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Toyota on the mend?

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  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Rocky, this time the Toyota recalls are front and center in the news. IMO negative coverage of Toyota is just starting.

    The press must have decided to cover Toyota's problems the way they cover the troubles of other auto companies.

    Read the article linked below - it was published this week. A year ago you would have been more likely to see an ivory billed woodpecker than a newspaper criticizing Toyota so bluntly.

    http://www.sltrib.com/ci_4178250?source=rss
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    scott,

    Thanx for the link pal. It's about time somebody plays fair in the negative news game. :)

    Rocky
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    success means the media will now target it as an 'evil corporate monster' as with Microsoft, Wal Mart, GM, IBM etc.

    Rather than having some lionized and some demonized, it would be nice to see more even media treatment of all.

    By the way: I notice more positive press about GM these days than for many, many years. It seems the media is abandoning their 'everything about GM is evil' template, at least for the moment.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well maybe the press is feeling sorry for GM, and years of abuse which alot of the times was over the top. I do think Rick Wagoner, does show some compassion and the job losses hit's at home in the long run. Perhaps people will someday wish again good things for their neighbors, instead of being hateful. :sick:

    Rocky
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    is reporting (Article is available on line, but you have to be a paid subscriber to read it, sorry.) that Toyota is considering consolidating its product line in response to increased recalls.

    I think this is one more example of something I and some others here and elsewhere have argued elsewhere: Designing and manufacturing mass market automobiles is not easy. The only way to do it well is to limit wherever possible the number of things that can go wrong.

    GM, Ford and to a lessor extend Chrysler pre-merger, used to approach the market with a shot gun. Any possible product niche was exploited, lest someone else get market share. The gremlin in this was always going to be quality.

    Honda and Toyota rose to prominence in the US on a business plan that had them using two (Honda) and three (Toyota) basic platforms respectively. It worked. Keeping things simple meant keeping them good.

    Toy lately got the market share bug big time. It started using the tried and true GM and Ford method: make something every possible piece of the market could ever want. The result is quality glitches.

    I think as consumers we have to ask ourselves: do we want something uniquely designed for our particular lifestyle, or do we want to find a way to make a tried and true design work.

    Honda never went away from the limited platform model. GM is slowly adopting the model. Ford may be doing so as well. I think Toy has decided it does not want to leave either.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    It's a toughie, isn't it? We do want the reliability, we don't want recalls, but if every manufacturer achieves those goals by maximizing component and platform sharing among its own models, the result is a bland market with little variety.

    Look at Toyota, even with all the recalls: it makes like 19 models that all drive exactly like a Camry (Scions excepted), even the trucks. This was intentional on their part, of course, but it doesn't lend much "pizzazz" to their line-up. Ford is rapidly going to the same model - the next five years will see the culmination of that process - and in doing so I think it will achieve the same goal, except for the Mustang. Ick.

    Funny to me is that the Scions are the least recalled of the Toyota models, and yet they are the exceptions to the "sameness" rule. Of course, their volume is also lower, which makes QC a little easier to rein in.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Funny to me is that the Scions are the least recalled of the Toyota models, and yet they are the exceptions to the "sameness" rule. Of course, their volume is also lower, which makes QC a little easier to rein in.

    The Scions are tried and true as well though, aren't they? I understand Toyota has been using the platforms for a number of years before putting the cool little hatches and coupe on top.

    But yeah, the choice is somewhat stark. GM, Ford (and a host of other makes long since dead) used to change models almost every other year. And they would make all sorts of really different creatures. But that was a culture where new car buyers would happily tell you they expect to sell before the thing reaches 50k miles.

    If you want to go beyond to overarching socio-economic factors, compare a detailed map from the mid-1960s with one from today. One reason people did not worry about quality and reliability so much was they did not have to travel anywhere near as much as today.
  • jetjockgjetjockg Posts: 80
    The reason the American public doesn't know about the poor quality of Toyota cars is because very few people know about it. TV,radio and local newspapers are reluctant to say bad things about a company that pays them ALOT of money for advertising. We have to call our local media and tell them whats going on. Spread the word! What have J D Powers and Consumer Reports been doing the past two years giving glowing reports about Toyota???
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    What on earf are you talking about ? Toyota makes great cars, and have for years, and tey will keep it up....People who own or have owned Toyota cars know thhis to be true.
  • jetjockgjetjockg Posts: 80
    Go to http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0c6927/816 The truth is finally out. There is an ever expanding list of articles explaining how Toyota has increased it's recall rate 43 fold. Thats the 2002 rate times 43! This occurred mostly because they fired most of their experienced engineers. At the above address you will find the editorials and comments by Toyota owners
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    Toyota fired most of their experienced engineers?

    Why would they do that-to save money? Why does Toyota need to save money, either? I mean, how much money did they make last year? 10 billion dollars, or numbers somewhat in that ballpark?

    Come on, Toyota. I hope they haven't fired their most experienced engineers or Toyota is going to get worse before they get better. Pay some close attention to this, it might just get hairy for everyone's favorite.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    No, Toyota didn't fire their most experienced engineers. You won't find a shred of evidence in that thread, because it's simply not true.

    These recalls are being blown out of proportion too by those who'd like to bring Toyota down.

    For example, the recall concerning stalling of Echo and Prius cars amounts to a relatively small number of 35,000 or so in the US, and these are 2001 and early 2002 models.

    The FJ Cruiser recall was limited to only 9000 units. And the problem was their tires were damaged by improper installation onto the wheels. I've used a tire mounting machine, and I know it's easy to damage the bead area of the tire if you're not concentrating on the job.

    Finally, let's take my personal examples: I've had a total of 3 Camrys in the last 9 years (2 currently). The '97 (which I sold in '04) was recalled ONCE, for a possible loose steering wheel. The '04 was also recalled ONCE, for possible improperly installed (twisted) side curtain airbags. Turns out on this one, my particular car was okay once the trim panels were removed to inspect the airbags.

    That's it!
  • jetjockgjetjockg Posts: 80
    The attached article describes what I said about the lack of qualified engineers.I am not trying to bring down Toyota. They are doing it themselves by not talking to their customers and not publishing their actual recall statistics.
    http://www.sltrib.com/ci_4178250?source=rss
  • andy82471andy82471 Posts: 120
    To me recalls don't matter much as long as the company is proactive and taking care of their customers well, which FORD and GM hasn't done well in the past. As long as a car won't leave me stranded on the middle of the road I am satisfied; and Toyota is more likely to not get you stranded than the domestics.
  • kronykrony Posts: 110
    I do agree with andy82471 in the sense that the true measure of any manufacturer is how they take care of customers when problems occur. In some senses Toyota could use this to build on their quality perception is they take care of their customers.

    One can look at GM, Ford and Chrysler quality of the 70's and 80's and can see how Toyota, Honda and the others picked up customers fed up with buying sub-par quality. Today the Big 3 quality is inline with the industry but their quality perception still is a drag.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,855
    i very rarely see any car stranded on the side of the road.
    one thing that bothers me is that for example, when honda has a transmission issue they repair and guarantee for a 100k. to me that is a cop out. their supposed reputation is to last for multiple 100k's.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    So when Chrysler and Jeep owners in the 90s had transmission failures time and time again between 50 and 100K or even earlier, Chrysler shouldn't have had to do anything about this problem for their customers because their rep was NOT that they lasted for multiple 100Ks?

    Ditto Ford owners with the engines with problematic gaskets, and on and on?

    Just wondering how far to extend that line of thinking. Indeed, Toyota and Hondas have the rep of lasting well beyond 150K miles in many cases, and I have experienced that repeatedly, but they have NEVER warranted their vehicles to match that rep. I don't think a manufacturer should be called upon to warrant ther vehicles to the extent of their "rep". It's a rather nebulous concept.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    If they removed your post, they will have sent you an e-mail to let you know. And that's usually because you broke one of the TownHall rules.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • c2rosac2rosa Posts: 76
    Last year in the U.S. – its largest market by volume – Toyota recalled 2.38 million vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's more than the 2.26 million it sold. I guess they're mortal after all....
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    delay some new models so they can get quality problems under control.

    It seems like there were reports of freezing all new model releases across the board. They have decided not to do that.

    "Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe denied yesterday that the company had decided to delay models across the board. He said the development of individual vehicles would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

    "We try to affirm each process," Watanabe said at a demonstration of new safety features west of Tokyo. "And in that process, some may be delayed, and some may be on time." "

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/investing/bal-bz.toyota26aug26,0,2689624.st- ory?track=rss
  • andy82471andy82471 Posts: 120
    http://yahoo.businessweek.com/autos/content/aug2006/bw20060825_776515.htm

    AUGUST 25, 2006

    Autos
    By Matt Vella

    Toyota's Cuts: No Bleeding Likely
    The announced production delays underscore quality problems but probably won't have a major impact on revenues

    Just as domestic auto manufacturers, most notably Ford, are desperately trying to accelerate turnaround plans, Toyota (TM) may be ready to slow down a bit. The company's president said on Aug. 25 that the delay of some future models could be on the table to provide additional time to iron out reputation-dampening quality issues.

    The Japanese giant—which nabbed second place in July behind General Motors (GM) by outselling Ford Motor (F) in the U.S.—said potential delays would be decided on a model-by-model basis and would not affect products across the board. But the public admission of fault is emblematic of a long-coming shift in company posture toward quality issues.

    An ongoing series of high-profile recalls has focused industry attention on the potentially troubling underside of Toyota's trailblazing growth. In the U.S., the market many see harboring the most potential for future growth, Toyota recalled 2.38 million vehicles last year and 628,000 so far this year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    In Japan, meanwhile, the number of recalled vehicles has jumped 56% since 2002, to more than 1 million in 2006. Published reports have suggested that another six-figure recall could be waiting in the wings in the U.S.

    SALES STILL STRONG. The recalls and quality reports have yet to affect Toyota's bottom line. The company's financial position is stronger than ever.

    In the first half of this year, global sales rose 10.4%, to 4.26 million, while GM's fell 2.3%, to 4.60 million. Toyota's operating profits account for one-third of the combined global profits of all the world's auto makers. What's more, executives are sitting on nearly $20 billion in cash reserves.

    Industry observers and analysts say that while some accounts of the effects on the company's sterling reputation for quality have been exaggerated, Toyota is seriously auditing its design and production processes to curb future quality issues. Joe Langley, a market analyst with the Northville (Mich.) market research firm CSM Worldwide, says: "There's no doubt that they've been publicly shamed by it. There is a fire, but they're putting it out."

    Toyota's mea culpa, consisting of public apologies in Japan and today's announcement of potential corrective strategies, indicates increasing frankness vis-à-vis quality issues. Wes Brown at Iceology, a Los Angeles consumer research firm, says: "This is Toyota trying to be proactive, cognizant of public sentiment. If they want to maintain good sentiment, they realize they can't be so secretive anymore."

    GROWING PAINS. Analysts familiar with Toyota's production procedures say the problems may indicate strains on human resources within the company, a result of unyielding growth. Langley notes: "They've been so taxed, they haven't been able to send as many people to work with suppliers before launches."

    Speculation about delays that could stretch Toyota's famously short production cycles by three, six, or even 12 months revolve around the coming versions of the Avalon sedan, Sienna minivan, and Solara sports coupe. But analysts point out that those cars are due in the three- to four-year time frame and that sales of current versions are still healthy.

    Toyota has confirmed the delay of some highly anticipated models due much sooner, though. A new version of the hot-selling Corolla small sedan has been set back twice, partly on the unexpected strength of Honda's competing redesigned Civic.

    Toyota's Tundra pickup truck, finally poised to take on Ford's bread-and-butter F-Series, was delayed into next year. Brown says: "They're looking at the process, asking if it's design, engineering, a combination, or quality checks of cars coming off the line."

    GOOD NEWS. Likely most important to company officials, analysts, and consumers alike is that recalls have yet to affect significantly Toyota's standings in quality surveys. Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis at Westlake Village (Calif.)-based J.D. Power and Associates, says that his research shows Toyota improving initial vehicle quality by about 15% since 2003.

    Although Toyota still trails Porsche, Lexus, and Hyundai in the rankings, two of the best five brands at the top of the list are built by the company. "I'm sorry, but as far as Toyota's concerned, I've only got good news for you," jokes Oddes.

    Toyota's reserve of goodwill with the American auto-buying public may indeed still run deep. It appears that, to maintain those reserves, the company is beginning to acknowledge publicly nagging recalls and quality problems. After all, admission is the first step on the path toward recovery.

    Vella is a reporter for BusinessWeek.com in New York
  • andy82471andy82471 Posts: 120
    GOOD NEWS. Likely most important to company officials, analysts, and consumers alike is that recalls have yet to affect significantly Toyota's standings in quality surveys. Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis at Westlake Village (Calif.)-based J.D. Power and Associates, says that his research shows Toyota improving initial vehicle quality by about 15% since 2003.

    So despite what the naysayers are saying about TOYOTA's supposed slip in quality, the reality is that it is still better than the rest in terms of quality. As long as Toyota keeps doing well in JDP and CR survey, it is unlikely their reputation is going to suffer.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Why all bold?

    Do you think we are unable to follow your point unless you blare it at us.
  • andy82471andy82471 Posts: 120
    No, the bold is because it is from an article and not my personal point of view.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,907
    OK... but it does make it harder to read. Thanks for posting the article, though!

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  • andy82471andy82471 Posts: 120
    You are welcome Kirstie :D . I just thought it was important to have a fair and balanced discussion about the issue.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Italics and/or quotation marks do the job without hurting the eyes.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,907
    Now that the "Posting 101" lesson is over, let's return to Toyota quality - thanks!

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