Toyota Drops 11.9%
August 3rd, 2008 10:38 PM Share
The July sales numbers are starting to come in and they're not encouraging. Toyota's overall sales dropped 11.9 percent from last July. As you can probably guess, trucks were responsible for the largest chunk of Toyota's dismal numbers; passenger cars were down only 5.7 percent while trucks plummeted 29.5 percent. If Toyota's turning in numbers like this, it's going to be scary to see everyone else's reports. We'll post 'em as we get 'em.
Click here for Toyota sales press release
[NB: The numbers in the official press release are adjusted for sales days; TTAC reports the unadjusted numbers.]
Published August 1st, 2008 9:49 PM
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Lots of folks seem to be offended by my remark on the fact that Hyundai was a better Corolla than a Corolla itself. Well, I must say: the cream'n'black interior was the best interior I've seen in a (new) compact car thus far. Haven't tried the stick, but the slushbox was just as craptastic as Corolla's (or a 1976 TH350; my Caprice's 4-speed seems to be a better autobox than what's offered in most compacts these days). And it was exactly like a 90's Corolla - roomy, nice, reasonably powerful (note, Corolla was rarely a fuel economy champion) and reliable. Speaking of reliability, what worries me about Toyota is the attitude with which they approached their recent problems (like the infamous Camry sludge). Very GM-like. Regardless, Toyota is getting seriously cheap on their cars, and it shows. Camry is a great example - it's incredibly cheap compared to the previous two designs. My father owns a 2000 model and it's head and shoulders above the current behemoth in terms of interior quality and refinement. As of Toyota's lack of focus, I'd have to agree - it's rather apparent. They now (since Rav4 redesign) have three roughly similar mid-size SUV's - Rav4, Highlander, and 4runner, all busy eating at each other; and that's not even counting FJ Crusier. Avalon is in a worse shape than its arch-enemy Maxima, now that Camry got Buickized. Furthermore, Toyota killed off Celica and MR2 without properly replacing them on the Scion side. Scion itself is hardly a success, since it now serves to the exact opposite of its target demographic - for every xC-touting kid out there, there's a couple past-the-Buick-age customers for the rest of the lineup. Finally, failure to meet the demand - Pontiac Solstice anyone? I see more and more of GM as time goes by. Number One curse?
alex_rashev, There's a thing we do called "looking stuff up." It's amazing the things one learns. The car you characterize as a "behemoth," for example, is a couple inches shorter and 150lbs lighter than a New Malibu, with a much tighter turning radius. Is the New Malibu a behemoth? Let us know. The "roughly similar mid-size SUVs"... the smaller two unibody vehicles differ by 600 lbs and at least a few inches in each dimension and by quite a bit more in GVW and trailering power. The other is built on a truck chassis, has a much larger displacement engine and clearly has a different appeal. Does Toyota need all 3? Maybe not but they ARE very different vehicles competing for different slots in the market.
KixStart, - The three SUV's are, in an average buyers' eyes, the same. 4Runner and Highlander are about the same size, are within 200lbs in weight difference, and both are equally good(bad) as a minivan on stilts, since that's what 95% of the customers actually need anyway. Rav4, while still lighter, is rapidly approaching the two in size - it gained 700+ pounds since last refresh, and now has an optional V6, making it a cross-shopping alternative to the Highlander. - Regarding Camry being a porker - Weight does not a porker make. For example, a 2800lb 1993 Buick Skylark is a pig; at the same time, most Mercedes roadsters are damn nimble for a two-ton brick of steel. Having driven countless Buicks and Oldsmobiles, as well as both 00' and 06' Camry's, I can safely say that the new Camry is much closer to the not-so nimble american steel than to its more civilized predecessor. As far as the look-up-the-numbers piss fight, I'm not quite sure that it's fair to pick an all-auto Malibu and compare it to a bare-bones manual Camry CE for weight (for I don't see how else you could come up with the number). Try Ford Fusion - over 150 lbs lighter bone-to-bone, same interior volume, and roughly the same everything else. Heck, V6 for V6, a Camry weighs just as much as Buick Lucerne. Does it make them equivalent? Doubt it. Regardless, I've actually driven the Camry and it's a pig to drive. IMO, "Looking stuff up" is an equivalent to wanking when it comes to evaluating cars. Nothing like the real thing.
alex_rashev, I like measurements. They take away the subjective element. If you want subjective, I've driven the Camry (most recently because I dropped of a car for routine service that would take a while and the dealer lent me one) and I find it to be a fine automobile that feels balanced, not heavy. The interior is not a leather Accord but it's also not bad at all. It's not a Formula 1 car but, among other things, the way I drive, I always end up taking advantage of a tight turning radius and cars with large ones (*cough*malibu*cough*) always feel to me as though they are bigger than they really are. The weight I picked, by the way, was published on Edmunds for the auto Camry LE and a similarly priced auto Malibu. As for the twinning of the Toyota SUVs... I expect that anyone who has bought any one of those could give you perfectly good reasons why he went for door #1, rather than doors #2 or #3. The Rav4 is much smaller than the Highlander and will get significantly better fuel economy at a cost of capacity and tow capability. The unibody Highlander driving experience is much different than the 4Runner driving experience. The availability of different engines in the Rav4 is not a liability and it doesn't make it a Highlander clone, the V6 gives it a level of performance you won't get with a Highlander. By way of comparison, explain the difference in appeal between the Outlook, Acadia and Enclave? And their brother-to-be, the Traverse? Now, there's 4 SUVs where one would do.