Re: Toyota soars because Fuel Efficiency
- From: "C. E. White" <cewhite3@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 12:22:35 -0400
"DH" <dh@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
"C. E. White" <cewhite3@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
"DH" <dh@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
"C. E. White" <cewhite@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
"Go Mavs" <GoMavz@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Toyota Motor Corp.'s success is fueled by robust demand for its
reliable, fuel-efficient models, including the Camry, Corolla,
Yaris and gas-electric hybrid Prius.
I was listening to NPR, and they pretty much said the same thing.
Yet, they never mention that Toyota has been relentlessly
increasing the size of it products relative to older models.
New Tundra - much bigger
New RAV4 - much bigger
Upcoming new Highlander - much bigger
Current Camry - significantly larger than in the past
Current 4Runner - much larger than older models (but at least
Current Tacoma - much larger than older models
The Corolla hasn't changed much in years. The Yaris is about the
same as the Echo it replaced, but several of the Scion models are
moving up in size. Why does the press ignore this? Why are
domestic manufacturers trashed for building large vehicles, and
Toyota is praised, yet it is clearly increasing the size of its
offering to compete with the domestic models?
Was my basic statement wrong? Are Tundras, Tacomas, Siennas,
Camrys, Avalons, etc. not larger now than 5 years ago? Isn't it
true that liberal media outlets, like NPR, routinely cite larger
vehicles as one of the domestic car industries short comings? I
don't think I said anything false (and for sure not intentionally
false). It is just an observation. I thought it was poor reporting
when the NPR correspondent didn't mention that Toyota was also
selling larger and less fuel efficient vehicles than in the past.I
think we can agree that they are doing this because Toyota product
planners perceive that US consumers want larger vehicles. So in my
mind, when NPR, and other liberal outlets, start blaming the car
companies for building larger, less fuel efficient vehicles, they
are blaming the wrong people. Even Toyota recognizes that the
market, at least until recently, wanted larger vehicles. Toyota,
more so than other manufacturers, is in a position to benefit from
the sudden shift to smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles, because
they have ample capacity to build more small cars in Japan and
export them to the US. In fact, because Toyota sales in Japan are
down significantly (Toyota sales in its home market are actually
down more than GMs sales in its home market), they have excess
small car capacity that they can use to build cars for the US.
Can I go to GM and get a 40mpg car? Do I have a choice of three (or
is it more) 40mpg cars? Toyota covers the fuel-efficient end of the
market in a way that GM does not meet and seems to have no intention
Do other comparisons. Does Toyota win fuel economy comparisons in
class? The Camry offers a 4-cylinder engine. You CAN NOT GET a
4-cylinder engine in an Impala (well, that's probably a good thing,
as I doubt GM has a 4-banger that could make the Impala move). Most
Camrys sell wth 4-cylinder engines. Lucerne vs Avalon is an
eye-opening comparison. The Lucerne is quicker and gets better fuel
As these Toyotas grow, do they hold the line of fuel economy in that
model? Looks to me like they mostly do.
Actually in many cases they are rated better that older models, but
then that is ture for US makers as well (for example the top rated
Focus gets 3 mpg better in 2007 than in 2000). But physics are
physics, if Toyota applied all the same fuel economy improvements to
the smaller models, they would almost certainly get better fuel
economy than the new larger models.
Gas jumped 25 cents yesterday. How will this impact the sales of a
manufacturer that makes nice small cars? How will this affect the
sales of a manufacturer that's heavily weighted towards trucks?
It should hurt them. But hasn't Toyota spent large sums of money on
increasing their truck sales?
Maybe it's because, even after all that horrid bloat, Toyota still
has more nice choices in small cars that get pretty good gas
mileage, than GM, Ford or Chrysler and maybe more than all three
True for the US, but all of these companies have smaller, more fuel
efficient models that they sell in other markets. It seems that
they have made a marketing decision to not import those models
here. Or prehaps, they don't have any excess capacity, so they
can't build cars for export to the US.
I don't live in these "other markets." Come to think of it, neither
True enough, but why does Toyota import significant numbers of cars
from other markets to the US, while GM doesn't?
I am not arguing that Toyota doesn't build good small cars. What I
am suggesting is that Toyota has been following exactly the same
strategy that the domestic manufacturers are slammed for - building
ever larger and less efficient vehicles. Toyota's Vans, SUVs,
trucks and US produced cars have steadily increased in size over
the last decade. This is a fact, not an opinion.
And they have consistently introduced nice, fuel efficient, small
cars at the bottom of the range as they did so.
For the most part these are vehicles that were originally designed for
other markets and adapted to the US. Where is the new smaller truck?
The Yaris is a recast Echo. The Corolla has been stagnant for a
decade. The Scion brand was created to sell small cars, but I think it
has been only moderately successful - and all the Scion models are
imported models adapted from other markets. The major US Toyota
models - Avalon, Camry, Sienna, Tundra, Tacoma, have all been moved up
in size in the last decade. Toyota has been following exactly the same
sort of strategy in the US that the liberal press slams US
manufacturer's for following. Toyota has the luxury of being able to
bring in more fuel efficient vehicles from other markets that are in
demand given the high gas prices. You seem to think this was an act of
marketing genius. I contend that they were to some extent lucky. If
gas was closer to $2 than $3, what do you think the situation might
Go compare. Toyota offers a lot of choices for cars that get
better than 30mpg, highway. Friends have them and report that
they often do better than EPA estimates on the highway. GM has
NOTHING like the Prius, of which Toyota sold 19,000 last month.
Toyota even offers you choices at 40mpg and GM has absolutely
nothing at all in that class.
Not in the US. But they have high mileage models in other markets.
I'm looking out the window and I see that I still don't live in
these "other markets."
But that is a marketing decision. GM builds and sells small fuel
efficient cars all over the world. They chose not to sell them in this
country. Toyota made the opposite choice. Why? It is not like Toyota
has some magic technology that makes it cars amazingly more efficient.
It has always seemed a mistake that GM doesn't sell more of those
in the US. Except for a high percentage of the Corollas, all of the
high efficiency small Toyotas are imported models. Why doesn't GM
follow this same strategy?
I don't follow Toyota's worldwide strategy but I'd bet you a quarter
Toyota makes even smaller cars in "other markets," too.
Sure, and so does GM and Ford.
So, you can feel free to whine on and on about some fantasy you
have that Toyota's getting special treatment or you can tell GM,
Ford and Chrysler to get off their collective duffs and build
better small cars.
I do think Toyota gets "special treatment." You only have to listen
to the news. When a domestic producer has a recall, it is often a
major story. When Toyota has a recall, you are lucky to hear about
it at all.
R-i-i-i-g-h-t. Except that I DO hear about them, on the news or in
I do to, but it is not like the domestic recalls. The local TV station
barely mentioned the Toyota truck balljoint recalls despite the fact
that 7 deaths have been attributed to those failures. The Ford cruise
control recall was in the press for months, yet no one has died as a
result of that problem.
In 2005 Toyota recalled more vehicles than GM, Ford, or Chrysler.
But you would never know that from press reports. However, I also
agree that GM, Ford, and Chrysler need to get off their collective
duffs and build better small cars - or at least import the ones
they build in other markets.
I don't think stating an opinion or a belief is whining. It is just
One could easily make an argument that the press favors Detroit.
Look at the coverage of the Chevy Volt. The press got all
hot'n'bothered about it and GM not only has no firm plans to build
it, they have no idea when they can get the components necessary to
build it ("We're in negotiations...") and no idea how to build it.
It's vaporware. The earliest they could possibly build it is the
2010 model year (actually, I doubt they can make 2010). And this
is nothing new... GM showed off a similar supercar back in '00 or
so; a project with government funding assistance. It was a
multiple-power-source hybrid with a Cx of .19. Do they build
anything remotely like it today? Hah! Having achieved Cx of .19
(typical values are .3 and up), did they even bother to use that
technology in new cars? Hah! And the press gets excited about the
Volt? Whatever for? Well, I'll tell you... they're cheering for
the home team and they have to cheer the concept cars because
there's nothing else to cheer in what the Genera'ls doing in the
high-mileage segment of the market
I would contned that the press loves electric cars, even GM electric
A new Toyota Prius, with significantly better performance and fuel
economy than the current model, debuts in 2009. I don't even care
which the press writes about, I just know which vehicle is more
likely to affect me
Check the web for 2009 Prius speculation:
Now do the same for 2009 Fusion Hybrid.
You're whining. Maybe the press is somehow unfair but this
situation certainly isn't an example of it. Your observation about
models within Toyota's fleet growing in size was true but the facts
you left out are also important. Get a clue: Toyota is clobbering
the domestics in the 30+mpg segment in this market AND they're
making money hand over fist and increasing market share. With gas
prices dancing around $3/gallon here again, none of this is a
Again, stating an opinion is not whining. It is my opinion that the
press has a pro-Toyota bias. I might be wrong, but I still believe
that. That doesn't make Toyotas bad cars, but it doesn't make them
good ones either. And I agree that with gas prices at or over $3,
Toyota is in a great position to benefit.
My original point is valid - Toyota has been growing the size of the
vehicles it sells in the US in response to market demands - just like
Ford and GM. It is unfair to cite Toyota as being especially
perceptive, while knocking the US makers when they have been following
similar strategies in the US. Yes Toyota builds good small cars. But
for the most part, they have not invested heavily in small car design
and production for the North American market. The small Toyotas sold
here are mostly older designs (Corolla - and Corollas are not all that
small) or designs adapted from other markets (Scion, Yaris). For
whatever reason, Ford and GM have not paid much attention to the very
small, very fuel efficient car segment in the US. I think that is a
mistake, but I can't see where Toyota has been particularly aggressive
in this area either. Toyota is fortunate to have excess production
capacity for small cars in Japan. This allows them to take advantage
of the change in the market. I wonder how well positioned they would
be if Japanese home market sales weren't off by 10%, allowing them to
use the excess capacity to build more small cars for the US.
- Re: Toyota soars because Fuel Efficiency
- From: Ray O
- Re: Toyota soars because Fuel Efficiency
- Prev by Date: Re: Toyota soars because Fuel Efficiency
- Next by Date: Re: OTThe Axis of Idiots by JD Pendry
- Previous by thread: Re: Toyota soars because Fuel Efficiency
- Next by thread: Re: Toyota soars because Fuel Efficiency