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Toyota on the mend?

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  • 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.
  • OK... but it does make it harder to read. Thanks for posting the article, though!

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • 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.
  • Now that the "Posting 101" lesson is over, let's return to Toyota quality - thanks!

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,159
    Well, visiting other forums outside of Edmunds you'd think GM was on its way back to 60% market share and Toyota is about to go out of business. This recent spat of recalls is certainly giving fuel to that fire... :mad:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    if Toyota INTENTIONALLY slows down its own sales growth now to be sure of its quality control. For instance, it has been widely speculated that Toyota will pass GM in global sales in the next couple of years, but if Toyota slows down, GM may continue its reign for a while longer...

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

  • andy82471andy82471 Posts: 120
    That is unlikely. Unless Toyota slows down drastically and GM increases its output significantly. Most analyst agrees either sometime next year or 2008 is when Toyota topples GM.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    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

    Actually, J.D. Power has Toyota ranked 5th for dependability and 4th for initial quality. This is still better than most brands.

    All these recalls will affect Toyota's image. We have seen similar situations in the past with GM, K Mart, IBM and others. When a corporation has any sort of trouble the media has a way of making every problem a news event.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...you want to slice it, Toyota slowing down its product development cycle to conquer quality gremlins is not good. Toyota has been touted as a model of efficiency because of the advanced tech they use to speed up their cycle to 2 years or so as opposed to everyone else's 3-4 years. Apparently, it's not quite up to snuff - the simulators are missing things.

    Toyota's still on top, no doubt. But they are taking a step backwards while everyone else is going forward.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I don't see as being bad or good.

    It is just a fact of the business in automobile manufacturing. Making autos is complex. Engineering is complex. There are multiple suppliers.

    Like many companies in the midst of a very successful growth, Toyota began to believe its own press that it could do no wrong. Toyota began to deviate from the process that brought it so successfully to where it was.

    Taking back what I said above, I see the development as positive. The market is in a place where it has to decide whether it wants an entirely unique car for every possible segment with the resulting quality risks, or does it want variations of platforms that allow greater quality control.

    I do not think the auto world is at a point where it where you can have both. As the market really seems to prefer the latter - at least the mass market - Ferrari buyers will accept technical limitations for the chance to have the perfect driving thrill - then we have to begin to accept that car companies cannot throw out a different model whenever our whim seeks it.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Old Japanese saying:

    "A journey of 1000 miles down the slippery slope starts with a first fall."

    And do we ever have a first fall!!!

    Don't give me that Toyota's being proactive stuff! How do you hide recalling more than 2m in America and 1M in Japan? They can't, so they do the only thing and acknowledge and apologize!

    There's evidence that Toyota tried its best to hide it. NYT reported 2 Toy executives were being investigated for criminal misconduct in this affair by the Japanese government. The accusation was they knew about this for the last EIGHT years!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    "There's evidence that Toyota tried its best to hide it. NYT reported 2 Toy executives were being investigated for criminal misconduct in this affair by the Japanese government. The accusation was they knew about this for the last EIGHT years!"

    Let's correct this paragraph: two Toyota officials are being investigated for NON-CRIMINAL charges in Japan, related to one incident involving the crash of a Toyota Hilux Surf, where there was a suspicion that steering components were to blame (hence the recall on old 4Runners and even older pick-ups last year). The investigation is occurring because there was evidence that the steering had a known fault, and these two good people (ahem! :-<) ignored this evidence, and went with the design as it already was.

    I owned one of the affected trucks out to 220K miles - no problems there. Toyota recalled my truck anyway, and put brand new tie rods on a 16-year-old 200K truck - certainly above and beyond the NHTSA's requirements.

    I would certainly encourage Toyota to slow down its production and expansion at this juncture, and get things back under control. If treading water to fix QC glitches means a year or two of just-average profits and "only" a 14% market share in the U.S., then so be it.

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

  • hypnosis44hypnosis44 Posts: 483
    Toyota's denial of problems extended all the way down to the dealer level. I took delivery of a 2005 Sienna XLE AWD that had so many problems I thought I was driving a Yugo. The dealer refused to admit even the most obvious of them. I finally made them eat the vehicle, no cost too me, or face an embarrassing law suit. If they had acknowledged the problems and at least worked with me on them I would have kept the car! (I was a mechanic for 15 years which gave me a small edge on the smoke they were blowing.)

    I may look at the 2007 Sienna, being a slow learner and all.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    I would certainly encourage Toyota to slow down...and get things back under control.

    That's the right approach, Nippon. The media believes they have a 'big story' on their hands with Toyota's quality troubles.

    In our 24 hour media culture repetition shapes opinion. That's unfair, but it's a reality big business has to contend with.

    Toyota can't let this "Toyota quality is slipping" narrative gain media traction. It won't get better on its own.
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