Auto News: Toyota’s Plan To Slash Emissions; End of Viper?

2015 Dodge Viper SRT

Toyota’s Ambitious Emissions Plan

Toyota knows an opportunity when it sees one. In wake of the recent VW diesel emissions scandal, the automaker’s unveiled an ambitious plan to slash emissions 90 percent by 2050. It involves selling 30,000 fuel cell vehicles, like the new Mirai, and doubling its hybrid sales to 15 million by 2020.  The basic idea is that Toyota wants to nearly get rid of all gasoline-engine offerings by 2050.

“The beautiful, diverse earth is being lost at a speed where the pace of past innovations is not keeping up,” Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, known as the father of the Prius, said at a forum in Tokyo. “In order to be there for the global environment, we believe it is important to take up new challenges with a vision for 20 and 30 years ahead.”

Toyota will launch its next-generation Prius in early Spring 2016 and its new Mirai fuel cell vehicle will hit the road in California in October.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen and Volvo are also talking up plans to push EV technology. Volvo says it will launch an entirely new range of electrified smaller cars and build an all-electric car by 2019.

The End of Viper Production?

Fiat Chrysler could be planning to end Viper production. At least, that’s what’s implied in a potential labor deal between the automaker and the United Auto Workers union. There’s a line or two buried in the tentative agreement that calls for Viper production to end at its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in 2017.

The news wouldn’t be entirely surprising if it turns out to be legit. Slow sales are plaguing the Viper and prompted FCA to slash its 2015 MSRP by $15,000 so the automaker could get more out the door.  The original Viper went into production in 1992. It was updated in 1996, 2003 and 2008, before Chrysler’s bankruptcy ended its run in 2010. A redesigned version debuted in 2013, but a big price increase and improved competitors hurt sales.

Through September, just 503 Vipers were sold in the United States, down 7.9 percent from the same period a year before. Dodge sold just 760 Vipers in all of 2014.

UAW will vote on the new labor deal next week.

Photo Credit: FCA
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