Laurence Iliff

Dallas Bureau Reporter
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75087 Rockwall, Texas
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Recent authored articles

Lexus patient with fixed-price program

A year into the Lexus Plus no-haggle pricing program, the expected waves of dealers joining are only ripples. But brand executives say a slow and steady pace has its benefits.

Lexus tempers expectations, but says it's 'all in' with motorsports

Lexus has enjoyed a sterling reputation as a luxury car maker from its founding in 1989, “but it's just not enough” anymore, says Jeff Bracken, Lexus general manager.

Bob Carter and the car that's now a couch

In his youth, Toyota executive Bob Carter would visit the short tracks of western Pennsylvania on Saturday nights with his brother, soaking up the local racing culture.

When Christina met rally

Racing may not have brought Ryan Millen and Christina Fate together. But it did keep them together as their relationship blossomed.

From tossed beer to popped champagne: Toyota's NASCAR journey

Ed Laukes, Toyota Division's marketing chief, was one of the few people in the stands wearing the brand's logo a decade ago at Toyota's first NASCAR race in Michigan.

How Toyota transforms America's best-selling car to compete for other titles

Turning the latest generation of the production Camry into the NASCAR racing version required even more than the usual feats of styling and engineering that went into past transformations.

Elite brands give dealership group a halo

Park Place Premier Collection finds opportunities to show off eye-popping Rolls, Bentley, McLaren and Maserati models at auto shows, charity events and at a supercar showcase each fall.

Fresh product lets Toyota's marketers 'cut loose'

Ed Laukes, the new head of Toyota Division marketing, says the brand's move in a more emotional direction opens the door for more emotional, edgier advertising.

When a new dealership is wiped out by a tornado

Four tornadoes struck Canton, a small city about 60 miles east of Dallas, on April 29. Dealer Randall Noe got his first look at the wreckage the next day.

TOYOTA: Sales slip 4.4% on car-heavy mix

Toyota said its US sales fell 4.4 percent in April from a year earlier to 201,926 light vehicles, as the car-heavy mix in its Toyota and Lexus brands continued to take a beating.

A factory town rises in Mexico. Who will live there?

A master-planned 'city for the future' rises in the fields alongside Audi's Mexico plant. Can it attract auto workers making $15 a day?

At Audi plant, labor tensions stir

Workers at Audi's new plant in San Jose Chiapa are holding their union leadership responsible for what they say are less-than-premium wages and benefits.

Group 1's first-quarter profits slip on Oil Patch struggles

Group 1 Automotive said first-quarter earnings fell nearly 1 percent, citing weakness in US energy markets that countered an otherwise healthy quarter.

Toyota expands connected-car hub in Texas

Toyota Connected, the automaker's global data-science hub, is expanding staff and operations near the company's new North American headquarters in Texas.

GM may lead stampede out of Venezuela

Now that General Motors is pulling out of Venezuela, the question on the minds of industry analysts and local auto workers is: Who's next?

Toyota to test hydrogen cargo truck at Port of Los Angeles

UPDATED: 4/19/17 10:13 am ET - adds photo, link

Toyota plans to test a heavy-duty truck powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell system at the Port of Los Angeles as part of a feasibility study beginning this summer.

Toyota FT-4X designed to be 'doable'

Toyota's rollout of the cheery but rugged FT-4X concept crossover is more of a trial balloon than an esoteric design project.

Toyota's FT-4X concept is a rugged rolling toolbox

UPDATED: 4/12/17 10:12 am ET - corrected

Toyota is hinting at plans to market an all-wheel-drive vehicle that's more rugged than the typical subcompact crossover but not as hardcore as the larger, body-on-frame FJ Cruiser that was dropped in 2014.

Lexus spices up LS flagship with F Sport variant

Lexus, aiming like many automakers to pump some excitement into the lackluster car market, is giving the redesigned LS 500 flagship sedan some sporty bells and whistles just months after its introduction at the Detroit auto...

Lexus brings spiced up LS flagship with F Sport variant to Canada

Lexus, aiming like many automakers to pump some excitement into the lackluster car market, is giving the redesigned LS 500 flagship sedan some sporty bells and whistles just months after its introduction at the Detroit auto...

Toyota plans $1.33 billion overhaul of Kentucky plant for next-gen Camry

Toyota is investing $1.33 billion to revamp its Georgetown, Ky., assembly plant to make way for a redesigned and re-engineered Camry. The company's best-selling car is moving to an all-new global platform.

Mexico auto output, exports surge in Q1

Mexico's booming auto industry set records across the board in the first quarter, with production jumping 17 percent, exports surging 14 percent and local light-vehicle sales rising 8.9 percent vs. the year-ago period.

Like Trumpcare, border tax could roil Congress

After being burned on health care, Trump may be a bit wary of another outing with Paul Ryan and his unorthodox economic ideas.

Toyota in high-tech hunt for new ZEV materials

Toyota is investing $35 million in a high-tech research program to identify advanced battery materials and fuel-cell catalysts for future zero-emission vehicles.

Toyota forges new urban, off-road concept for N.Y.

Toyota, perhaps with an eye on Jeep's Wrangler, will introduce an off-road concept with urban chops called the FT-4X Concept at the New York auto show.