Daniel Howes: Pig Pile on Toyota; Detroit Rocks!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I reckon Toyota's recent slip-ups– perceived or actual– will do little to dent the world's largest automaker's rep amongst American consumers. Just as it took Detroit decades to drag their reputation into the mire, Toyota would have to totally and repeatedly screw the pooch from now until at least 2017 to reverse their mindspace momentum. Meanwhile, over at the new look Detroit News, columnist Daniel Howes is already dancing on the ToMoCo's grave, and predicting Detroit's return to glory. "As Toyota falls, Detroit Big 3 rise" starts by listing the Japanese automaker's troubles: Consumer Reports reliability slippage, the defection of two top Toyota execs to Detroit and the sheen removal from the company's green credentials. Bottom line? "Toyota's stumbles show it is no more invincible than Detroit is congenitally incompetent." While you could argue that the key difference is that Toyota knows it isn't invincible while Detroit remains unwilling to acknowledge their incompetence (e.g. the "new" Ford Focus), I couldn't possibly comment. Anyway, Danny's faith in Detroit's renaissance comes down to one factor: brave new leaders. "There are more of them inside Detroit's automakers and atop the UAW than anytime in a long time." How great is that?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Nemphre Nemphre on Oct 17, 2007

    I just want to add that I'm not "apologizing" for Toyota. They need to fix these issues. But let's look at reality. This is not the end of Toyota as we know it (although I'm sure Detroit feels fine). They even have the perfect excuse: "As the Big 3 have lost market share, our rapid expansion has resulted in a few quality issues." The fact that Detroit is busting a nut over this is clear proof that they don't know who their real enemy is.

  • KixStart KixStart on Oct 17, 2007

    Toyota loses it's "green sheen" when somebody builds something that whips the Prius on fuel economy for the size, reliability and gee-whizzardry. Per TrueDelta, and others, it's a very reliable car, which is astonishing since it's much more complicated than a regular car. And 40+mpg in the city? I'll take that.

  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Oct 18, 2007

    Reminds me of the old joke about the two guys in the jungle running away from the tiger. One of them stops running and starts putting on his running shoes. The other guy laughs at him and says "you can't outrun that tiger, even with running shoes!" And the first guy replies "I don't have to outrun the tiger. I just have to outrun you." IOW, all Toyota has to do to maintain their lead is to be better than the big 2.9. Talk about setting a low bar...

  • Johnson Johnson on Oct 19, 2007

    All the criticism of Toyota lately is getting more than ridiculous and is past the point of desperation. I can't even think of a proper way to describe it. Peter DeLorenzo, Daniel Howes and others are all simply jumping on the "hate Toyota" bandwagon for no justifiable reason. They are all jumping to wild conclusions such as we're near Toyota's downfall and that the American automakers will reign supreme once again. Most of these Toyota critics are just as delusional as the management running GM, Ford, and Chrysler.