Toyota Global Sales Headed Up

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Despite allegedly falling quality, magical accelerator pedals, Hyundai snapping at their heels, depressed stock price, management musical chairs and Volkswagen taking their “world’s biggest car maker by volume” title you’d think Toyota would have little to smile about. Or not. Reuters reports that even in this creaky economy Toyota managed to post a 5% increase on global sales. Sales in the United States may have fallen 3.5%, but sales increased in Japan by 15% and sales in China rose a whopping 45%. Executives at Toyota believe that there’s a good chance that sales will rise in the United States, but then who isn’t saying that? Still, if only they could sort out their cheapening interiors, lack of sales in Europe, bland styling and letting the competition catch them up, they may claw their way back towards achieving “break out the sake” results.

Cammy Corrigan
Cammy Corrigan

More by Cammy Corrigan

Join the conversation
6 of 10 comments
  • Ott Ott on Nov 18, 2009

    Bland styling? From what they used to look like, the new Toyotas have much, much nicer styling, certainly way better than Honda and Nissan. (Exception: Matrix. Yechh. I'll take the Vibe instead. Oh, wait... --Dammit!)

    • Steven02 Steven02 on Nov 18, 2009

      Most would disagree with you there. Not to say Honda isn't bland either, but Toyota is definitely bland. They are trying to fix it, alas, it is still very bland, or ugly.

  • Ohsnapback Ohsnapback on Nov 18, 2009

    Toyota is to the auto world what Fruit of the Loom is to the underwear world.

  • Rday Rday on Nov 18, 2009

    I think the interiors on my Sienna XLE are second to none. Absolutely first class.

    • Steven02 Steven02 on Nov 18, 2009

      While I haven't seen in person the interior, you are speaking of one interior on an upgraded model that cost 30k. I am sure the base version doesn't look as nice. And there are many other models to talk about as well. The other point that was being made, is that Toyota is cheapening the interiors by using less expensive materials. You should look at their full line and you will see it.

  • Tricky Dicky Tricky Dicky on Nov 19, 2009

    An interesting ratio to help everyone understand the Toyota quality problem would be to correlate the amount of new factories Big-T are building to any particular quality measure (defect rates, warranty costs) etc. Given that they have stopped building two new plants a year, I fully expect that they will be able to focus unprecedented resources on putting those quality issues right. With so much more engineering talent available to improve, rather than extend their prod. capacity, there's no question they are going to be delivering something much better. They've also said their strategic focus will not be on producing models to cover every segment in every region any more. Instead, they are going to concentrate on making much better models, but fewer of them. I can't help but feel that they want to move away from the 'average' car label that so many of you are highlighting.