Sounds to me like Toyota is playing it smart. They only have the overhead of one factory for an opening line and they've slowly built a good rep over the last few years. The only thing I think the author missed is that Toyota hasn't been the cheapest in a while and they've charged up the overall auto sales latter with force. They know it's not going to be the #1 truck next year but if they make a good product and hold on to it for a few years there will be a need for a second factory. Looks wise I think they've hit the mark. It's really a big fusion of modern styles. I can honestly say I've seen worse redesigns. I think Ford and GM are going to have to face the fact a little more of the truck market is going to be slipping away from them in the next few years. This is a long term project, next years sales aren't going to make or break Toyota, even the author admitted that.
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Correct- but to read the press reviews of the new Tundra, you'd think it was the end of the full-sized domestic pickup as we know it- and the manufacturers that make them. The point was Toyota is not invincible (this is their 3rd attempt to crack this market), and the Japanese aren't guaranteed success in this particular market (look at Nissan's underachieving Titan). So while the press oooh's and aaah's over the Titan, the Ridgeline, and the Tundra- two of the three have substantialled fallen short of sales expectations.
Toyota has a stated goal to be the number one manufaturer of anything transportation, be that cars, trucks, planes or boats.
Yes, #1 overall, but not in every single product line.
Originally Posted by polarbear
Correct- but to read the press reviews of the new Tundra, you'd think it was the end of the full-sized domestic pickup as we know it- and the manufacturers that make them.
And you always believe everything that you read in the paper?
Originally Posted by polarbear
The point was Toyota is not invincible (this is their 3rd attempt to crack this market), and the Japanese aren't guaranteed success in this particular market (look at Nissan's underachieving Titan).
No, the point is that people buy a lot of different cars for a lot of different reasons. My wife (before I met her), had proudly bought a Pontiac Astra and Mustang II. No one is going to dominate in every single vehicle line. But if you want to be the #1 vehicle company in the world (see above) you simply must participate in the US full-sized pickup market in a reasonably serious way. That market is not growing as fast as it was. If Toyo gets 250k annual sales, it will because it is stealing sales from GM, Ford and Dodge. None of those companies can afford to lose sales of anything right now.
All you have to do is drive through any rural part of America and see all the little towns who still have locally-owned Ford and Chevy dealers to understand why Toyo and Honda will not entirely eat the Big 3's lunch. The non-Big 3 brands have good distribution in big cities, but are vitually absent everywhere else. I know that Honda's don't break often, but who wants to drive 200 miles to get it serviced? The little town in Ohio where both my parents grew up (pop. 3000+/-) still has the same family-owned Ford dealer that opened in the 1930s. It only has about 10 cars in inventory, but it is home-grown, been there 70+ years and just 2 blocks away. THAT's what Toyo can't match.
As far as it being Toyo's third attempt, there were political reasons 20 years ago not to attack the Big 3 head on. Those of you who were there remember. Now, Toyo has a big presence in the US, so the political fallout is much less of a concern.
As far as Nissan is concerned, they make 2 trucks, a SC and a CC, both with short boxes and only 1 engine. How many configurations does Ford/GM/Dodge have? Plus, they had some quality issues early on. They have also not put $5000 rebates on their pickups like Ford. That hurts sales. The fact that Nissan only planned 100,000/units per years tells you that Nissan knew that it was not going to put the Big 3 out of business.
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All you have to do is drive through any rural part of America and see all the little towns who still have locally-owned Ford and Chevy dealers to understand why Toyo and Honda will not entirely eat the Big 3's lunch. The non-Big 3 brands have good distribution in big cities, but are vitually absent everywhere else.
That's one of the big reasons I bought my Ford. I live and camp in the sticks. If I have a mechanical problem, I need to be able to find a dealer, get parts in a timely fashion. When you live in the boonies, access to service is paramont. I had to go to a different state just to find a standard cab Toyota to look at.
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