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The United States of Toyota

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http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Inves...ota.aspx?page=1

The world's No. 1 carmaker has ingratiated itself into U.S. life and become an 'American' company, capitalizing on years of mistakes by Detroit's Big Three.

Peter M. De Lorenzo

Look around you. People all over your local community drive a Toyota or Lexus and think nothing of it. Your friends, your neighbors and your co-workers. To them, Toyota is more American than baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. Hell, most people don't even remember when Chevrolet was any of that.

Toyota has become an accepted part of the American fabric. It's just no big deal. After all, if Detroit can't compete, too bad and tough. It's a dog-eat-dog world, and only the strong survive, right? And shouldn't I buy the best car, whether it's American or not?

Well, yes and no. On one level, that's certainly all true. Buy what you like. Like what you buy. And get the best quality for your money. If that happens to be a domestic brand, fine, but don't sweat it if it isn't. After all, Detroit is ultimately responsible for its predicament, and it's not my problem, right?

Maybe so, but let's not forget one key point. Toyota may provide for comfortable livelihoods all across America. It may even be your own car or truck of choice. It might have even provided you with a scholarship to go to school. But after all is said and done, there is one simple reason why Toyota never has been and never will be an "American" car company.

Well, 13.2 billion reasons, actually. Toyota earned a $13.2 billion profit in 2006. And where, exactly, did those profits go? It seems there's one very big thing that isn't American about Toyota, and that is where those profits go at the end of the day. To me, that makes Toyota a Japanese company, plain and simple. A company that is now inexorably woven into the fabric of this country, but a Japanese company nonetheless.

http://www.unitedstatesoftoyota.com/

from autoextremist.com

Toyota. Things are not so rosy for the Toyota gang as they find out the pickup truck market in the U.S. more closely resembles Cutthroat Island. Toyota is adding content and cutting prices on their 2008 Tundra truck lineup in order to maintain momentum, as their Detroit competitors are proving to be much tougher and more savvy than expected. Arrrgghhh.

Edited by regfootball
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FROM THE UNITED STATES OF TOYOTA

People who flippantly dismiss the fate of the domestic automobile industry in general are simply missing the point. I continue to be amazed by Toyota’s “enablers” -- the media intelligentsia on both coasts and certain members of Congress in Washington (who just happen to have import auto plants in their states) who dance around this issue, insisting that what's going on in Detroit will not negatively affect the entire country in some way, shape or form.

The core issues facing Detroit – global competitiveness, U.S. trade imbalances, healthcare costs and pension funding – are issues we as a nation must deal with – right now. This is not some isolated bad tiding that will only affect the Rust Belt in the forlorn "flyover" states, as the mid-section of the country is often derisively referred to. No, this situation spells trauma for the entire country. Between 1 in 12 and 1 in 14 jobs in this country are still either directly or indirectly related to the domestic automobile business. Think about that statistic for a moment and then insist that it somehow “won't affect me.”

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The market today is vastly different than it was 30 years ago when GM was the largest corporation in the world and had no peers. Toyota, no matter how well it appears to be doing at this point in time, will never EVER enjoy that kind of world dominance. At best, there will be 4 or 5 major world players, who will all be jockeying for 12-15% piece of the pie each, with another 3 or 4 smaller players nipping at their heels.

What I find simply astounding is the degree that this culture of entitlement is engulfing the dealer community. There are many players out there, who are being sucked into spending a lot of money to build massive new dealerships, almost as if it has been pre-ordained that Toyota will be #1 in North America. Toyota runs the risk of developing the kind of arrogance the poisoned the culture of GM and GM's dealers 20-30 years ago. Frankly, I doubt Toyota will be #1 in North America - the world, maybe, but not in this market.

I am betting my future on it.

Ever hear the adage "what goes up, must come down?"

The market is changing daily, and the consumer is more capricious than ever. If there is one thing that can be learned from the teenagers of today, that is that they are very much in the 'moment.' I would not want to be 'forced' into spending millions on a state of the art facility, with restaurants, TV rooms and all the rest, because someone from 'over there' has spiked my coffee and convinced me that they are destined to be #1.

The smart manufacturers, along with the smart dealers, will continue to be the ones who are lean and mean; those who can react to market demands quickly, and those whose overhead is low enough that they can weather the downturns while waiting for the 'next big thing.'

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The word on the street...

William Jeanes

“Peter De Lorenzo has conducted what I hope is a premature autopsy of the American automobile industry. If you can read The United States of Toyota book without repeatedly banging your head on your desk in frustration at the self-destructive transgressions committed by Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and the United Auto Workers, you are either dim-witted or work at Toyota. De Lorenzo’s take on the industry is merciless, clear-eyed, accurate, frequently funny and, Thank God, hopeful. I wish I had written this book. More to the point, I wish everyone who works in the U.S. auto industry—drones and hotshots alike—would read this book.”

—William Jeanes,

co-author of Branding Iron and former editor-in-chief and publisher of Car and Driver

Bob Lutz

“As usual, Peter’s many pointed criticisms and scathing rants are merciless, and mostly on target. But his take-no-prisoners style is borne of emotion. His passion for the automobile and the automotive industry makes the story read less like corporate analysis and more like a gut-wrenching love story. I will be especially interested to read the sequel!”

—Bob Lutz

Vice Chairman, Global Product Development

General Motors Corporation

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To them [Toyota owners], Toyota is more American than baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.

I hate sensationalism. How many people do you suppose he surveyed that actually said "Yes, Toyota is more American than baseball & Chevrolet"?. Oh probably zero, yet journalists can get away with saying things like that. What he is essentially saying is, if you drive a Toyota (for whatever reason) then you are stupid enough to think this. Maybe I purchased a Corolla or Yaris because they actually get better real-world fuel economy than any other standard gasoline sedan, specially anything made by Ford/Chevy/Dodge, and are inexpensive to boot. Would I then be considered stupid and unable to tell the difference between a hot dog and a Toyota?

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and 90% of what is writeen in favor of toyota by the press isn't sensationalized?

Edited by regfootball
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I hate sensationalism. How many people do you suppose he surveyed that actually said "Yes, Toyota is more American than baseball & Chevrolet"?. Oh probably zero, yet journalists can get away with saying things like that. What he is essentially saying is, if you drive a Toyota (for whatever reason) then you are stupid enough to think this. Maybe I purchased a Corolla or Yaris because they actually get better real-world fuel economy than any other standard gasoline sedan, specially anything made by Ford/Chevy/Dodge, and are inexpensive to boot. Would I then be considered stupid and unable to tell the difference between a hot dog and a Toyota?

...not necessarily stupid, but certainly guilty of not being able to think for yourself.

De Lorenzo's rants (which I read every week) are usually spot on, but yes, he is guilty of hyperbole and does get a little over 'passionate' at times. Still, his articles are generally more researched and have fewer glaring errors and omissions that the usual crap from, say the New York Times or Toronto Star.

For those of us who are old enough to have been around during the 'heyday' of Detroit, the unerring, gradual, relentless slipping of Toyota from a fringe player to mainstream is both awe inspiring and horrifying, in my opinion. I find myself equally awe struck at how cleverly and deftly Toyota has played this game as I am gravely concerned about the future of our countries; indeed, Western civilization.

The 'average' person is too overwhelmed and underconcerned to give a crap about our future, while the PC culture infesting our Univesities, newspapers and media is allowing a huge rot to take root. We are too selfish and greedy to think beyond our next pay check, or next purchase and only give a damn about what is in it for ourselves.

How else could a giant like Toyoda walk in and rip the industrial heartland out of North America with not only our consent, but our blessing?

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I hate sensationalism. How many people do you suppose he surveyed that actually said "Yes, Toyota is more American than baseball & Chevrolet"?. Oh probably zero, yet journalists can get away with saying things like that. What he is essentially saying is, if you drive a Toyota (for whatever reason) then you are stupid enough to think this. Maybe I purchased a Corolla or Yaris because they actually get better real-world fuel economy than any other standard gasoline sedan, specially anything made by Ford/Chevy/Dodge, and are inexpensive to boot. Would I then be considered stupid and unable to tell the difference between a hot dog and a Toyota?

Many Toyota and their import owners are stupid enough to believe that. many people with think Hyundai is more American than Buick because they saw it on TV and it told them so.

Most people, by and large are stupid, they buy what they are told, not because the vehicle or item is actually better.

Don't forget we live in a self loathing country...(us in the US anyway)

Not everyone buys a Corolla or Civic just because they were told to or because they are bias assholes...but a lot of people do.

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It's all still bull$h! perception.

Just last evening, I'm telling a bud of mine who drives a Mazda 3, (his family also owns a BMW 3, and Mercedes E-Class) about the new Pontiac G8, and how it'll be a great BMW competitor for a better price.

Of course, his response is, "ugh, but it's a Domestic" .

This is coming from a guy who's Mazda 3 has been riddled with transmission problems, and has been broken into three times. He bought the Mazda 3, not only because the initial quality of the vehicle, but also because it was "Japanese" .

I know it's not Toyota, but it's the same damn thing. He's the kind of guy who'll say that American cars suck, and a minute later, will tell me he has to go to the Mazda dealer for "something to do with sway-bars" .

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I'm sick of hearing the phrase:

"It's a toyota, so you know the engine will run forever..."

Even if that were true, which it is NOT, the typicl Toyoya

around here in New England rusts out quicker than ANY

other brand, save for perhaps Honda.

And besides, there's more to moving down the road than

just your motor, the crappy trans, flimsy ball joints and

sludged up oil pump may cause a few problems.

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I hate sensationalism. How many people do you suppose he surveyed that actually said "Yes, Toyota is more American than baseball & Chevrolet"?. Oh probably zero, yet journalists can get away with saying things like that. What he is essentially saying is, if you drive a Toyota (for whatever reason) then you are stupid enough to think this. Maybe I purchased a Corolla or Yaris because they actually get better real-world fuel economy than any other standard gasoline sedan, specially anything made by Ford/Chevy/Dodge, and are inexpensive to boot. Would I then be considered stupid and unable to tell the difference between a hot dog and a Toyota?

so your saying the only reason you chose your standard gasoline sedan, was because of price and fuel ecconomy?

why not go with an aveo, it will save you more money over the life of the vehicle then its comperably equipt corolla or yaris?

if that was your basis for your vehicle preference get a used geo 3 cyl motor, you will spend less on total ownership of that including fuel, then you would spend in intrest on your corolla or yaris loan... let alone the fuel and the actual pricipal of the vehicle....

The point here is people are buying appliances without a justified reason... or even acknoledgement... of why they prefer one of the other...

I've received 35+ mpg driving a cobalt, which is generally a few hundred less then a comparable corolla, driving over 95 mph, consistantly... where as my brother drove a manual transmission (supposidly better fuel ecconomy then an automatic, which suggests even worse for the automatic) at similar or lesser speeds, acheiving a best of 26 mpg...

same thing with my parents camry v6... it acheives an average of 21 mpg, driving a 75% mixture of highway to city... this rarely sees speeds over 75...

i've seen and recorded better results out of a 325 hp LS1, and a 275 hp LT1, a 315 hp 2007 Tahoe, ect...

so are you stupid for choosing a ford chevy or dodge, one could only suggest... but there are several aptitude tests, and iq tests to privide a more informative answer...

my only statement is do some research before buying something as expensive as a car... and most people refuse to look at certain models... i consider someone like that stupid...

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so your saying the only reason you chose your standard gasoline sedan, was because of price and fuel ecconomy?

If quality, maintenance, blandness, and all other aspects are very similar across different makes; price and fuel economy would certainly be the deciding factors if I was buying an economy compact car (btw, I don't own a Corolla, but for the sake of argument).

why not go with an aveo, it will save you more money over the life of the vehicle then its comperably equipt corolla or yaris?

My experience with a rental Aveo was very bad. And considering the Aveo's real-world mileage being the same or below the Cobalt and most other compacts, no thanks.

I've received 35+ mpg driving a cobalt, which is generally a few hundred less then a comparable corolla

I generally get higher than EPA ratings on the vehicles I own too, but for comparison's sake, I am using the results available on www.fueleconomy.gov, which shows the Corolla averaging 3-4 mpg better than the Cobalt.

The whole point of what I said is that, while there are indeed Toyota buyers who purchase it based on the name, there are plenty that do look at the numbers and do the research, to find out that some of Toyota's cars such as the Corolla are actually worthwhile when compared to others (as for the rest of their line, it's debatable...).

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I'll also vouch that the Pontiac Wave (Chevrolet Aveo) is also a pile of crap.

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If quality, maintenance, blandness, and all other aspects are very similar across different makes; price and fuel economy would certainly be the deciding factors if I was buying an economy compact car (btw, I don't own a Corolla, but for the sake of argument).

My experience with a rental Aveo was very bad. And considering the Aveo's real-world mileage being the same or below the Cobalt and most other compacts, no thanks.

I generally get higher than EPA ratings on the vehicles I own too, but for comparison's sake, I am using the results available on www.fueleconomy.gov, which shows the Corolla averaging 3-4 mpg better than the Cobalt.

The whole point of what I said is that, while there are indeed Toyota buyers who purchase it based on the name, there are plenty that do look at the numbers and do the research, to find out that some of Toyota's cars such as the Corolla are actually worthwhile when compared to others (as for the rest of their line, it's debatable...).

and then there are those who buy a Toyota because their "uncle who knows everything about cars" said it gets better mileage than some American car.

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note that the cobalt / g5 surged in sales last month and the corolla tanked a bit.

maybe some folks did finally do some research and determined the chevy was indeed the better buy.

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If quality, maintenance, blandness, and all other aspects are very similar across different makes; price and fuel economy would certainly be the deciding factors if I was buying an economy compact car (btw, I don't own a Corolla, but for the sake of argument).

My experience with a rental Aveo was very bad. And considering the Aveo's real-world mileage being the same or below the Cobalt and most other compacts, no thanks.

I generally get higher than EPA ratings on the vehicles I own too, but for comparison's sake, I am using the results available on www.fueleconomy.gov, which shows the Corolla averaging 3-4 mpg better than the Cobalt.

The whole point of what I said is that, while there are indeed Toyota buyers who purchase it based on the name, there are plenty that do look at the numbers and do the research, to find out that some of Toyota's cars such as the Corolla are actually worthwhile when compared to others (as for the rest of their line, it's debatable...).

i was just saying for arguing example, you brought up you might own a yaris or corolla...

but what research are these people doing...

are they researching the inflated fuel ecconomy? the inflated horsepower? are they looking at Consumer reports (as my dad does) that is subject to coments from only their own client base?

what about their perceived quality? they seem to have trouble with every supplier, every part, every new entry in the market... from glue makers to glass makers, its never toyotas fault... whether its a steering yoke, to a camshaft, their supercharged motors catching fire, or just their tundra that is unsafe to drive faster then 40 mph, shouldnt toyota have used some sort of proving grounds instead of testing the vehicles on the public and paying to repair them? they seem to have a attack of consumers complaining about their vehicles are doing things they arent supposed to... driving through the wall in the garage, accelorating while the foot is clearly on the brake...

and who is to pay for these problems? as toyota dealers refuse to do recalled work, and charge astranomical prices for the jobs they do, their labor is the most expensive in the business... and when it came time for toyota, to replace my burned motor, as advertised in their recalled... they refused...

my experiance is less then exuberant...

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>>"To them, Toyota is more American than baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. Hell, most people don't even remember when Chevrolet was any of that."<<

If today's buyers 'don't even remember when Chevrolet was' all-American, then they sure as hell don't primarily think about toyota as being American or Japanese- they are bought overwhelmingly because of the reputation/perception over all else. This idea that because so many buy toyotas that those people consider it American is an unsupportable falacy- it's journalistic schtick.

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I burst into laughter when I saw this title because I joke with friends all the time and say we will be

living in the United States of Mexico all the time. Anyway when I saw the title i was like what? LOL!

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and 90% of what is writeen in favor of toyota by the press isn't sensationalized?

BINGO.

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Actually I'm rooting for Hyundai to take Toyota's business away. I figure it interesting our sworn enemies of 50-60 years ago are taking away our automotive industries, and we're helping them do it.

I just had to share this guy's ad for his Tacoma as he hasn't had any luck selling (the ad has been repeated dozens of times over the last 2 months.)

Craig's list ad

Didn't you know the Tacoma is MUCH more reliable than any other truck sold in America?

Here's another one: Another Craig's list ad

How can anyone justify that much money for a 4 year old truck that looks like that? Lunatics.

Edited by ellives
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Well working at a dealership i had a proud moment.... sold a blazer instead of a Rav-4 cuz the guy valued my opinion to sell him the better vehicle. But to vouch for what his names statement.... yeah for me to sell a toyota or honda i just have to spill the same bs its a (insert here) it will run forever! (insert fake smile here)

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