What's Wrong With This Picture: Conspiracy Watch Edition

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

[Thanks to John Horner for the eagle eye and the resulting scan.]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • John Horner John Horner on Jun 13, 2009

    Congrats to Chicago_Audi, very few people in the US are aware that Toyota distributes Volkswagens in Japan. It does seem to be an odd arrangement considering that VW is challenging Toyota for world leadership in vehicle sales. http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE53G0L420090417 The first thing that caught my attention was the same as for CarShark, model proliferation gone wild. The Volkswagen bit was icing on the cake. Full Disclosure: A few years ago I gave up on GM, sold the few hundred shares I had owned for years and bought Toyota stock instead. That turned out to be a good move, and I sold my Toyota stock with a modest profit not too long ago. Toyota IMO has early signs of many of the same problems which took GM down.

  • Niky Niky on Jun 13, 2009

    VW sells/sold rebadged Toyota trucks, so it's not a big deal... they don't compete for the same spot in the market in most places. RE: CAFE: Coaster: diesel... doesn't count... probably won't ever count in the US. I miss ours. Wonderful bus. Even had the internal porta-potty feature... handy on loooong road-trips. Toyota has a lot of models, but many of those models are regional models, developed with local talent (on the cheap) and built in local factories. The Innova that Mike Soloviow found so dreadful was part of their IMMV program, a program which spawned three model variants (including the current Hilux pickup) which are very competitive in their segments. And because they were developed in Asia solely for Asian consumption, development costs were very low... as they didn't need to meet more stringent Euro or US requirements. No matter how bad you think the Innova is, it's twenty times better than the near-twenty year old competition it's up against, and sales are, understandably, brisk. The Avanza is another such "localized" product. That, unfortunately, sucks to high heaven. - As for Japanese-market cars... well... they've always had too many model niches... you have your Kei car, super-mini, sub-compact, compact, compact-midsize, midsize, large... Toyota's just filling market niches that already exist... it's not their fault their home-market is so bizarre... and most of those cars don't make it outside of Japan, anyway. - The difference between Toyota and GM is that Toyota has a plethora of models developed on the same architecture that don't compete with one another for market share. You have a zillion Hiace vans, yes, but there are specific variants for school-bus use, family use and delivery use. You have the aforementioned IMMV, where one platform underpins a pickup truck, delivery truck, passenger van and SUV... with all four cheaper than if they were engineered and built in Japan by the TOMOCO mother company. That's not to say I agree with all of Toyota's market decisions. The Tundra was a daft move, and mixing ES (Camry-based) and GS models on Lexus showroom floors merely shows up the lack of interior space their "upmarket" rear-drive platform creates... and the interiors in many mass-market Toyotas are now absolutely dreadful.. as they try to keep their prices down to the level of the competition... that silent desperation in cost-control is probably the biggest sign that something was starting to go wrong with Toyota pre-Carmageddon. Yet Toyota's biggest problem is exposure. Their previous strategy has led them to market dominance in many areas, but as the economy contracts, they're worse-hit than most... simply because they sell more than most.

  • Nepomuc Nepomuc on Jun 14, 2009

    I guess it is a list from Army & Air Force Exchange Service aka PX

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Jun 14, 2009

    There's nothing wrong with this picture. Now move along, nothing to see here.