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Toyota on the mend?

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  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,758
    But the dealer doesn't offer only the Toyota extended warranty. Most dealers prefer to sell independent warranties that garner them a much higher profit.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I used to work as a student for the University of Maryland, and they had fleets of vans and Ranger pickups. They'd get base models with nothing. I mean vinyl seats, no A/C, no options whatsoever. One of them had an AM only radio!

    One of the guys on the crew swapped out the radio for an AM/FM one from a junk yard, just to make it tolerable.

    I'm not sure how often they'd trade them in, but they always seemed only a couple of years old or newer.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good point about goodwill...in fact a friend of ours who used to participate on these boards is the head of Subaru's warranty program, and she told me they actually lose a bit of money selling those (Subaru loses money, not dealers, obviously).

    Under a grand for 7 years of coverage that even includes roadside assistance the whole time? AAA alone was costing us $70something per year.

    But...make them affordable and you end up with happy customers that drive fixed up cars, that never become beaters with half the stuff broken.

    How often do you see, say, an older Land Rover with a faulty air suspension, kneeling to one side? Makes you afraid to buy a used one, doesn't it? If Land Rover had a longer warranty you wouldn't see those, and that could help residual values, and keep customers happy and loyal.

    Back to what you said, it is a way to "cheat" and improve the quality perception, since you pay for repairs up front. Manufacturers should subsidize them IMHO.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,158
    But the dealer doesn't offer only the Toyota extended warranty. Most dealers prefer to sell independent warranties that garner them a much higher profit.

    I think that may vary by region. Personally, I'd never touch a 3rd party warranty. I think you're just looking for trouble with one of those.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,158
    I know the manufacturers are restricted by state and local laws protecting dealerships, but gouging on extended warranties hurts the manufacturer really. If say a Ford dealer wants twice what a Toyota dealer does for essentially the same warranty terms, my immediate perception is that then the Ford must be an inferior product since the warranty costs so much more. That may not in fact be true, but it's often going to have that effect I think.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It would make me think twice about even buying the car if the warranty cost seems unusually high vs. competitors.

    3rd parties really sell insurance policies, not warranties.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,158
    3rd parties really sell insurance policies, not warranties.

    Good point. And as such, there is financial risk (BK, etc.) and the firm has no leverage with either the dealer or the manufacturer.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Check out this chameleon:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/04/24/toyota-me-we-concept-is-a-multifunction-tuppe- rware-car-w-video/

    The windshield can drop, speedster style.

    Not that it would ever make production. And cars that have come close (Smart ForTwo and Saturn Ion) with interchangeable panels all have bombed.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    "But for the first five months of 2013, Toyota's slice of the U.S. market slipped to 14.2% from 14.5% a year earlier. While sales have climbed 5.2% for the year, that pace is well behind the market's overall growth, pulled down by falling sales of the company's midsize Camry sedan, subcompact Yaris and most Scion models."

    A lot is riding on the new Corolla.

    Toyota Tempers Its Outlook in the U.S. Market (Wall St. Journal)

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    edited June 2013
    Another idea - turn the Scion dealers into Prius dealers.

    Although, the bloom is off the hybrid rose too, so that opportunity may be gone.

    Scion Tumbles in J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Initial Quality Study

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Are they still hanging into the Scion brand like grim death? The missed potential there is enormous, but that ship sailed a LONG time ago. The FRS should be the new Celica, dump the rest.

    As for Yaris, is it true the 2015 model well be a rebadged Mazda2? Doesn't bode well.

    I'm in a rented Avalon Limited hybrid, this weekend, a nice enough car, but $40K for this? Really?! It's not that surprising that Toyotas market share is currently slipping. Can a revised Corolla reverse that by itself? It's such a shame they will still continue to give the base trim a 4-speed automatic, in the year 2014 no less. Why even bother, if all the other trims will have a CVT? Isn't the whole point of using a CVT its low low cost?

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

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,758
    As for Yaris, is it true the 2015 model well be a rebadged Mazda2? Doesn't bode well.

    The article I read feels this would be great for the Yaris - the Mazda 2 has a bit of a sporting character (compared to the Yaris) and that a Mazda based Yaris will be a better offering than what Toyota could muster.

    In reality though, this is more about economics - Mazda needs money and Toyota needs a North America facility to build a subcompact.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    Rental Avalon Limited Hybrid? Whoa, that's a spicy meatball. Nav? Which rental carrier?

    Friend of mine really likes the look of the new Avalon (he's weird, says it reminds him of a Peugeot), and test drove one. He claims the ICE is low end and no better than in his Prius C that he hates, so it was a deal breaker.

    Scion...the recent 10th anniversary model commercial sums it up - cars for people who don't like cars, or at best, want to pretend they like cars but can't commit to it.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    The Avalon was rented from Toyota Rent-a-Car at my local dealer. I was curious how the hybrid powertrain felt in this model, so I picked one up for the weekend.

    Truth is, this is the first of Toyota's hybrids I don't hate, because it is so well soundproofed that the motorboating engine is a very distant presence inside even when you have the pedal jammed to the floor.

    I found it to have adequate power, no more, for high-speed passing with this powertrain. I am sure the V-6 would feel much faster, but if I were ever old enough to buy one of these I would probably pick the hybrid because I am very fuel economy-oriented. I was able quite easily to achieve 41 mpg over the 500+ miles I drove the car, some highway some local. Upon initial acceleration you can only go up to 27 MPH before the gas engine kicks in, even when it is in EV mode. I thought that was OK, but it would be a lot better if it could do at least 35 in that mode. Even then, you only go about a mile or so in full-electric before the battery runs low and the gas engine kicks on.

    And yes it did have NAV, although I dislike NAV and had it switched off the entire time.

    As for the 2015 Yaris, Mazda has hardly managed to move ANY Mazda2s, so if that is what is in store for the Yaris, maybe it is time to discontinue the Toyota subcompact from the line? Or else, make it really competitive with all the other models coming on-line in that class now.

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

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    "Toyota is expected to make a surprising leap over Ford in the sales standings this month."

    July Car Sales Will Be Impressive

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    edited August 2013
    ...and still cranking:

    Toyota's new U.S. goal is 2.25 million

    At Toyota's recent national dealer meeting in Atlanta, Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations, told dealers he expects Toyota and Scion divisions to sell more than 2 million units this year. Including Lexus, the tally should exceed 2.25 million.

    ...."There's a new Corolla coming, and a commitment to keeping Camry No. 1," the dealer said. "They want to sell more than 400,000 Camrys this year. They're going to do whatever it takes."

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20130819/RETAIL01/308199952/toyotas-new-u-s-goal- - - -is-2-25-million?cciid=email-autonews-weekly&r=7000G0458689C5Q#axzz2cZgVex1g

    They boosted Camry fleet sales close to 20% of total Camry sales this year - that's a lot of rental Camrys just to keep a sales goal alive. I suppose this means the financing deals will just get even better over the next 12 months until the redesigned 2015 come out.

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

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,174
    I've read that the refresh for the Camry is coming next year and supposedly it's going to be more than just a "Nip and Tuck".

    With pressure from the new Accord and Fusion, I'll be curious what Toyota does to keep their lead. It just seems so un-Toyota like to throw a ton of incentives at it or turn it into another Rentibu or Impala and dump them to fleets...
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,174
    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/08/29/toyota-wants-improved-crash-scores-with-midcy- cle-facelifts/

    Honda/Acura, Volvo, Subaru have all been getting excellent scores on the latest tests, Toyota needs to step up as well. Must have been pretty embarrassing to ask for a delay in testing the new RAV4 only to find it with a "marginal" rating...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited September 2013
    Avalon hybrid (and ES) gets the same powertrain as the Camry hybrid. Nothing special, but those are all about economy anyway.

    They should give the Lexus DI or Li-ion batteries, something unique, but they'd probably have to re-test for emissions and fuel economy.

    Mazda2 is a good little car in search of a better engine. Let's see what they do with it. Accent/Rio brought DI to this class already.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Lexus had a great August, with 17.9% share of the lux market. They had not beaten BMW (14.7%) and Mercedes (14.8%) in a while. Let's see the rest of the year.

    They still depend on the RX too much, though. The GLA may steal a few of those sales away.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That is embarrassing.

    Just copy Subaru. Forester aced it. In fact it has aced every single crash test since its inception. It never once fell off the Top Safety Pick/Plus list.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,667
    Detroit News Article

    Thought I would post this opinion from Detroit news (usually a "big 3" trumpeter).

    "Toyota is now a better company, but Washington must consider evidence before turning to scare tactics"

    "Washington should heed the lesson: Study the evidence before putting jobs and reputations at stake."

    IMHO, good advice for many, although we know some people were praying that it was Toyota's electronics. Be happy all, stop the hate!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited September 2013
    The most interesting part? The source.

    I've been saying that all along. Else why would there never be any SUA cases with a clutch/manual? Why were complaint rates for Ford double that of Toyota before the publicity?

    How can a government that owns big chunks of GM and Chrysler not have a conflict of interest, also?

    It's OK, though. Brake-throttle overrides are probably a good idea given how well trained drivers are in this country.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,129
    Literally....

    "With the exception of the sporty, low-volume FR-S and the slow-selling iQ, "we are basically selling the same vehicles that we were selling four years ago, and we are going to be selling basically the same vehicles for the next couple of years," Toyota's Paul Holdrige told Edmunds.

    Holdrige, who is vice president of sales for the Toyota Division, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., said the recession and damage caused by the 2011 tsunami in Japan were two of several factors that prompted Toyota to delay new products for the Scion brand."

    Scion Stuck In Holding Pattern

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A Los Angeles jury today found that there wasn't a defect in the Camry that contributed to the 2009 crash, rejecting the allegation that the absence of a brake-override system in the vehicle was to blame for the car speeding into oncoming traffic and crashing while driver Noriko Uno was trying to brake.

    The jury instead pinned full liability on the driver of another vehicle that had crashed into Uno's car before the Camry sped out of control


    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20131010/OEM11/131019981/toyota-not-at-fault-in-- fatal-crash-of-2006-camry-calif.-jury-finds#ixzz2hQO9iSS4
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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,567
    I loove it. It's found that the driver didn't even try to brake, rendering the idea of a brake override useless. But the family member, no doubt seeking cash, is still upset about the "problems" with the car. Don't admit that your mom didn't react properly - it has to be the car!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I bet the lawyers found out early that the person who hit her was broke. Nothing to sue for.
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