Auto News for May 8

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It was a very good fiscal year for Toyota as the company rang up a record profit of $18.1 million and predicted profits will grow 3.5 percent this fiscal year. Toyota was helped by strong U.S. sales and a favorable foreign exchange rate.

Select dealers in California will get Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, the Mirai, in October. Interested customers can order one on line beginning this summer, but Toyota plans on only making about 3,000 of them through 2017.

Subaru reported a tidy gain in operating profit in its fourth quarter and announced plans to step up production here in the U.S., its biggest market. North American sales were up a record 19 percent in the last fiscal year.  Suby’s bottom line was also aided by the low valuation of the Japanese Yen. Still to come is a new Impreza and a seven seat sport utility vehicle.

A woman who broke barriers in journalism and on the race track has died. Denise McCluggage was 88. Not only did she race at a time when women did no such thing, but she won. Over the years she wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Herald Tribune, Competition Press and later when it became Auto Week. A syndicated column was once titled “Drive, She Said” and back when she was a guest on “To Tell The Truth.” McCluggage was also an avid skier and instructor in Vermont and authored a book on the subject before settling in Santa Fe, New Mexico because it had more sunny days. One blogger summed things up the best, when he wrote, “Denise McCluggage, David E. Davis and Brock Yates. Why I read about automobiles every day.” So true. So true.

 

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