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Toyota outsells Ford for first time - July 2006, why?

reddogsreddogs Posts: 353
edited March 2014 in Toyota
Toyota sold more cars in the USA than Ford Motor for the first time in July, passing the maker of the hot selling Mustang, F150's and the Focus. What is causing so many people to buy Toyota, is it their designs as in the new Camry or the FJ Cruiser, is it their hybrids, or are their Trucks and SUV's finally catching up to Fords. Toyota sold 241,826 vehicles last month, its most ever in a single month and an 11.7% gain over July 2005.

Ford normally is second only to General Motors, sold 239,989 cars and trucks, a 34.3% drop from last year when they had the employee discounting summer promotion which emptied sales lots.

Japanese and South Korean automakers have steadily picked up sales and market share from GM, Ford and Chrysler. Toyota passed DaimlerChrysler earlier this year for third place in sales.

Sales of Ford's F-Series pickup, usually the the top seller, were off 45.6% last month. Sales of Chevrolet Silverado, the second-best-selling vehicle, fell 30.6%. Toyota is coming strong with the new Yaris Liftback and Sedan but that is a limited market as not every one wants a car the size of a Mini Cooper.

Can it be the reliability factor for what some see as a major investment, the average price of a car, which, according to the Auto Affordability Index, is now $28,600 -- equal to 26.2 weeks of a median U.S. family's income. In other words, its like buying a house in miniture with large monthly payments in some cases.
That's just the cost of buying; once you drive the car off the lot, you have to start worrying about repairs. The average car costs $735 a year to maintain, so reliability becomes a factor as this cost normally gets bigger as the car gets older or if it turns out to be a lemon. At some point, you'll be paying so much in repairs that you get rid of it at a loss if its that much of a lemon.

So it seems to be a coming together of a perfect storm of many factors that is causing buyers to go to the their lots and driving their sales. Or can it be that their former Corolla buyers are going up the corporate ladder and getting Camrys and Land Crusiers?


  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    well dealers can't keep Corollas, Camrys, and RAV4s on the lot. Literally. Those 3 models are white hot right now. Yaris is being produced in small numbers, but it is also very hard to catch one of those on the lots. So you have to look at why folks are buying those models instead of the competition.

    Note that even big rebates are NOT moving 4Runners, Sequoias, and Tundras. Domestic strongholds by segment. Figure it.

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

  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...those Corollas, Camrys, and RAV4s are quality products that meet or beat the competition in almost every spec. Add the Toyota quality rep and it's pretty formidable.

    The only thing I see that could possibly slow Toyota down is that they tend to be more expensive (by $1-3K) than comparable competition. For example, a Camry V6 starts at $23K compared to a Fusion V6 at $20K. And load them up and the difference can hit $5K. Granted, some of the Toyota specs, like HP, are better, but it's still a large difference. It hasn't hurt them so far though.
  • crimsonacrimsona Posts: 153
    The growth in Corolla sales is at the point where it will soon overtake the Camry in monthly sales (see July sales) - yearly sales can't be far behind.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Toyota has been diligent growing year over year paying attention to design, fuel efficiency, reliability and customer service. I think the long-term commitment and focus has shown over the past decade that they are "the force" in the industry.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...somewhat, at least: IIRC, Ford really sold a TON of F-150s in July 2005, I think the most ever for the truck in its long history. So the 45% year-over-year drop isn't as dismal as it seems at first glance.

    Still, Toyota's basically hitting it on all cylinders, save for the big SUVs and the Tundra.

    I do know for Ford, not counting July because I haven't seen the model-by-model numbers, the "old" Taurus actually outsold the Fusion and Five Hundred thus far in 2006. Even combined, the 119,190 units of the new cars were not much ahead of the 103,705 units of the old Taurus.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,988
    camry and corolla are huge sellers for toyota. they invested a lot of money in a plant to build full size pickups. we will just have to see how that goes.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    of high gas prices and falling sales of domestic full-size pick-ups, I wonder GREATLY whether Toyota will really be able to get to the 250K hoped-for annual Tundra sales. I wouldn't put money on it right now but who knows? The new model looks decent, will have the power prerequisite for this class, and hopefully will be offered in more basic work versions than in the past, in addition to the very pricey Limiteds that Toyota so loves to offer.

    Tacoma continues to sell very well, which may be a hopeful sign for the future of the larger truck as well.

    If you put the Toyota and Ford line-ups back to back, does anything besides Mustang really stand out at Ford? Maybe the Fusion if you are a convert for that model, but most retail customers disagree with you in that case. What's more, there really aren't any models in the Ford pipeline that will change that status quo, except MAYBE the Fairlane that is at least 2 years out, most likely.

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

  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    Although Toyota comes up well in all reliability surveys, the customer service angle (at the corporate level, not the dealership level) is often overlooked. My father owned a 2003 4runner. Some vehicles that year were affected by a manufacturing problem with one of their parts. Toyota extended the warranty to 72,000 miles instead of the standard 36,000 miles (without charge as a courtesy to the consumer).

    I owned a Saturn (GM) and replacement of the intake manifold gasket was a running joke at the dealership (among many other problems). Just about every S-series vehicle had to have it replaced between 30,000 (if you were lucky and it was warranty covered) and 70,000 miles. This was well-known to GM and they allowed the consumer to pay for it (if it occurred after 36,000 miles as mine did) instead of stepping up to fix it. Additionally, the problem kept recurring to my knowledge until the S-series was discontinued many years later. I'll never buy another GM until I see evidence of better business practices. I don't care if they show a $10 trillion profit next quarter. I'm not "buying American" anymore if it costs me $8,000 (in the form of poor resale value relative to a Honda or Toyota and repairs between the warranty expiration and my trading it in) over a 5 year stretch of vehicle ownership.

    Time will tell if Toyota drops this practice when they reach a certain sales volume. As of now, I also see nothing slowing them down other than the logistics of being able to keep the same quality level with increased manufacturing capacity. Toyota has already announced plans to start selling a heavy-duty Tundra to compete with the Ford F-250 and Dodge diesels. If they also produce one or two serious sports cars (For example the Supra and an XRS version of the Camry), I see real trouble ahead for the US auto industry.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Load of garbage.

    First, I had a 95 Saturn SL2 (my nephew still has it). No Manifold Gasket problem. All other Saturn S owners I know never reported this.

    Second, Toyota had the sludge, seat belt latch, and early rusting problems and never extended warranties. The 4 Runner is a very expensive truck, and Toyota has always been desperate to expand into trucks. It has not shown the same willingness to own up to problems with cars, where the market is less careful.

    Three, Toyota dealers consistently rank well below Saturn and Buick dealers for customer satisfaction. Lexus does only slightly better than Cadillac.

    Four, the Tundra has never sold well, does not have an announced hybrid version even in the new model (GM will have dual phase hybrid Silverados and Sierras).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Toyota sludge - extended warranty (100K miles). (Ask VW Group how they treated their customers with a similar problem).

    "early rusting problems" - this is the myth of the Japanese cars from the 70s (when no-one was all that good) extended somehow onto the present-day cars. Let's end the myth, huh?

    Seat belt latch - you will have to elaborate - if it was a recall, then no extended warranty was needed, now was it?

    The dealer body of almost every manufacturer out there are a bunch of louses (with Saturn and Lexus the notable exceptions, perhaps Cadillac is working its way up the charts). Do we want to blame every manufacturer equally for this state of affairs (or blame none of them, since we all know that the manufacturers have no real control over their dealer bodies), or should we single out Toyota?

    Toyota has taken its typically cautious approach with the Tundra, knowing it was breaking into the core of the American market with that model. Did john500 or anyone else really say anything to the contrary? But they do plan a hybrid model, after the diesels and HD versions are available. They hope for 250K sales per year - less than 1/3 of the domestics' sales in that segment. One more example of slow and steady growth. Despite that seemingly low sales projection, if they achieve it annual sales of that model would double. They don't expect to get to that sales rate overnight, but in the course of a few years.

    Can we cool the firing from the hip? I never jump in to Toyota threads because they always become target practice discussions, with little of real substance said. Toyota owners have far less fervor for defending their chosen brand than non-Toyota owners seem to have for shooting Toyota down.

    You, logic, have always made meaningful contributions in other threads. I look forward to that trend continuing here.

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

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I assume this is the infamous cracking Takata latch used in many Asian cars (not just Toyotas) in the late 80s and early 90s. That's an awfully long time ago, and they were recalled several years afterward, when the deterioration became evident.

    Takata is still in business and is one of the major suppliers of seat belts and airbags, along with Autoliv and TRW.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Tundra is starting its what, third model cycle? That is more than a cautious approach. It would be a bungle, but for the fact that Toyota has the money from other operations to cover its shortcomings.

    I do not think Toyota's current hybrid technology will work well on a full size pick up. If Toyota has a dual phase system or has otherwise worked a solution to moving size economically, I'll give credit where it is due. At this point, I see nothing to suggest Toyota will challenge any of the big 3 full size pick ups.

    I agree most brand's dealers are bad. But Toyota and Honda typically rate very low. Given the success of their models, I think this shows the market is not so all fired concerned about service (except for the very high end) but rather for the deal when buying the car. And Toyota has typically offered a lot of car for not a lot of money, its poor dealers notwithstanding.

    Toyota has primarily two cars, the Camry and the Corolla, that are screaming deals. Honda has the Accord and Civic. The rest of their line ups are decent, but not spectacular in my opinion. (This generation Avalon arguably is a spectacular Buick type car - not a big deal in my opinion)

    Both brands (though Honda not nearly as well as Toyota) have been able to leverage the profits into luxury market. Toyota and Honda now have decent mini-vans. Though here the arguably better Sienna has trouble with the Ody and neither have been able to dethrone the Daimlers, in spite some very rough years for the king (the current models seem to deserve the sales lead)

    Neither have done sporty well. Honda does not even do trucks. Toyota has had its issues. I note, for instance, the FJ has been recalled already.

    In sum, I think Toyota wins market on a brilliant yet simple plan and make gobs of profit doing it.

    Perhaps I get just a tad to annoyed when people try to read so much more into what is happening. I certainly can read.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    They fought the recall. Since we are talking about an evolutionary process, not sure why the early 90s is awfully long ago. Especially with so many chastising other makes for cars no longer on the market.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Who fought the recall? Takata or the car makers?
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Admittedly, I did not pay as close attention then as now. I do not remember.

    At least the impression the US media gave at the time was the auto manufacturers spokespeople initially blamed what they said was slovenly US car interior habits (eating and drinking in cars, not cleaning them often or well enough etc.).

    The resulting media furor in turn got gv't people interested. After which, the recalls started.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    has done a very good job of sporty, but only in niche cars with small sales (like S2000 and the various SIs over the years). They certainly have no Mustang, that's for sure. Even the Celica never got close to Mustang-type sales (except almost 25 years ago, the sales heyday of the Celica).

    Honda outselling Chrysler Group with its truncated line-up (as opposed to Chrysler's very full line-up) is perhaps bigger news than Toyota surpassing Ford.

    logic: "At this point, I see nothing to suggest Toyota will challenge any of the big 3 full size pick ups."

    Even Toyota can't "see" their hybrid system for the next-gen Tundra, as it is not developed yet! That's why it will be introduced after all the other powertrains and configurations, at least two years from now.

    And of course, we have yet to see real-world testing of GM's dual-phase system, so we can't really say yet how that one will perform for regular Joes (and Josephines! :-)) either.

    I would love to see them both make a hybrid system that works well for peoples' needs and averages better than 20 mpg in these huge trucks.

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

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,293
    ...problem is no myth. Japanese cars of the '70s would rust away after two northeast winters in Philly. Fords were pretty bad too, but GM cars probably held up best against rust. Everybody has largely tackled this problem today. The only time I see a car rusted is one that is extremely neglected. Hondas tend to rust where the rear bumper meets the quarter panel.

    As for why Toyota outsold Ford? Well, Ford's best seller is the F-150. Not many people go for huge pickups in the wake of $3 a gallon gas. I must admit, it is a much nicer truck than its predecessor. Ford would sell more F-150s than the combined total of all Camries and Accords. I guess that number has taken a big hit.

    As for Ford cars, what is there I would buy? Well the Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victoria immediately come to mind, but they are quite antiquated and I can find a much nicer alternative at GM or Chrysler. The Mustang is really nice, but not the kind of car I'd buy. The Fusion and Five Hundred show they're trying, but still I'd take an Impala or a LaCrosse instead. Focus? Blah! The rest of Lincoln's lineup is pathetic compared to Cadillac and the imports. An Avalon is probably nicer than a Zephyr.

    Toyota has proven one thing. It can sell anything regardless of how ugly it is. The last Camry was as dull as dishwater, but this pig-nosed Camry with its cloned "Bangle butt" is a misshapen blob of a car. You'd think Camry sales would take a big hit on account of it's styling. If this car was a Chevrolet, it would be laughed off the market.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    (like S2000 and the various SIs over the years)

    Thanks for reminding me. I like the S2000 a lot and should not have overlooked it. Unfortunately, it defined the meanin of niche laright. Honda made no effort to make it broadly available.

    I suspect because it did not fit, nor could it ever, Honda's tried and true method of selling Accords and Civics at decent markup as fast as they can make them.

    And of course, we have yet to see real-world testing of GM's dual-phase system, so we can't really say yet how that one will perform for regular Joes (and Josephines! ) either.

    Definitely a work in process. GM is not the only one touting it, however. Daimler which like GM can count its eggs before they hatch, and BMW, which usually always comes through, both say the dual phase is going to be good.

    We shall see.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    As for Ford cars, what is there I would buy? Well the Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victoria immediately come to mind, but they are quite antiquated and I can find a much nicer alternative at GM or Chrysler. The Mustang is really nice, but not the kind of car I'd buy. The Fusion and Five Hundred show they're trying, but still I'd take an Impala or a LaCrosse instead. Focus? Blah! The rest of Lincoln's lineup is pathetic compared to Cadillac and the imports. An Avalon is probably nicer than a Zephyr

    Going back to a theme I was trying to develop yesterday, but got distracted with inanity - my own as much as anyone else's - Ford had moment where its Taurus was the market. Ford squandered its good will with the middle buyers. Toyota was all to happy to jump in with the Camry.

    Ford has the Edge coming. I think the Edge might really have a chance to bring back some of the magic Ford once enjoyed with the Taurus.

    Ford should sell Jaguar, Aston, and Land Rover, then really concentrate on the quality of a global Ford line up - Edge -500/Freelander - Fusion - Focus - Mustang for the US(Euro Focus here as soon as it is in the rest of the World) with Volvo for lux and Mazda for niche and youth. If Ford did that, they may be able to come closer to where they were, if not restore the ground they lost to Toyota.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Honda outselling Chrysler Group with its truncated line-up (as opposed to Chrysler's very full line-up) is perhaps bigger news than Toyota surpassing Ford."

    It would be. But I think Honda only surpasses Chrysler if you count Acura in the Honda total.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Yes. And only if you exclude Mercedes and only count Dodge/Chrysler. So, it is a hollow victory eh?! :-P

    Actually, ignoring "the race" for a moment, I figure neither Acura nor Mercedes contribute much to the standings, and if Honda by itself ALMOST beat Chrysler/Dodge, WHICH HAD employee pricing RUNNING, I think that is still significant.

    lemko: a lot of the press seemed to think the new Camry's looks are significantly better than the old model's. They HAVE been selling better since the switchover, which of course would normally be expected, so it may not mean much.

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

  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    Did Ford actually lose significant volume or is this really GM losing huge volumes with Toyota and Honda taking the bulk of the former GM sales?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Year-to-Date: 2005 --> 2006

    GM: 2,882,397 --> 2,447,289 (-435,108)
    Ford+: 1,982,131 --> 1,792,849 (-189,282)
    Toyota+: 1,330,487 --> 1,465,368 (+134,881)
    DCX: 1,547,528 --> 1,416,481 (-131,047)
    Honda+: 835,581 --> 903,031 (+67,450)
    Nissan+: 650,021 --> 598,176 (-51,485)
    Hyundai+: 438,006 --> 454,247 (+16,241)

    Overall: 10,426,926 --> 9,919,643 (-507,283)
  • atlvibeatlvibe Posts: 109
    About a year and a half ago I came across a book. It was called "The END OF DETROIT". I can't recall the author's name at present but she an economist or college professor in Michigan. She pretty much illustrated that the domestics no longer will dominate the market. Toyota outselling Ford pretty much solidifies her position.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Her name is Micheline Maynard, and she has written articles for this site.

    Ford was seduced by the easy profits from light trucks and took its eye off the ball in the passenger car market. Toyota didn't (neither did Honda), and now Ford is paying the price.

    Not offering the second-generation Focus in the U.S., for example, was a big mistake. The European Focus is a great car, and if Ford had offered it here, it would be fully competitive with the Civic and Corolla. But the beancounters decided to save a few dollars by stretching out the life cycle of the American Focus, and now it is rapidly becoming a rental queen.

    It's this sort of shortsightedness that is slowly handing over the passenger car market to the Japanese in the middle and the Germans and the Japanese at the high end.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,988
    everyone likes to dump on the focus, but it's a pretty good little car. my '04 (2.3 5 speed) is pzev rated just like a prius, it has a ton of features like alloys, abs, power windows and locks, blaupunkt stereo, moonroof, heated seats. it's fun to drive too. 13k plus ttl.
    epa 33 highway. i'm have averaging that in regular driving.
    build quality and materials could be be better.
    corolla outsells it.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 10,988
    toyota just invested a bunch of money in a full size truck plant. let's how that works out.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    I could of told you the UAW isn't finished with the Japanese. Toyota has union labor in Japan, that makes the UAW, look like [non-permissible content removed] cats.


    P.S. Ford isn't finished, they are only sharpening their claws. ;)
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I think the total (150K units) for the Chrysler group actually includes Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep, but not Merc. With Merc in the totals, they get 171K.

    Honda (only) totaled 133K. With Acura, it was 151K units.

    But you're right. Honda offers about 10 passenger cars to the US market. Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep offer something like 24-25. Honda is certainly getting more bang for the buck.
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