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Toyota on the mend?



  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Sounds believable
  • newdavidqnewdavidq Posts: 146
    4Runners are made in Japan. I wonder if they would be cheaper if they were made here? How much does is cost to ship 4500 pounds across the Pacific and then halfway acoss the country to Chicago? More questions than answers.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    US, Canada, and Mexico. I know that the Toyota Scian line comes from Japan.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Demand is simply outstripping Toyota's ability to supply the North American market with products built here.

    I read in Automotive News that 46% of Toyota-Lexus-Scion vehicles were imported from Japan in calendar 2006, the highest percentage since 1994.

    It is more costly to ship from Japan; therefore Toyota is planning to build up to 4 new assembly plants in North America by early next decade (not counting the already-planned site in Woodstock, Ontario and of course the newly opened Tundra plant in San Antonio).
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    They come in fits and starts; you can't take 3 months of data and project it out to a full year, as you can with sales.

    Let's check back at the end of the year.

    Meanwhile kdhspyder reposted the relevant Detroit News story for the last 3 years.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    At $1,000 per truck, I don't think it's such a big deal.

    Toyota is sitting on a huge cash hoard -- they can spend a little to get Tundra sales moving.

    I doubt you'll see $5,000 or $6,000 on the hood as Dodge has had to resort to.

    BTW, both of my Camrys came with $750 rebates (plus 2.9% financing on the older one). Still a drop in the bucket compared to the Detroit 3's recent history.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    When mine (Toyota's) were new, the customs duty was app 25% to get a vehicle in from Japan. To put it into perspective, a manufactured cost of say (per 10k) 10,000 dollars 25% duty will now be 2,500 or 12,500; selling for whatever price about that. So it is not rocket science to understand that if it is manufactured here that transportation costs go down enormously and the previous customs duty of 2,500 more can now go into the Toyota coffers rather than into taxation!! Of course it by that time has been amply demonstrated it can sell for whatever price now the duty that would have been paid as customs duty is now PURE profit. Who that profit actually goes to is of course seamless to the consumer. This as you can guess is absolutely HUGE.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The 25% duty applies only to pickup trucks and 2-door SUVs. Cars, minivans, and 4-door SUVs have a minuscule 2.5% duty. As I recall, US Customs decided in the late 80s to treat 4-door SUVs as equivalent to station wagons.

    The higher tax is the infamous "chicken tax" enacted in the early 60s to keep out VW trucks based on the Microbus. It was in retaliation to the Europeans taxing frozen chickens exported from the US.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    Well it has been commonly known for years that Toyota has made the majority of its profits from.... TRUCKS. So IF the Tundra made in TEXAS vs Japan, were say 150,000 units per year again or whatever x 2,500 per 10k of manufactures cost....

    Again it gets back to the statement I made. Hard to say the Tundra is NOT an American truck when it is MADE in AMERICA! (SAN ANTONIO TEXAS, which when I last checked is not in the republic of MEXICO) :)
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    It's not that it is more expensive to ship from Japan (though it is), it is much cheaper to build in the US when the dollar vs yen has a 25% difference, thus a 25% savings for the Japanese company.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    That's why they can't make them in Japan, because they would be grossly overpriced compared to Detroit iron.

    Plus it would be nonsensical to make them in Japan, where such large trucks are totally unsuited. (However, I did see someone tooling around in a Dodge Ram when I was in Japan on business in 1999.)
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    While I am glad you agree with me, it is merely an observation of their operative behavior/s. What would be more than instructive would to be a fly on the wall on strategic planning HQ and other wise.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the domestics, it is not a slam dunk to say Toyota draws most of its profits from its trucks. Toyota is very good at selling cars, even small ones, profitably. The current Corolla, now in its sixth year in North America with ever-increasing sales, is a virtual money-printing machine in that respect.

    The only reason Toyota is still importing anything from Japan is they haven't had the time or money to build enough plants in the U.S. to meet the demand for Toyotas. In fact, the mix skewed back the other way last year because the new Camry was so on fire that many of them were coming from Japan to make up the supply shortfall in the States. But still, as mentioned above, 54% of the Toyotas sold here were built in North America (the U.S. plus Canada; there are no Mexican-built Toyotas for sale in the U.S., although the Tacoma beds are made there and shipped to NUMMI in California for final assembly).

    The new Highlander arrives in a couple of months and then we will see Toyota lay WAY off in revamping the biggest truck-based vehicles like 4Runner. Their sales are going down just as they are industrywide. Already they have put the Sequoia revamp on hold because of the gas prices and the fall in full-size truck-based SUV sales.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,555
    ..."it is not a slam dunk to say Toyota draws most of its profits from its trucks"...

    I for one did not say that. No one has denied Toyota makes money making cars. I have seen Toyota's (among others) profit picture in terms of average profit per CAR, in "The Economist". Again it is well known the highest profit and % is in the trucks, this is what I said and this is what I meant.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    cut at least one SUV in its lineup whether it's 4Runner, Sequoia or Land Cruiser I don't care. Looks to me if that's happening it's going to be either the 4Runner or Sequoia since the new and updated Land Cruiser/LX570 are going to debut either late this year or early next year.

    I personally hope the Sequoia will go away and the next 4Runner should be a crossover instead of truck-based with the size increases slightly to further differentiate itself from the Highlander. This case it could serve as the GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook fighter for Toyota. Land Cruiser should be the only remaining truck-base SUV in Toyota's lineup with a strip-down version for some "real offroad" use. Oh, and I forgot about the FJ Cruiser, this one should be truck-based as well.

    Here's my proposed lineup for Toyota/Lexus/Scion...


    Car: Yaris, Carolla, Prius, Camry, Avalon
    SUV/CUV: RAV4, Highland, 4Runner, Land Cruiser, FJ Cruiser
    Minivan: Sienna
    Truck: Tacoma, Tundra

    Future model: Supra and possibly another FWD coupe around $20K?


    Car: IS, GS, LS, SC

    Future model: LF-A (the FR supercar) and another small crossover slotted below the RX since there is no doubt it is moving up in size. The GX should become a crossover as well just like the 4Runner.


    Current lineup looks good maybe it could use a mini-ute? The size for that should be no larger than the first gen RAV4.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Good summary: + the Matrix

    Given the direction of the market to more fuel efficient vehicles I'll add the following

    Prius There was some talk about making it its own mini line.

    Prius hatch 1.8L +HSD ( Gen3 scheduled for Oct 2008 )
    Prius minivan 2.4L +HSD( Estima from Japan already has a hybrid option )
    Prius midsized CUV 2.4L +HSD( smaller than the new Highlander, more radical than the RAV4 )
    Prius super economy sedan 1.5L +HSD( Yaris hybrid? )

    There is something going on in KY. They've offloaded 100,000 Camry's to the Subaru plant in Indiana and they are taking the Solara out of production. What's going to fill that space? It could be the US-made Prius or it could be a new hybrid CUV or both.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Good summary: + the Matrix

    I would drop the Matrix, I just failed to see its place in Toyota's future lineup.

    Instead of making Prius it's own miniline why doesn't Toyota just create a Prius for every model? For instance, instead of Camry Hybrid/Highlander Hybrid, call them Camry Prius and Highlander Prius. The orginal Prius can be called "Prius Classic"
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Are you sure those 100K were "offloaded"? They brought in a whole ton of Japanese Camrys last year, maybe the 100K the Indiana plant will produce will just allow them to stop importing Camrys?

    I don't suppose we will have the next-gen Land Cruiser here in the States. Sales have been next to nil for a long time, this model has priced itself right out of the market. Maybe they will develop a more basic model with a diesel for the States and surprise me, but I doubt it.

    And the next 4Runner should just merge with the FJ line - take on its styling and smaller size, and let the Highlander fill the 7-seat mommymobile role.
    There could be 2- and 4-door 4Runners again! And it is too big right now for much serious trail and off-trail work, so all the heavy-duty running gear is wasted.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • punkr77punkr77 Posts: 183
    The matrix is getting redone for '08 I think.

    After spending a day between the local Toyota and Honda dealers, I think Toyota needs to rework most of it's entry level vehicles. My wife and I were looking at the small sedan's, 5 door hatchbacks, and small SUV's. All of the Toytoa's seemed dated compared to their Honda couterparts.

    Fit-Scion Xa/Matrix
    Element SC-Scion Xb

    I think most of them are due for a refresh next year, maybe that will change.

    The only one that seemed new was even less impressive: the FJ Cruiser. Worst blind spot I've ever seen, crumby ride, didn't seem to have anything under the hood. Probably great offroad, but I doubt 5% will ever see the edge of the pavement.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    New Corolla is due to arrive either late this year or early next year.

    Scion xA will be replaced by xD. I still don't see the need for Matrix. How does the Matrix sell this days anyway? Scion xD

    New Scion xB is expected to hit the showroom late these year. new Scion xB

    So you are right, most Toyota's small cars are outdated and apparently Toyota thinks so too.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Here's the numbers on the Camry and Corolla for last year
    ...NA ..... Japan ... Total
    365,000 .. 83,000 .. 448,000 ( includes Solara )

    For the Corolla..
    335,000 .. 52,000 .. 387,000 ( includes Matrix )

    Maybe the Subie plant is just taking over the vehicles that KY can't produce and thus are needed to be imported. Good catch.

    I think the LC will remain even in its very limited scope. It's a halo product. The FJ has taken over that basic 'go anywhere' function. I agree too that the 4Runner/Sequoia are at a critical juncture.

    With the GM Lambda's being very well received and being bigger and more in line with today's market all the BoF SUV's need to be reconsidered. GM is apparently doing away with the Trailblazer/Envoy, Ford is making the Explorer a unibody SUV and Nissan is making the next Pathfinder a unibody vehicle as well. That leaves only the 4Runner/FJ, the Wranglers and the Durango as the remaining BoF off roaders.

    Diesels anyone? Isuzu to the rescue on the next 4R, FJ, LC and Sequoia?
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I vote for Matrix/Blade. Excellent idea, roomy, good competitor to the female-friendly PT Cruiser. Like Corolla, seems built for smaller people to drive.

    If you guys are having issues with the FJ, then Toyota may've over-extended themselves. FJ is too big to compete with Wrangler, too small to compete with Xterra.

    I've read Jim Press as saying Toyota had a choice, bring back the Supra or make an FJ.

    Since Toyota had 5 SUVs already, I was hoping for a Supra, since Toyota has ZERO sports cars, but the FJ won out. :sick:

    I vote leave 4Runner alone. If it can stand up to all this competition, and still sell over 100k consistently, there is a loyal market there, and should be worked. I learned to drive on a 1992 4Runner, so I'm a huge fan. :)

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    bring back the Supra or make an FJ

    I am pretty sure one way or another, the Supra is coming back. There are way too many rumors about the "future Supra" and rumors don't start with nothing. Also, since now Toyota has the 2GR-FSE and the 4.0 V8 that's suppose to go on the IS-F it all now makes sense for them to bring back the Supra.

    I vote leave 4Runner alone.

    4Runner is an excellent all around SUV. My dad has a 05' Limited and he's loving it everyday. The only down side of it is because of the BOF the interior space is a joke compare to its unibody competitors. I truly think in order to make the 4Runner competitive the next one should be a crossover. I vote for keeping the 4Runner and cut Sequoie if one really has to go.
  • What a joke! Every Toyota I drove broke down just like a Ford does. And the maintenance costs are brutal. When you buy a Toyota, you think you are buying quality. It's just NOT TRUE. They hit you with a huge monthly payment, then they hit you with a HUGE bill to get it fixed because it wasn't under their warranty, then they hit you with HUGE maintenance bill to update some part that "may cause" the warrantied part to fail... and when you look at it, they have horrible acceleration and the gas mileage is way off from what they claim. I am going back to buying a domestic. At least they will fix my flat tire for free, unlike Toyota who hits you with a HUGE tow bill everytime it breaks down.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Okay, just don't buy a Toyota again then...

    We are sorry that many others (and I mean MANY) apparently don't share your experience.
  • When are the auto writers going to stop putting Toyota on a pedestal, and start knocking them off?

    -They breakdown like any Ford does.
    -Their gas mileage doesn't come close to what they claim.
    -Their resale value is only higher than domestics because they don't sell alot of vehicles to daily rentals.
    -The cost of maintenance is outrageous. (Go for an oil change and see how much "required maintenace" gets tacked on.)
    -And their TV ads constantly get pulled because they use false claims or they make a claim from 2001 data.. what a joke!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    "I still don't see the need for Matrix. How does the Matrix sell this days anyway?"

    Well, they just sold one to me, as the only hatchback on the market that can seat four adults in ample comfort and have a little bit of sport built in, while averaging me over 30 mpg all the time (currently running about 34.5 mpg).

    Not to mention the durable cargo area with quick-and-easy fold flat rear seats.

    Fit, xA, and Versa, too small. PT Cruiser and HHR, a little too big (high roofs, tippy in turns) and I hate the interiors, not to mention the fuel economy isn't there. Tried out the Focus models, SO hard to find a stick, the powertrain always feels about two sticks away from giving up even in a brand new car, and I like the styling of the Matrix better anyway.

    What does that leave? Oh yeah, the xB, which almost did the trick. I thought long and hard between the two, but in the end it was the little things - a bit more power and slightly better fuel economy in the Matrix, the Toyota rather than Scion name, the lack of a temp gauge in the xB, etc.

    All of Toyota's small cars are VERY old at this point: Corolla, six years, xA, seven years (only two full years in the U.S., but this car is the 2000 ist from the Japan home market), xB, eight years, ditto xA and this car is the 1999 JDM bB, Matrix, same as Corolla.

    The xA and xB have already stopped production, and the new xB arrives in two months, the new xA (called the xD) in five or six months.

    The new Corolla and Matrix replacement arrive in about 11 months.

    As for the 4Runner and Sequoia, I hadn't even thought of kdhspyder's idea, but it's not a bad one: merge the Sequoia and 4Runner lines, leave the 100% full-size truck-based SUV market to the domestics (sales are shrinking, as are returns on major R&D investments in new models), and continue the FJ for gen-II. Just eyeballing the dealer lots, it seems to me that FJ's run has ended - it was always intended as a niche vehicle, and it seems that most of the buyers in that niche have now bought their FJ. So it is left to fight rising gas prices and people's preference for four doors over two with a 16/20 EPA rating and rear suicide half-doors.

    I will be VERY surprised if Toyota continues the LC line in the States - sales are at what, like 2000 vehicles a year now? The Supra was discontinued when sales dropped that low, and it was a halo vehicle too.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    -They breakdown like any Ford does.

    Both the "import lover's CR" and "domestic lover's JD Power" don't agree with you.

    -Their gas mileage doesn't come close to what they claim.

    Nobody's does.

    -Their resale value is only higher than domestics because they don't sell alot of vehicles to daily rentals.

    Their resale values are second only to Honda. Of course, all Luxury brands were excluded.

    -The cost of maintenance is outrageous. (Go for an oil change and see how much "required maintenance" gets tacked on.)

    My family has 3 Toyota (including one Lexus) and the highest amount I've every paid for my Lexus for regular maintenance so far (12K miles) is 70 bucks. The 2-year-old 4Runner and 9-year-old Camry were all being charged less than that for regular maintenance with no other charges tacked on. My advice is: try another dealer for maintanence or report that dealer.

    -And their TV ads constantly get pulled because they use false claims or they make a claim from 2001 data.. what a joke!

    Their new Tundra and all Lexus commercials are the best commercials out there. All cold hard facts without those "This is ourrrrrrr country" crap.

    You got anymore? It's a slow day today so I'll be available to entertain you...
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    ...the Matrix? It seems to be just a Corolla with a different body. I don't think it qualifies as a crossover.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    I sure do agree on the maintenance being expensive. If you cannot find an independent to repair your ToyLex you are in deep doo doo. My wife has spent thousands of dollars keeping her LS400 in top shape. It only has 87,000 miles on it. We are lucky to have found a great shop that specializes in Lexus repairs. They charge a fraction of what the Lexus dealer charges. And they do not tell you things are bad when they are not. This will come around to bite Toyota in the long run. They had a good run with dependable cars in the 1990s. Now with a few problems they will feel the pinch. Especially when rags like CR quit giving them higher marks than they deserve.

    Welcome to the forum....
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