China: Don't Be Like Toyota

china dont be like toyota

China has become a world automobile producing and consuming power, but it should also be noted that the industry still lacks core technology and has weak innovative capabilities… This creates hidden dangers for public safety

The closest thing Toyota has given to an explicit accounting of its unintended acceleration woes is the admission that rapid growth detracted from the company’s previously unquestioned commitment to quality. With the Chinese auto market growing even faster than Toyota was, the Chinese Central government is anxious to prevent such nasty side-effects of rapid volume growth from manifesting themselves in the domestic auto industry. And well it should be: with Chinese automakers like BYD poised to launch overseas sales campaigns, the Chinese auto industry is at a crucial stage in developing its international image. China’s Ministry of Information and Technology has released a statement [via DetNews] urging its domestic automakers to heed Toyota’s example, and adopt “new technology, new techniques, new equipment and new materials” to master the balance between profit and quality. And hopefully move past the image of hand-assembled batteries and carbon-copy design while they’re at it. Meanwhile, Toyota is feeling the hurt. Stung by calls by the government to compensate Chinese drivers, Toyota-FAW fell from China’s top ten sales list. Toyota China reported a 30 percent rise in sales in February, but at 45,400 units the firm was still way down from its 72,000 unit January performance.

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  • Segfault Segfault on Mar 15, 2010

    Last month, when the initial "hack some material off the pedal and install a pot metal shim" fix was announced, I recall that some Toyota executive made a sweeping proclamation that all of the affected vehicles would be fixed within one month, completely neglecting the fact that you do actually have to get all of the owners to bring their cars in for the fix. I'd like to know, one month later, how many of those cars (in the initial recall, not in the ones announced since that date) have had the recall performed, and how many have not. Just to test Toyota's truthiness.

  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.
  • Dlc65688410 Please stop, we can't take anymore of this. Think about doing something on the Spanish Pegaso.
  • MaintenanceCosts A few bits of context largely missing from this article:(1) For complicated historical reasons, the feds already end up paying much of the cost of buying new transit buses of all types. It is easier legally and politically to put capital funds than operating funds into the federal budget, so the model that has developed in most US agencies is that operational costs are raised from a combination of local taxes and fares while the feds pick up much of the agencies' capital needs. So this is not really new spending but a new direction for spending that's been going on for a long time.(2) Current electric buses are range-challenged. Depending on type of service they can realistically do 100-150 miles on a charge. That's just fine for commuter service where the buses typically do one or two trips in the morning, park through the midday, and do one or two trips in the evening. It doesn't work well for all-day service. Instead of having one bus that can stay out from early in the morning until late at night (with a driver change or two) you need to bring the bus back to the garage once or twice during the day. That means you need quite a few more buses and also increases operating costs. Many agencies are saying for political reasons that they are going to go electric in this replacement cycle but the more realistic outcome is that half the buses can go electric while the other half need one more replacement cycle for battery density to improve. Once the buses can go 300 miles in all weather they will be fine for the vast majority of service.(3) With all that said, the transition to electric will be very good. Moving from straight diesel to hybrid already cut down substantially on emissions, but even reduced diesel emissions cause real public health damage in city settings. Transitioning both these buses and much of the urban truck fleet to electric will have measurable and meaningful impacts on public health.