Toyota sticks with Long Beach as it begins US marketing blitz

Toyota may be withdrawing from the Indy Racing League and cutting its longtime support for the Formula Atlantic Championship but it will be continuing to support the Long Beach Grand Prix, which it has sponsored since 1980.

At the same time Toyota has confirmed that it will be launching 16 new models in the US in the next two and a half years, including two hybrid cars, as part of a plan to boost US sales. The new models will be in all three of its brands: Toyota, Lexus and Scion.

The move towards hybrid technologies is not surprising given the rise in the cost of petrol in recent years.

It is worth noting that while Lexus is being expanded into a global brand, Toyota is also pushing hard for US growth. This will no doubt be of interest to two people in Formula 1: Sir Frank Williams who is talking to Toyota about an engine supply deal in 2007 and Scott Speed, an American driver who is well-placed to break into F1 in the next couple of years.

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