: Did Toyota sacrifice long term strategy to get ahead of GM?



The Tony Show
06-22-09, 01:56 PM
Shoichiro Toyoda thinks so. From AutoBlog:




The 84 year-old Toyoda is apparently the mild-mannered type, but Bloomberg is reporting that he read the riot act to Watanabe and his fellow execs. The news agency's sources say that Toyoda railed Watanabe for being "so anxious to boost sales and profits that he'd let Toyota emulate bankrupt General Motors." Toyoda also reportedly chastised execs for becoming too dependent on large and expensive cars, trucks and SUVs, saying, "customers need to save money."

Toyota may have made $17.7 billion in 2007, but the $4.5 billion it lost in 2008 and the $5.7 billion it expects to shed in 2009 shows that Toyoda may be on to something.

This seems to say that Toyota has focused more of their engineering and advertising on brands like the Tacoma and Tundra (I know I'm sick of seeing those commercials...) in order to take some of the lucrative truck market share away from GM. Now that the car and truck markets have tanked and manufacturers are falling back on their smaller cars, Toyota is left with a Corolla that is not competitive in the segment and has hardly been advertised at all for the last 4 years.

Interesting.


Full story (http://www.autoblog.com/2009/06/22/report-toyoda-wonders-aloud-if-toyota-has-faltered-by-following/)

Jesda
06-22-09, 02:04 PM
Toyota is like Sony:

1. Japanese
2. Respected for engineering and precision
3. Now just a name tacked on to middling products sold at premium prices

Lord Cadillac
06-22-09, 04:40 PM
Toyota lost it's way. They still make excellent automobiles but they've certainly taken a few steps backwards in recent years. Even with Lexus.. Big mistake because not everybody else is standing still.. Like Hyundai.. GM and Ford are also making excellent products - but they have other hurdles to pass...

MutedJade
06-22-09, 05:05 PM
Toyota is like Sony:

1. Japanese
2. Respected for engineering and precision
3. Now just a name tacked on to middling products sold at premium prices

Seriously man i agree, It's so commercialized, eventually it would happen. Atleast sony still makes good cameras. :thepan:

Playdrv4me
06-22-09, 06:56 PM
Seriously man i agree, It's so commercialized, eventually it would happen. Atleast sony still makes good cameras. :thepan:

Only because they acquired Konica/Minolta. They can't even develop their own technology anymore LOL.

I agree with the point the main article is trying to make. I found it AWFULLY strange that Toyota was pouring so much time and effort into the Sequoia and the Tundra. Not only that, prices for the Sequoia went *UP* for MY 2010 by ALOT.

Interiors in Toyota/Lexus products have also REALLY cheaped out over the past 3 to 5 years. The 1998 LS400 and 2004 LS430 are probably the finest iterations of that vehicle to date.

Rodya234
06-22-09, 07:02 PM
^ interiors cheaping out? kind of like the way Cadillacs did between the late 90's and early 2000's?
:nono:


I'm disappointed. It seems like "Toyota Quality" won't be the phrased used for too much longer..

Playdrv4me
06-22-09, 07:10 PM
^ interiors cheaping out? kind of like the way Cadillacs did between the late 90's and early 2000's?
:nono:


I'm disappointed. It seems like "Toyota Quality" won't be the phrased used for too much longer..

Seriously... Toyota's utter fascination with this silver plasticrap has GOT to stop. I realize others use it too, but they are by FAR the worst offenders. Who would have ever thought ANYONE could try to combine SILVER with BROWN?

http://image.motortrend.com/f/car-of-the-year/2009-motor-trend-sport-utility-of-the-year-contender-toyota-sequoia/11101980+cr1+re0+ar1/2009-toyota-sequoia-interior.jpg

And here's the Camry's GPX Stereo System style center console for good measure:

http://image.motortrend.com/f/9757913/112_0806_05z+2008_toyota_camry+interior_view.jpg

Plastic!... EVERYWHERE!

Rodya234
06-22-09, 07:16 PM
Well, Toyota isn't really supposed to be a luxury brand. They're kind of like the Japanese Chevy.

Playdrv4me
06-22-09, 07:19 PM
Well, Toyota isn't really supposed to be a luxury brand. They're kind of like the Japanese Chevy.

I would accept that if their '80s and '90s era interiors were not every bit as high quality as the Lexus interiors were at the same time. Lexuses had a little wood splashed here and there (EVENTUALLY) but the interior QUALITY remained consistent throughout the product line.

Likewise, the plastification is now moving UP through Lexus. That silver stuff is everywhere.

Toyota makes a decent product, but they are slacking, and they are no longer keeping their eye on the ball.

Night Wolf
06-22-09, 10:10 PM
I thought the '07? Corolla I rented was a decent car for what it was.

But recently my friend wanted me to drive him and his wife to ATL airport, so we took her '08? Cobalt, just the basic version, white, 4-door, auto. So I drove it on the way back and got some good time behind the wheel. I must say I actually like it.

Only thing I could think of that I liked about the Corolla over the Cobalt was the gauges, the Corolla had that cool LED type backlights, reminds me of the old FWD Seville etc...

Other then that, the Cobalt is bounds ahead on just about everything else, especially when it came to the interior, design, layout, quality etc...

That's not to say the Corolla was bad... it just felt more like an "appliance" then any other car I've driven. Which can be a good thing for someone who just uses their car as a mode of transportation and dosen't give it any thought beyond that.

Jesda
06-22-09, 11:04 PM
I test drove a bunch of economy cars for my aunt, and the Corolla was the worst. Even the Kia Rio was much more fun to drive with more interior features and a lower price. The Elantra made mincemeat out of the Corolla.

[She ended up buying an Impreza.]

Night Wolf
06-22-09, 11:18 PM
I test drove a bunch of economy cars for my aunt, and the Corolla was the worst. Even the Kia Rio was much more fun to drive with more interior features and a lower price. The Elantra made mincemeat out of the Corolla.

[She ended up buying an Impreza.]

I agree about the features, fun to drive etc...

I was just saying that it was a good car, get in, turn key, go to destination. There are lots of people that only care about that, and not featurs or design. For those people the Corolla would be a great car.

Jesda
06-23-09, 12:15 AM
I agree about the features, fun to drive etc...

I was just saying that it was a good car, get in, turn key, go to destination. There are lots of people that only care about that, and not featurs or design. For those people the Corolla would be a great car.

Except that when it comes to actual transaction prices, the Corolla is way too expensive for how mediocre it is against the competition.

V-Eight
06-23-09, 12:22 AM
I'm disappointed. It seems like "Toyota Quality" won't be the phrased used for too much longer..

LOL, the engine in our Sienna required a rebuild after 40 000km so I'll never use that phrase.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
06-23-09, 01:16 AM
^ I have heard of many people having problems with the Siennas. Either the engine or the trans takes a dump at a very early age, especially early for a Toyota but even early by Chrysler standards.

gdwriter
06-23-09, 01:26 AM
I test drove a bunch of economy cars for my aunt, and the Corolla was the worst. Even the Kia Rio was much more fun to drive with more interior features and a lower price. The Elantra made mincemeat out of the Corolla.I had a Corolla for a rental a couple of years ago and absolutely hated it. The driving position was the most uncomfortable setup I've ever encountered in the hundreds of different cars I've driven. No matter how I adjusted the seat, there was no way for me to get comfortable.

As for the driving experience, it was about as involving as driving your refridgerator.

I can't think of any car in the Toyota lineup that would appeal to a true driving enthusiast now that the Supra, MR2 and Celica are all gone. Bland, boring and blah are the buzzwords for today's Toyotas.

ButtercupTheEldorado
06-23-09, 01:29 AM
A buddy of mine has a Sienna and it threw a rod at 43k miles. Actually I've heard a few stories like that, esp sludging Camrys, and valve dropping Camrys. Each time they tell me it was freak thing that never happens to their holy Toyota. They're so brainwashed it's scary. As far as Chryslers, I've seen some very high mileage Caravans/Voyagers. A very good friend had a AWD Caravan (with the Chrysler V6 not the Mitusbishi) and he drove it for 224k nearly trouble free miles, just a carrier bearing for the rear drive shaft. And he drove it hard!

Jesda
06-23-09, 01:49 AM
Far as I'm concerned, Toyota died over a decade ago.

http://www.dragtimes.com/images/4649-1985-Toyota-Celica.jpg
I love this Celica!

Aron9000
06-23-09, 01:59 AM
Far as I'm concerned, Toyota died over a decade ago.


:werd: Toyota has been dead to me ever since they snuffed out the Supra. I was pretty interested in first gen Lexus IS300, but they really screwed the pooch on that one a couple of years ago as well by making it in the same vain as a Benz C-class.

gdwriter
06-23-09, 03:32 AM
I like the first-generation Celica that looked very much like a 3/4-size Mustang. I had a '74 Celica through high school, college and my first year out on my own. I'd like to have another as a fun car. The dash layout remains one my favorites among all the cars I've owned.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/117/286507657_e2b7fde336.jpg?v=0

Me with the Celica circa 1983, when I had hair:

http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2351/234/64/1385156790/n1385156790_270777_7457.jpg

If you look closely, you'll see parked at the curb is the '64 Impala that I grew up with and learned to drive in, the reason I have Betty.

V-Eight
06-23-09, 11:59 AM
I had a Corolla for a rental a couple of years ago and absolutely hated it. The driving position was the most uncomfortable setup I've ever encountered in the hundreds of different cars I've driven. No matter how I adjusted the seat, there was no way for me to get comfortable.


I drove a RAV4 this weekend and it was TERRIBLE! My head was literally 1/8 of an inch away from the roof and my knees were crammed together.