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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Frankly, I'm surprised no one has brought this up yet..........so I will. To the mods - before you move this thread somewhere else, please reconsider because this is not just about Toyota, but the world auto industry.

Ok.........the Toyota fiasco. What do you think will happen with all of this? For me, this goes waaaaaay beyond Toyota. It goes without saying that this is going to shake the confidence of the consumer when it comes to buying a Toyota for the foreseeable future - whether it's deserved or not really makes no difference, it's going to happen. People still need to buy cars, and this could be a MAJOR turning point in the future of the auto industry........the first "dent", so to speak, in the (what we thought was) un-penetrable armor that seemed to protect the japanese auto industry. You see, perception can stronger than reality, and in this case perception could threaten to cover up the reality, unfair as that may be. Is it possible that perception could cloud the consumers confidence in the ENTIRE japanese auto industry? I'm not saying it will, but I'm not going to say it's impossible either. We have some recent history that gives us room for thought.........look at what just happened in the last 2 years with the american auto industry - not just Ford, or GM, or Chrysler.......but the INDUSTRY. Separate companies, separate management teams......yet all making similar mistakes. Does this similar "group mentality" exist within the japanese industry, and if so might we see other major recalls from the other companies because of similar miscalculations to the ones that Toyota made? Consumer confidence in the ENTIRE american industry was badly shaken because of what happened in the last 2 years, and it's quite possible that the residual perception of what's happened to Toyota could affect sales of the entire japanese auto industry as well.

Finally..........how will the REST of the industry ultimately respond? I'm sure that Ford, GM and Chrysler are all breathing a sigh of relief - basically thinking "thank god our problems aren't front page news anymore". How about the rest of the industry? Will they be ready and prepared to "pick up the slack"? There's potentially going be A LOT of customers considering other brands now, and the change in market share over the next 1-2 years could be DRAMATIC...............and just think - I haven't mentioned anything about China yet! Perception can be a powerful tool here, and with China being the largest market in the world now fortunes can change dramatically here as well. The ramifications of all this is potentially staggering, and I'd really like to hear some other opinions from all of you. Speak up!:thumb:
 

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jmsteiny-thanks for bringing this topic up. Quite interesting. From my own experience, I now own a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. I am frankly very impressed with this car and Mitsubishi as a whole operation corporation. I may buy another Mitsubishi...the chances are very good for that.

However, I have recently fallen for another Japanese automobile called a Suzuki Kizashi. This car is a FWD, 2.4L 4-cyl, 185hp car that comes with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic. I have the CVT automatic in my '08 Lancer GTS and it works like a champ.

However, my last two cars before the '08 Lancer GTS were both sticks. I miss da stick. More than I thought.

I have read reviews of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi 6-speed FWD and on respected automobile marketing site Edmunds.com the car is pulling a 9.4 out of a possible 10.0 rating right now. One guy says his Kizashi manual tranny shifts better than his Audi A3's manual tranny does.


2010 Suzuki Kizashi

The Suzuki Kizashi GTS has a sunroof, 425-watt Rockford Fosgate 10-speaker with subwoofer stereo, foglights, 10-way adjustable driver's seat and so on. It is very similarly equipped as my wife and I's 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. Priced about $23,400. Which is about a grand more than we spent on our '08 Lancer GTS in early 2007. And the Kizashi is considered a midsize sedan, though smallishly so. Our Lancer GTS is a compact, by comparison.

Thing is, we have about 49,000 miles on our Lancer GTS and there's no reason to trade in. Plus, we both love our Lancer GTS. I'm just a car nut, though, and want another car to play in!

So, as to your question, I find it fascinating that the Japanese industry is apparently under review. Let's face it, it is under review. And from what I see, my current fave Mitsubishi and even Suzuki, which are both close to disappearing from the U.S. market, are both good and solid automakers with no reason whatsoever to disappear.

Mitsubishi offers a 10 year and 100,000 mile powertrain Warranty. Suzuki offers a 7 year and 100,000 mile powertrain Warranty. Both are excellent Warranties.

Both automakers price their cars fairly, in my opinion, too.
 

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the Kizashi has not reviewed that well but I still think the basic 2.4 manual would be ok

I don't think this is as serious for Toyota as people say. In maybe 2-3yrs time this will be forgotten.

You have to think of it like this. Toyota messed this one up.

But I think current owners will get their cars fixed and life will go on.

Contrast this to decades of bungling by GM and Chrysler.

Ask yourself this. As Toyota owner are you happy Toyota fixed this problem?

As a GM owner when your car blew a gearbox or head gasket and the dealer denied your claim, how do you feel?

This is one minor problem for Toyota.

GM has had decades of systemic problems that they refused to fix.

Chrysler doesn't have a single popular mainstream model.

I would not buy a Toyota but at the same time, I think they have nothing to fear except perhaps the Koreans and eventually the Chinese eating their lunch. But that is a good 5 yrs away.
 

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Well said Tony.

Wards says that 29 class action lawsuits have been filed against Toyota so far. Two weeks to offer an apology? I think Chairman Akio Toyoda committed a grave mistake by taking so long to face the music. There's no place to hide any more for global business leaders. You just can't do it and not suffer severe consequences.

What's this all mean to China?
There's an important lesson to be learned and I wonder if China is listening. The State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine SAQSIQ has got to tighten up its standards if China's manufacturers are going to be successful on the world stage. So far China's independents have been treated with kid gloves (see the record of recalls for them) but I am skeptical that they were that defect-free, especially in the area of brake safety.

Building manufacturing facilities abroad early on will make it easier to meet global quality standards. Rang Yong's Hybrid Kinetic project shows that he realizes this.

As Tony said, Toyota has the wherewithal to weather this kind of storm, but a little upstart from a country like China could be wiped off the map forever.
 

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I know this is hellishly off-topic, but the reviews I have read on the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi say the car is a game-breaker for Suzuki. Very stylish and soft interior surfaces, great handling and hold to the road effect while mashing through the twisties, good fit and finish, good pick-up from the 185 horse 2.4L 4, etc. Great RF stereo to enjoy, I think Suzuki might very well have studied the new world order Mitsubishi Lancer GTS when styling their 2010 Suzuki Kizashi GTS. Very similar GTS standard features.

I think the $23,344 6-speed '10 Suzuki Kizashi GTS price is very competitive as well. I've basically put the car on our(umm...my)2-3 look-ahead watchdog list for futures purchases.

If a nasty Kizashi recall comes out I'll follow it like a Kansas Jayhawk and research how Suzuki treats it's customers. I have mucho time to do dis as our '08 Lancer GTS is lightly-miled at only 49,003 miles. Maintaining this pup as I do all our rigs...every maintenance detail carried out fully completely. No skipped steps.

The guy or gal who buys our trade-in will get themself a very, very nice and fresh rig to drive for many, many years.

Which is probably what I should just do with my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. Sit down, shut up and drive.
 

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i don't like toyota except for their old turbo supra, turbo chasers and aristos

but as much as i like seeing toyota fail, i find the media and the US Dept of Transportation going after Toyota to be quite dispicable

when is it ok for the govt. to go after a company like this AFTER they have said they are rectifying the issue

oh it's reasonable to go after foreign companies if you own GM/Chrysler
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tony, the media and government interference is EXACTLY what I am talking about when it comes to PERCEPTION. Is Toyota a bad car company? No - far from it. I have never owned one (I was a Honda/Acura guy in the USA), but I've driven many (rentals, friends cars, etc.) and I find Toyota's cars to be quite well made and very competent to drive (although for the most part I do find most Toyotas to be very low on the excitement scale). Perception is EVERYTHING here, and it's like a snowball effect.........and the media just makes it worse. Everybody remember H1N1? Where was that global pandemic that the media had us all terrified about? I am not trying to downplay the seriousness of something like bird flu, but the media tried to make it sound like a mega disaster on our doorsteps. I would LOVE to see the 2009 sales figures for companies that make surgical masks and antibiotics.....those companies need to thank the media big time!!

Back to Toyota............unfortunately, the snowball effect is getting worse right now. Edmunds.com is already reporting that used Toyotas have dropped in value by 10-15%, and some dealers (from other companies) are actually REFUSING to accept Toyotas as a trade-in for another car. Absurd? Absolutely - this is perception in full force right now, and the media jumps on every new story and makes it front page news. Also, it looks like there's going to be a limited recall for the Prius now......and even though it's a relatively minor issue (a software tweak with the regenerative braking system), this is Toyota's FLAGSHIP car - and the media is acting like sharks and they smell blood in the water.

Toyota CAN weather this, and they will still be around for years and years......but how much market share are they going to lose- and how weakened will the company be when this is all said and done? Dragin, you make a GREAT point about China, and I REALLY hope that the leaders here are sitting up and paying attention to all of this. Whichever chinese company is first to sell a car in the USA better be ready..........it can be underpowered, it can be boring, it can even be ugly - but it DAMN WELL better be safe, or it will be a disaster not only for that particular company, but the chinese auto industry in general.
 

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My initial reaction to all the bad publicity was that it would be neutralized by Toyota's long lead ahead of the pack in green technology, i.e. Prius and hybrid models. But now with the Prius brake problem I'm not so sure.

Despite all the negative hype from the media, I think that there is a strong base of loyal Toyota customers, including overseas Chinese, that may pull it through to a recovery faster than ill-fated Audi in the 80s'-90s'.

In China itself, 75,552 sales of the RAV4 since its launch last April tells something about its wide appeal.
 

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First off, lets clear up about Ford. 3 years ago I thought they'd be dead by now. Now they are kicking ass. Market share increases, winning awards and turning a profit. Nice. I'm not a Ford guy, but I'd take a look at the Taurus SHO if I were in the market for a new car right now......
GM/Chrysler...? Not so much.....


Anyway, Toyota's problem really was taking too long to come up with the proper fix. Was it shifting floor mats or is it sticky pedals? Of more serious concern, is it possibly the "drive by wire" throttle system? If it is, expect an entire new round of Toyota bashing (and $30 stock) soon.

China can learn from the PR mistakes, quality dealer service and how to handle recalls. That's it.
 

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Yeah, the "drive-by wire" issue is still under review AFAIK. I think this is a horrible time for Toyota owners and Toyota Motor Company. But they'll get through it-in the meantime, though, there's going to be a lot of rough water to navigate.

Hard to predict a thing like stock share-but they'll weather this thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmmmmmm..........maybe I should think about changing careers and buy a crystal ball. This is a AP story, and it's on the front page of Yahoo -


DETROIT – In a few short weeks, Toyota has done what General Motors, Ford and other automakers have failed to accomplish for decades: Erase the perception that the Japanese automaker's cars are of much higher quality than those of its rivals.

A series of recent safety recalls — now totaling more than 8.5 million vehicles worldwide — has cracked Toyota's bulletproof reputation and given rivals an opportunity to capture some of its customers.

Toyota stumbled as industry sales are just starting to climb after the worst slump in 30 years. It's not yet clear which automakers will benefit most, but several stand to benefit and are wooing Toyota drivers with new ads and incentives.

"The perception game has changed," said James Bell, an executive market analyst for the vehicle information company Kelley Blue Book.

According to Kelley, 27 percent of new car shoppers who were considering a Toyota before the recall are no longer contemplating the brand. Nearly half of the buyers who have defected from Toyota say they may never consider the brand again. Kelley questioned 406 people before the recall and 285 after it. All were U.S. buyers who said they planned to buy a car in the next 12 months.

Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai and Honda have made the biggest gains with those customers, Kelley Blue Book said. Sixteen percent of new-car buyers said they weren't considering Ford before the recall, but are now.

David Tompkins, vice president of analytics with Edmunds.com, said the crisis also is starting to affect Lexus, Toyota's luxury brand, which has seen the number of buyers intending to purchase the brand drop by 25 percent in the last two weeks. Those customers are now looking at Audi, Acura and Volvo. His data is based on 3.5 million Web site visits per week.

Publicly, rivals insist they're not gloating.

"There may be an opportunity for us to get some consideration from folks that we didn't get before. We'd like to sell them our vehicles based on the merits," GM's North American President Mark Reuss said Wednesday at the Chicago Auto Show.

At Ford, chief U.S. sales analyst George Pipas noted that CEO Alan Mulally has long admired Toyota and implemented its global production system at Ford.

But Bell said that at a recent executive-level meeting at one of Toyota's rivals, participants were grinning from ear to ear.

"GM and Ford in particular are really rubbing their hands together and saying, 'Here's our chance,'" he said.

Shortly after Toyota announced the recall of 2.3 million U.S. vehicles to address sticking accelerators, General Motors, Ford, Hyundai and some Honda dealers began offering incentives of $1,000 or more to drivers who traded in Toyotas. New TV ads from Ford say, in bold letters, "Ford quality can't be beat by Honda or Toyota." GM isn't running ads that mention Toyota, but continues its "May the Best Car Win" campaign, which has taken on new meaning after the recall.

"If someone loses, someone wins," said Natsuno Asanuma, manager of public relations at Honda Motor Co.

Homer Benavides, 37, a civil engineer and father of three from Waukegan, Ill., had agreed to buy a Toyota Sequoia sport utility vehicle before the recall. He canceled the sale after the recall and is now considering the Chevrolet Tahoe.

"Toyota has made millions of vehicles, and millions of people are driving them, but if you are the fraction of one percent to have a problem, you don't want to be that one person," he said. "I do like Toyota, but safety is first and foremost."

Dave Sargent, vice president of vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates, said it's unclear how long buyers will stay away from Toyota. Recalls don't necessarily kill sales. The Ford Explorer, which was recalled in 2000 and 2001 because of tire tread separation, saw one of its best sales years ever — with 433,837 sold — in 2002.

"Clearly, there will be some long-term impact, but the magnitude is a little hard to predict right now," he said.

Some analysts say South Korea's Hyundai is particularly well positioned to benefit, with a new Sonata sedan going on sale in the U.S. in a few weeks. The Sonata is already 10 percent cheaper than the Toyota Camry, said Michael Sohn, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities in Seoul.

"Hyundai is very aggressively trying to attack the U.S. market," he said, noting that the company just ran ads during the Super Bowl, including a spot that touted its 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The ad was created prior to the recalls.

Sargent said his firm is seeing Toyota buyers defect to well established brands like Honda, Ford and Chevrolet.

"Toyota owners want high quality and high resale values. When they don't buy Toyota, they look for those things in other brands," he said.

But Tompkins said GM may have some trouble luring buyers because the automaker still owes billions to the federal government and buyers are unsure of its cars long-term values. He predicts Hyundai, Honda and Ford will win Toyota's business, with Mazda, Subaru and Volkswagen right behind.



Perception, perception, perception........unfortunately, this is far from over for Toyota.
 

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Perception, perception, perception........unfortunately, this is far from over for Toyota.

Well put, jmsteiny. This is almost ironic regarding my own trends of late. I bought a 1999 Kia Sephia in May of '99. The car was somewhat rudimentary, 5-speeds, no stereo or A/C. But I loved the small sedan. It showed me what the Koreans were capable of and I had a strong feeling they'd improve with time. A lot of my workmates ridiculed my decision to buy a Kia Sephia. Well, my wife and I traded our '99 Sephia in on a 2001 Kia Sportage 4X4 in Sept.2001. It was a very strong little SUV for us for 6 years.

Traded the Sportage 4X4 in on a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS in March of 2007 and we've had the Lancer GTS since then. Hard to believe it's been almost 3 years now with the Lancer. My point is that the South Koreans are doing so well and getting so good and they're not going away. They are going to only increase market share worldwide, because their cars are good. Really competitive and really good vehicles.

But, another point I want to make. For so long so many Americans have been "on board" with buying Japanese rigs. I've gone another route and bought South Korean from 1999 to 2007.

Now, I'm finally buying Japanese rigs and the cars I am watching for future possibilities are Japanese...the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi and the future Mitsubishi Lancer GTS Hybrid and 2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV and PX-MiEV SUV. It took me a while to buy Japanese but now that's all I'm interested in.


Mitsubishi PX-MiEV SUV concept

Almost. I luv the 2011 Kia Sportage SUV and I love the Kia Forte. I wouldn't mind getting a Kia Forte LPG Hybrid, either. But it's gonna be our '08 Lancer GTS for quite some time and then eventually a new Suzuki Kizashi or Mitsubishi Lancer Hybrid or Mitsubishi PX-MiEV SUV.

So Honda, Subara, Nissan and Toyota are not even remotely on my radar for purchasing with their current offerings. I think this mess is only going to get worse for Toyota and their current struggles are really hurting my view of their ability to deliver a safe and reliable product.

My main interests automotively now, though, are with Mitsubishi and Suzuki, two "small" Japanese car makers struggling to stay in the NA market. And I love Kia, the 2nd biggest Korean carmaker, which is only growing market share in the U.S.

So, Toyota's struggles don't really reach me in a personal way. I do see very vividly that they're struggling and they appear to be in automotive quicksand right now.
 

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it's funny that you should bring up mitusbishi

here's some figures

january 2010/2009 final year sales figures



ask yourself why mitsubishi sell so little?

is their outlander rubbish?

no, i've driven it. It is better than some, worse than others but a worthy vehicle.

Why does it sell so little yet more rubbish cars sell so much?

it's all perception

i have a strong dislike for toyota but they don't deserve this

the figures for korean cars is a strong lesson for GM/Chrysler and also for Chinese manufacturers.
 

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TonyJZX-yep, that is why I posted the post above. I didn't mention the word perception in my post, but that is what I was getting at. I like Mitsubishi for their rock-solid powertrains, but, what attracted me to our 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS is those looks.

Something about the "jet-fighter inspired" look when I look straight-on at the vehicle from the front that does it to me every time. As I was cruising around our little SE Arizona cowboy town yesterday I thought to myself "you're not gonna trade your Lancer GTS in for a 2010 Suzuki Kizashi!"

I love my '08 Lancer GTS too much. I love it's feel and effect on I-10 and any twistie I can find to drive it on. It handles like a much more expensive sport sedan. Love the car.

But you're right on about perception. After driving our '99 Kia Sephia on it's new Yokohama 70,000 mile radials and it's new Konig Diva wheels in 2001 I realized that the car just needed some decent tread. It made all the difference in the world as to the car's ability to handle and drive more effectively. We traded the car in for another Kia because I wanted a different Kia to play with, not because we didn't like the small South Korean-built sedan.
 
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