By on March 29, 2010

If you, dear reader, had expected (or, perish the thought, hoped) that SUA hype and rapid fire recalls would bring Toyota down, then stop reading immediately. What follows will not be good for your circulatory system.

Ok, you have been duly warned: The Nikkei [sub] reports that Toyota’s domestic output in Japan rose 119.6 percent on the year to 309,933 units in February, up for the fourth straight month. Toyota’s  exports increased 106.9 percent to 150,232 units, the second straight monthly improvement. Sales in Japan grew 49.9 percent from the previous year to 149,604 units last month, up for the seventh month in a row. Toyota’s overseas output was likewise unimpressed by the avalanche of auto-accelerating autos. It improved 58.8 percent to 345,247 units, marking the seventh consecutive month of growth.

Output by other Japanese manufacturers wasn’t too shabby either.

Nissan produced 97,109 cars in Japan in February, up 121.3 percent on the year. They exported 50,279 vehicles in February, up 99.1 percent from the previous year. Nissan’s domestic sales expanded a modest 14.6 percent on the year to 63,687 units. Overseas production grew 53.4 percent to 173,257 units.

Honda could do better. Its domestic output rose 52.2 percent from the previous year to 83,310 units in February. Exports fell 33.6 percent to 19,482 units. Domestic sales climbed 20.3 percent on the year to 55,307 units last month. Overseas output increased 48.2 percent from 2009 to 201,401 units.

Mazda’s domestic production in February rose 71.3 percent to 69,711 units.

Mitsubishi Motors’s domestic output in February increased 171.3 percent to 54,638 units.

A precipitous fall of new SUA news, and predictions that March will be a good one, should give reason to sound the all clear. Cautiously.

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20 Comments on “Toyota: What, Me Worry?...”


  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    Ahhhhh……capitalism prevails!

    I think the majority of people see through all the hype and know that when it is all boiled down, Toyota makes a good, reliable vehicle at a decent price. Money does the real talking, not ballon boy chasing media types.

    There is a lot of pent up demand out there as spring approaches….I’m starting to get the itch myself, but am smart enough to chase a late model used (Mazda 3 hatches have had my eye for quite some time). I have an appreciation for letting someone else absorb the depreciation.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    The only thing this “scandal” did was to emphasize how completely stupid our MSM journalists are. Oh, forgot, dishonest, ill-educated, etc, too. (Forgot, just saying “journalist” pretty well covers all comments regarding dead-battery IQ.)

    I’ll buy a Toyota anytime. GM and Chrysler can shove their products up their Obamas.

    • 0 avatar
      lilpoindexter

      Amen

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      If it bleeds, it leads. Fear of something, anything (real or imagined) will get the sheeple to tune in.

      Media has always been a business. The shift has been more towards profits at the cost of journalistic integrity, but hey, Hearst sometimes put Murdoch to shame.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      This has been said a thousand times, but apparently the 1,001st will still be necessary:

      The economic justification for saving GM was never about rewarding GM. It was about preventing the loss of countless of thousands of primary and secondary jobs in the short term, at a pivotal moment when the country was teetering on the brink of collapse into the second Great Depression. At that goal, it succeeded admirably.

      Lazy, sloppy reporting? Absolutely. But that too will provide something constructive, if it delivers one more boot in Toyota’s posterior to follow through on its managers’ stated goal to quit resting on its quality laurels and start building something we’d like to look at and/or drive.

  • avatar
    JimothyLite

    Let’s stop talking about shoving things already. It’s only Monday. The upcoming week is quite likely to provide finer things to shove. Let’s just be happy that Toyota and other car makers’ sales are turning around! Whee!

  • avatar
    MasterOfTheJawan

    This is not suprising. Look how long and how many bad products it took GM to sink after their first big scandal, ie: The Corvair.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      And that is precisely where Toyota will be differentiated from a GM rerun.

      There is no way Akio Toyoda is letting this all go by. Toyoda based its entire production system on rapid change. My guess is that within 5 years, a lot of the de-contenting will be reversed. Toyoda has the same hubris that GM did, and the culture of Toyota has not been about short-term thinking in the American public company mold.

  • avatar
    littlehulkster

    Now if only Toyota would make something interesting enough for me to consider buying it…

    • 0 avatar
      MidLifeCelica

      Amen to that. I don’t want a truck or a van or an SUV, I want a car. There goes half the product lineup. I dont want a bland-mobile, so there goes Camry/Accord/Avalon. ‘Hot hatches’ leave me cold, so bye-bye Yaris/Matrix/Venza (you need three cars with this ugly-ass format WHY, exactly?). Prius….um, no thanks. Whoops, sorry, we’re out of cars. Thanks for playing though!

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    Not surprised to see Toyota bounce back. The public hasn;t washed their hands of the automaker like they have with Government Motors and Chrysler.

    Now if Toyota kept this up for the next 30 years or so, likethe aformentioned Detroit makers then things would be a different story.

  • avatar
    Tricky Dicky

    Shame that no one told those three Toyota plants in Europe about this good news. They are having two week shutdowns to keep inventory at bay.

    • 0 avatar

      And they should. All of Europe is going through a rough period.

      See http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/european-car-sales-february-2010-ouch/

      Most likely, March and the next months will be worse. hangover from cash-4-clunker overdose.

  • avatar
    Porsche986

    I have to chime in on this only for one reason: As a general rule, readers that spend any time on this site are automotive enthusiasts who care about things like: steering feel, manual transmissions, power, handling, etc.

    Most Toyota buyers couldn’t care less about these things. What they really want is a reasonably priced, high quality car that gets them where they need to go efficiently. Toyota delivers. If Toyota’s cars don’t appeal to you, then don’t buy one. That’s easy right?

    Sure there is an issue here and there, and this moment is a big one for Toyota. But, come on… the mainstream media and the blogosphere have hyped this situation right out of the atmosphere.

    Frankly, I am just sick and tired of hearing about it.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    It seems that ever since word got out that Jesse James was cheating on Sandra Bullock with a large variety of tattooed skanks, the media has shut up about Toyota and refocused its attention. So Mr. James, thank you; allow me to shake your hand.

    That, and the fact that the UA Priuses had been revealed as fakes did much to repair Toyota’s reputation.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    How predictable. Now that the media hype is over and the lies, deceipt and scandels are being swept under the carpet, all the Toyota cult lovers are looking the other way like nothing ever happened. It’s funny because bucket loads of Camrys, Tundras and Corollas are being traded in droves for litterally anything else. I can’t go in to a dealer without seeing at least 10 late model used Toyotas in Chevy, Ford and even Dodge dealerships so it;s not time to brake out the bubbly just yet. And just what has the mighty Toyota done to solve the SUA issues, the frame rot issues, the brake issues, the steering issues and the 58 lives lost?

    • 0 avatar
      vdubgui05

      I have to comment on this one.

      According to Toyota- SUA have been addressed by the recalls. Frame rot issues from what I have researched have been covered by recalls or what Toyota calls “support programs”, brake issues are being repaired at dealers under a recall and NHTSA is investigating along with Toyota the steering issues.

      HMMM- 58 lives lost? Did you confirm that number with a higher power- from my understanding I don’t think anyone, including myself can confirm SUA has caused 58 deaths.

      Im not defending Toyota’s actions for what they previously did. I think every company has their time/place. I am waiting for VW to fix some issues I am having with my 05 GLI- if that ever happens. :)

      Maybe I can get some recall action…

      However, I think you should read and research a little more in regards to the issues you just presented.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      What they’ve done to solve it is buy people off and sweep things under the carpet, just as they’ve always done.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    In today’s NYT:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/business/global/31toyota.html?ref=global-home

    In a nutshell, Toyota anticipates March sales numbers will look good.


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