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bowtie_dude

Toyota's Climb to the Top

26 posts in this topic

bowtie_dude    0

So I'm sitting at home Friday evening, watching TV and I see the commercial for the new Rav4. I turn to my wife, who happens to like the Highlander, and ask her what she thinks. She says, "Its ok."

Now my wife doesn't hold the same prejudices as me, but she also doesn't see in Toyota what growing numbers of the nation and the media see. You all know what I'm talking about. Toyota, despite current reality, is seen as the end all be all of vehicle reliable and quality. Now this is a reputation rightfully earned in the past, but isn't quite as upheld today.

Now don't get me wrong. Toyota's are good vehicles. But in many ways, they're not better than their competitors, and that statement isn't limited to its Detroit competitors. The Accord has been better than the Camry in almost every measurable way. It looks better, drives better, has better interior design and quality, and has beaten the Camry (and all other mid-sizers) in almost every comparo it is in.

So why does the Camry continue to outsell it?

Ok, back to my original point. So I see this commercial, which is touting the Rav4's fuel economy (even though it doesn't really compare it to other cute-utes...the commercial is full of old 70s/80s cars, doesn't make much sense), and think, "I wonder how this is going to sell?"

And then, while driving to Johnny Carino's Saturday night, I get my answer. I see two of them, and then a third on my way to work this morning. And its not just the new Rav4. The Tacoma, Sienna and 4Runner continue to sell more and more, at least in Lexington. Did you know that Toyota refreshed the Sienna and 4Runner's front and rear fascias for 2006? I didn't either, at least until I saw 5 or 6 new ones of each in one week. And then there's the new Avalon which, I swear to God, I saw one parked down the road from my apartment THE DAY Toyota revealed it.

Is the Toyota Juggernaut really as unstoppable as the media says? I'm starting to think so. But does that mean that Toyota will one day rule at the top? Not at all.

Because I think that Toyota will not be able to take marketshare away from GM for much longer. GM's vehicles are becoming as good and better. The Lucerne and Tahoe are examples of this. No, if Toyota continues to gain marketshare its going to start coming from not only Ford and Chrysler, but Honda and Nissan will start seeing the marketshare loss as well.

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CARBIZ    1

You are probably right. North America will become like the rest of the world: GM will probably level out at 20-25% market share, Toyota at 15-20%. Ford, Chrysler and the rest will all sit around 10-15%

GM's market domination was unsupportable in a truly global economy.

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bowtie_dude    0

You are probably right.  North America will become like the rest of the world:  GM will probably level out at 20-25% market share, Toyota at 15-20%.  Ford, Chrysler and the rest will all sit around 10-15%

  GM's market domination was unsupportable in a truly global economy.

If Ford and Chrysler don't straighten up, they'll be in dire straights sooner rather than later. GM is on a roll and its progress in the interior department is snowballing to a point where I'm just becoming flat-out amazed. The Tahoe's interior design is dreamy in its execution, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for GMs lagging vehicles.

And Toyota is going to keep its pace up as well. So much in fact that, in my opinion, Honda and Nissan are going to start losing market to their elder sibling.

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The O.C.    2

I don't think Toyota is the end-all, be-all of automobile quality, reliability, design, or engineering.....

BUT what I think Toyota has going for them is their absolute consistency in the products they bring to the market, from a styling, design, engineering, and yes, quality standpoint.

That, I think, is why people continue to gravitate towards their products. Many people see it as a safe, reliable, and prudent purchase decision. And more and more, slowly, they are becoming a more stylish purchase decision as well. No major leaps and bounds in THIS area, but slow, steady progress.

Are they unstoppable? Probably not......but they aren't likely to make it any easier for the Big3 anytime soon.....

Just look at the new Camry......in one shot, they've totally eclipsed GM and Ford in the midsize sedan segment. Is the new Camry more exciting than the Fusion? NO. However, they've taken their conservative Camry "formula" and improved upon it in every area.....

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mkaresh    2

I recently began conducting my own reliability research that, by reporting absolute numbers for times and days in the shop, will make differences in reliability much clearer. Instead of saying one car is "average" and another is "better than average," I'll report that the former in its first X years and Y miles will be in the shop 1.3 more times and 2.2 more days.

I think people currently overestimate the size of such differences because the ratings from JD Power and CR are so vague.

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The O.C.    2

My opinion is that in terms of component quality and vehicle reliability.......pretty much no one makes a bad car anymore.

GM is, IMHO, just as reliable as any of the imports, if not more so in some areas. And the imports are still a quality force to be reckoned with. AND the Koreans have made large enough strides that reliability and durability are really no longer a concern.

I think the defining difference in the marketplace now is styling, engineering, and material quality.

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bowtie_dude    0

My opinion is that in terms of component quality and vehicle reliability.......pretty much no one makes a bad car anymore.

GM is, IMHO, just as reliable as any of the imports, if not more so in some areas.  And the imports are still a quality force to be reckoned with.  AND the Koreans have made large enough strides that reliability and durability are really no longer a concern.

I think the defining difference in the marketplace now is styling, engineering, and material quality.

Which only reinforces my opinion. If real-world reliability isn't what is selling Toyotas, then what is? Reputation.

Example. Whats so special about the new Rav4? Nothing. Not one thing about it sets it apart from the competition. Yet, I see at least 1 a day, and the damn thing JUST went on sale.

Its the same thing with every new Toyota model. They just keep selling and selling them. Chevrolet and Toyota share an equal amount of the market, from my observations around Lexington, which is scary.

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balthazar    1,882

Many people for many decades --to the point the U.S. Government made official inquiries numerous times-- questioned whether General Motors' market ascension & dominance would ever end.

Never overestimate toyota's ability to handle long term business success.

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CaddyXLR-V    3

Which only reinforces my opinion.  If real-world reliability isn't what is selling Toyotas, then what is?  Reputation.

Example.  Whats so special about the new Rav4?  Nothing.  Not one thing about it sets it apart from the competition.  Yet, I see at least 1 a day, and the damn thing JUST went on sale.

Its the same thing with every new Toyota model.  They just keep selling and selling them.  Chevrolet and Toyota share an equal amount of the market, from my observations around Lexington, which is scary.

No one stays on top for ever. Toyota has a reputation now, partially because of the low quality cars GM made during the 70s and 80s. The people who will never buy an American car because their pinto was crap are going to die off eventually. People growing up now will see GM cars are no longer crap, and wont be turned off American cars once they are ready to buy a car. No company is unstoppable.

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Guest gmrebirth   
Guest gmrebirth

Which only reinforces my opinion.  If real-world reliability isn't what is selling Toyotas, then what is?  Reputation.

Example.  Whats so special about the new Rav4?  Nothing.  Not one thing about it sets it apart from the competition.  Yet, I see at least 1 a day, and the damn thing JUST went on sale.

Its the same thing with every new Toyota model.  They just keep selling and selling them.  Chevrolet and Toyota share an equal amount of the market, from my observations around Lexington, which is scary.

The new Rav 4? For one, class leading fuel economy would make it special I'd say. And not every vehicle in its class has reclining/sliding/fold flat 2nd row seats. Oh, and the V6 version I believe is class leading in performance as well, for small entry level SUVs.

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The O.C.    2

The new Rav 4? For one, class leading fuel economy would make it special I'd say. And not every vehicle in its class has reclining/sliding/fold flat 2nd row seats. Oh, and the V6 version I believe is class leading in performance as well, for small entry level SUVs.

....AND it looks good....really handsome. Doesn't look like a mommy-mobile like the Equinox/Torrent.

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enzl    0

Hello? McFly.....

...Toyota has become the default choice of a generation....on this board, cars are a passion, for most people, its like a Maytag or other appliance.

They now buy Toyotas (and other non-US nameplates) because they've been pushed there. Toyota will hurt Honda & Nissan soon...right now the former big 2.5 customers are just 'low hanging fruit.'

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The O.C.    2

Which only reinforces my opinion.  If real-world reliability isn't what is selling Toyotas, then what is?  Reputation.

Example.  Whats so special about the new Rav4?  Nothing.  Not one thing about it sets it apart from the competition.  Yet, I see at least 1 a day, and the damn thing JUST went on sale.

Its the same thing with every new Toyota model.  They just keep selling and selling them.  Chevrolet and Toyota share an equal amount of the market, from my observations around Lexington, which is scary.

Hey don't get me wrong.....Toyota STILL builds a top-quality product in my mind. It's just that so do other companies (like GM) now.

Where Toyota, and other manufacturers, still excel is in the area of material quality, fit-and-finish, design (yes) and engineering. These are the areas that other manufacturers can pull significant gains....and where GM, in many ways, (top-notch reliability or not) is still lacking.

Take the new Camry for example. Everyone complains about Camry being boring and conservative. And, yes...it is. However, with this new generation, Toyota just leapfrogged Chevy's new Impala. Impala, which was recognized as a dramatic improvement over the old Impala now looks to be "the" conservative design in the marketplace now (optional 5.3L V8 notwithstanding.)

So it's not reliability or durability that are the defining factors in the marketplace now....it comes down to one simplified word in my mind....DESIRABILITY.

And "desirability" comes from many fronts. Styling, design, engineering, features, consumer perception, reputation, quality, and yes, reliability and durability.

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enzl    0

Hey don't get me wrong.....Toyota STILL builds a top-quality product in my mind.  It's just that so do other companies (like GM) now.

Where Toyota, and other manufacturers, still excel is in the area of material quality, fit-and-finish, design (yes) and engineering.  These are the areas that other manufacturers can pull significant gains....and where GM, in many ways, (top-notch reliability or not) is still lacking.

Take the new Camry for example.  Everyone complains about Camry being boring and conservative.  And, yes...it is.  However, with this new generation, Toyota just leapfrogged Chevy's new Impala.  Impala, which was recognized as a dramatic improvement over the old Impala now looks to be "the" conservative design in the marketplace now (optional 5.3L V8 notwithstanding.)

So it's not reliability or durability that are the defining factors in the marketplace now....it comes down to one simplified word in my mind....DESIRABILITY. 

And "desirability" comes from many fronts.  Styling, design, engineering, features, consumer perception, reputation, quality, and yes, reliability and durability.

It's unbelievable that an argument could be made that the RAV4 doesn't set the bar higher...

Let's see, off the top of my head:

-Most powerful available Engine in its class

-Available 3rd row seating

-Standard side airbags and ESP on EVERY model!

-ULEVII engines

That's not enough...that took me 10 seconds....the RAV4 may not be your cup of tea (and I'm not a big fan)...but at least let's pretend we live in reality...

Here's the pertenant question to be posing: What GM product comes close to this Toyota product?....Answer, the 200X whatever...'cause it doesn't exist yet, unless you're spending 45k on the new GMT900's...I know, it'll be here next year and it'll be way better than that Jap piece of s$%^! I know, I'm a hater....cause I point out the obvious...

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The O.C.    2

It's unbelievable that an argument could be made that the RAV4 doesn't set the bar higher...

Let's see, off the top of my head:

-Most powerful available Engine in its class

-Available 3rd row seating

-Standard side airbags and ESP on EVERY model!

-ULEVII engines

That's not enough...that took me 10 seconds....the RAV4 may not be your cup of tea (and I'm not a big fan)...but at least let's pretend we live in reality...

Here's the pertenant question to be posing: What GM product comes close to this Toyota product?....Answer, the 200X whatever...'cause it doesn't exist yet, unless you're spending 45k on the new GMT900's...I know, it'll be here next year and it'll be way better than that Jap piece of s$%^! I know, I'm a hater....cause I point out the obvious...

What the heck are you talking about?

:blink:

I'm a big fan of the new RAV4. I never said anything bad about it.

I think they leapfrogged the CR-V.....and I even think I'd take a loaded RAV4 Limited (with the V6) over the new Acura RDX (or whatever they are going to call it.)

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enzl    0

What the heck are you talking about?

:blink:

I'm a big fan of the new RAV4.  I never said anything bad about it.

I think they leapfrogged the CR-V.....and I even think I'd take a loaded RAV4 Limited (with the V6) over the new Acura RDX (or whatever they are going to call it.)

I was agreeing with you and commenting on some of the other posters rediculous positions on this niche of the market....I should've separated the commentary better....(I can understand the defensiveness, the way you can get jumped on here when you have an opposing viewpoint)

My bad. I didn't check the formatting when I posted....

(As a side note: I hate SUV's on principle, the CUV's bother me an order of magnitude less, I guess, so I'm not shilling for the RAV4.)

Edited by enzl

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ponchoman49    23

Quote:Just look at the new Camry......in one shot, they've totally eclipsed GM and Ford in the midsize sedan segment. Is the new Camry more exciting than the Fusion? NO. However, they've taken their conservative Camry "formula" and improved upon it in every area.

Well they improved it in every catagory except for trunk space, a smaller interior, more panal gaps than I ever remember a Camry having, a pig like snout of a front end and a melted chocolate bar looking droopy tail, a 4 cylinder that is rated at 158 hp and must carry around more weight than last years model, no bodyside door protection strip for when this car will spend much of it's life in the grocery store parking lots and higher reaching prices that put the top end versions into a whole different catagory. Other than the fact that it will melt the tires in a fit of torque steer with the new more powerfull V6 and it has 6 speeds in it's not always smooth shifting tranny I see little else that is really improved, that is unless you get off to things like bluetooth and 50 airbags!

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lauren    0

So why does the Camry continue to outsell it?

The Camry is a very innofensive vehicle. It's so neutral. Everyone looks good driving it. Almost everyone finds them to be comfortable, reliable, safe, and reasonably priced.

It's been around forever, and there's a lot to be said about anything that continues to stick around and remain a quality product.

Personally, I loved mine, even if it was a little bland. If you lack personal style and don't want to stand out, and you want something that will purely serve your functionally, it's perfect.

That's my personal opinion on why the Camry is so popular. There's nothing really bad to say about it. Nothing outstanding, but nothing bad either.

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MyerShift    7

I am not a Toyota fan.

Of all the cars in its empire, I might consider the GS series, regardless of electronic overkill.

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Intrepidation    846

If Ford and Chrysler don't straighten up, they'll be in dire straights sooner rather than later.  GM is on a roll and its progress in the interior department is snowballing to a point where I'm just becoming flat-out amazed.  The Tahoe's interior design is dreamy in its execution, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for GMs lagging vehicles.

And Toyota is going to keep its pace up as well.  So much in fact that, in my opinion, Honda and Nissan are going to start losing market to their elder sibling.

I can agree with Ford needing to straighten up, but Chrysler? Tell me...of the domestics...who is the only one actually making profits? GM finally made a profit this quarter, but DCX has been making profits for a while. I don't think Chrysler Group needs to "straighten up" since they seem to be doing pretty damn good, and with their midsizers right around the corner, plus the redesigned minivans on their way, the Nitro, a facelifted Durango plus hybrid, and possibly a subcompact, I think they're doing quite well, and have a good gameplan. Remember, DCX has the key ingredient that GM and Ford have been lacking for so long... bold, distinctive, American cars, not Japanese wannabes. GM is realizing this faster than Ford...who in the meantime can't even make a good ad campain these days.

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CARBIZ    1

I agree that Chrysler has built its recent reputation around big, brutish cars and trucks, but when the U.S. hits $5 a gallon (say Katrina anyone?) there will be a lot of hemi engines sitting on the lots.

Chrysler is particularly weak in the fuel mileage department. The 300 and Charger are not going to win any economy awards. The critics bitch about GM's reliance on the new full-size SUVs for profitablility, but at least with the GM-DAT product and the decent mileage figures for the Malibu and Impala, GM is ready for higher priced gasoline. With the new Aveo (second generation!) hitting the lots soon and rumours of a small Korean-based SUV coming, GM should be in good shape in the mileage wars.

I mean when someone trades in their Liberty because their mother's Envoy gets better gas mileage, you know there is a problem.

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Intrepidation    846

I agree that Chrysler has built its recent reputation around big, brutish cars and trucks, but when the U.S. hits $5 a gallon (say Katrina anyone?) there will be a lot of hemi engines sitting on the lots.

  Chrysler is particularly weak in the fuel mileage department.  The 300 and Charger are not going to win any economy awards.  The critics bitch about GM's reliance on the new full-size SUVs for profitablility, but at least with the GM-DAT product and the decent mileage figures for the Malibu and Impala, GM is ready for higher priced gasoline.  With the new Aveo (second generation!) hitting the lots soon and rumours of a small Korean-based SUV coming, GM should be in good shape in the mileage wars.

  I mean when someone trades in their Liberty because their mother's Envoy gets better gas mileage, you know there is a problem.

But that is why the have the 3.5 liter V6 as an option. Sure they lag in the hybrid departmemnt...but at the same time, we all know hybrids really aren't the greatest business cases in the world. The Durango Hybrid is coming, which is good. They've also got MDS in the Ram..smothing no other full size pickup can boast about. I would like to see a less expensive hybrid system in a cheaper car, kinda like what the Vue has. However their strategy is to go lean for diesels...which considering the Liberty diesel is selling faster than they can be made, may be a good thing.

The other thing is, that while teh LX cars won't win any fuel economy awards, their bold style and good performance more than make up for it. Besides, I thik the midsize class is more where fuel economy is an issue...something I'm sure the redesigned ones will address.

I agree that GM is ahead of Chrysler as far as milage wars go, but then Chrysler beats to their own tune...they do things diferently and that is what is helping them be successful.

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The O.C.    2

I mean when someone trades in their Liberty because their mother's Envoy gets better gas mileage, you know there is a problem.

I average 17mpg in my Liberty (and it's a 4X4) and I drive with my foot TO the floor. My mpg has never been below 16.5mpg in striaght stop-and-go city driving, and I hit 18.5mpg on an 85-mph, cruise-control set cruise.

While I wouldn't call it "thrifty" (the Liberty) an Envoy is not going to beat that.....(it might not be that much lower though.)

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I average 17mpg in my Liberty (and it's a 4X4) and I drive with my foot TO the floor.  My mpg has never been below 16.5mpg in striaght stop-and-go city driving, and I hit 18.5mpg on an 85-mph, cruise-control set cruise.

While I wouldn't call it "thrifty" (the Liberty) an Envoy is not going to beat that.....(it might not be that much lower though.)

That Liberty mileage is pretty much the same is what I get with my 4x4 Grand Cherokee with the 4.0L 6..

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