the Prius Two grade, to $30,015 for the Prius Four Touring.  The MSRP’s reflect an average overall increase of $374, or 1.4 percent.
 
Yaris
Value is enhanced for the 2017 Yaris with the addition of Toyota Safety Sense™ C (TSS-C) as standard equipment on all grades.  TSS-C includes Pre-Collision System (PCS), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Lane Departure Alert (LDA).  

The MSRP for the Yaris ranges from $15,250 for the L grade with a manual transmission to $18,000 for the sporty SE grade with an automatic transmission.  The MSRP’s reflect an average overall increase of $355, or 2.2 percent.
 
Yaris iA
The Scion iA joins the Toyota family as the Yaris iA for the 2017 model year.  Updates to the iA include Toyota interior and exterior badging.  Like all Toyota models, iA will include Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

The Yaris iA will remain monospec for 2017 model year.  Key features include: choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, 16-inch alloy wheels, 7-inch touchscreen display audio plus a remote interface commander in the center console, Remote keyless entry with push-button start, and backup camera.  One exterior color, Sterling Silver, will be replaced by a new silver, Chromium.

The Yaris iA base MSRP will increase $250, reflecting an increase of 1.5 percent.  Prices will range from $15,950 for the iA with a manual transmission and $17,050 for the automatic.
 
RAV4/RAV4 Hybrid
The 2017 RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid will feature Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) as standard on all grades.   TSS-P includes includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Automatic High Beams (AHB), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). 

One new grade, Platinum, joins the RAV4 gas lineup.  The RAV4 Platinum will offer a premium option to customers seeking the highest level of style, technology and luxury from a small SUV.  Standard features on the Platinum Grade will include:
  • Full Body Color – Lower plastic cladding, color-keyed to top body color
  • Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and JBL
  • Foot-well ambient Lighting
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Five-door Smart Key
  • Floor-activated, height-adjustable power back door
  • Bird’s Eye View Camera
  • Plush floor mats
  • Door sill protectors (Platinum Badged)
  • Interior ornamentation (five pieces)
  • Platinum badging
One new exterior color, Galactic Aqua Mica, replaces Hot Lava and will be available on both gas and hybrid models.

The base MSRP for RAV4 gas models will range from $24,910 for the 4x2 LE to $36,150 for the 4x4 Platinum grade.  The MSRP’s reflect an average overall increase of $540, or 1.9 percent.  Prices do not include the new SE grade for both RAV4 gas and RAV4 Hybrid grades, which will be announced at a later date.

The base MSRP for the RAV4 Hybrid will range from $29,030 for the RAV4 Hybrid XLE, to $34,030 for the premium RAV4 Hybrid Limited.  The prices reflect an overall average increase of $353, or 1.2 percent.
 
Sienna
Standard across all Sienna models is a new 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 engine and Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission.  The combination of this new powertrain will result in improved fuel economy and best-in-class horsepower and torque. Horsepower will increase from 266 to 296 while torque will improve from 245 to 263.

The base MSRP for the 2017 Sienna will range from $29,750 for the Siena L seven-passenger 4x2, to $47,310 for the Sienna Limited Premium seven-passenger all-wheel-drive.  The prices reflect an overall average price increase of $900, or 2.6 percent. 
 
Tundra
The Toyota Tundra, recognized for its value and dependability, offers detail changes for 2017, enhancing value and comfort in a hard-working, hard-playing full-size pickup truck.
A tow hitch receiver is added to the 4.6-liter V8, making this feature standard on all Tundra models.  Tundra Limited models will now include power front bucket seating as standard, including a four-way front passenger seat.
 
 Exterior color additions include Barcelona Red Metallic, Super White, and Black on SR grades.  Inferno has been discontinued on the TRD Pro grade but added to SR5 and Limited models.  The SR5 and Limited also new offer Quicksand.  The ultra-rugged Tundra TRD Pro adds two colors, Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic, joining Super White.

The base MSRP for the 2017 Tundra will range from $30,020 for the 2WD Extended Cab SR with a Standard Bed, 4.6-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission to $50,030 for the 4WD CrewMax 1794 Edition and Platinum grade, each with a short bed, 5.7-liter V8, and six-speed automatic.   The MSRP’s reflect an average overall increase of $535, or 1.4 percent.

Toyota MSRPs do not include a delivery, processing and handling of $865 for Toyota passenger cars, $940 for small/medium SUV’s, van and small pickup, $1,095 for large SUVs, and $1,195 for large pickup truck.  All DPH fees became effective on July 27. The DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Toyota Celebrates Hispanic Community at 2016 National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference

Conference Marks Toyota’s Sixth Year as Title Sponsor; 
Toyota and the NCLR Have Been Partners for More Than 17 Years
 
Toyota, the No. 1 auto company among U.S. Hispanics for 12 consecutive years, returned as co-title sponsor of the 2016 NCLR Conference, which is taking place July 23-26, 2016 in Orlando, FL. As part of the celebration, Toyota gave away a brand new 2016 Corolla at the annual Latinas Brunch on Sunday, July 24.
 
“Toyota is proud to support NCLR’s important work, which continues to uplift the Hispanic community,” said Steve St. Angelo, Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Latin America and Caribbean Region. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Corolla—the most popular vehicle among Hispanics— we are committed to deepening our relationship with this vibrant and dynamic community that has played such an important role in our success.”

NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., reaching millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations. Since 1999, Toyota has provided NCLR with grants of nearly $3 million.
 
“We thank Toyota for their steadfast commitment to the Hispanic community,” said Janet MurguĂ­a, NCLR President and CEO. “Latinos are an important part of the future of this country and together with partners like Toyota, we will keep championing on their behalf.”
 
During the conference, St. Angelo addressed the Latinas Brunch and awarded a brand new 2016 Corolla to Diane Arms-Signore of Houston, Texas. Arms-Signore serves as Director of Prevention and Counseling at the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA), an organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering at-risk Latinos to pursue their potential and achieve success. She plans to use her new Corolla to support her organization’s Minorities in Action Program to help individuals with HIV maintain access to quality healthcare.
 
To date, Toyota has contributed $800 million to grassroots organizations and nonprofits, much of it going to organizations that support minority populations, including Hispanics.  For 25 years Toyota has run one of the leading minority procurement programs, Opportunity Exchange, that creates jobs and stimulates economic opportunity in Latino communities across the nation.
 
For more information about the 2016 NCLR Conference, please visit:  http://conference.nclr.org/. Make sure to follow the social conversation using #VayamosJuntos and #NCLR16.
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