Toyota Buyers: They're Baaack!
Further in the Toyota caper, there are new reports of sudden acceleration – in Toyota sales.
Toyota buyers seem to have a big case of the bashing fatigue. And they are coming back in droves. Toyota said (via The Nikkei [sub]) that “its new cars sales in North America jumped around 50 percent from a year earlier in the first week of March due to recently introduced sales incentives.”
After a pow-wow with their dealers in Miami, Toyota announced new deals: Existing Toyota owners who buy another vehicle from the company will receive two years of free maintenance. There are also zero-percent financing and low-priced leases for several of the recalled vehicles, including Corollas, Camrys and Avalons. Toyota apparently isn’t ready yet for the 10 year warranty that had been discussed in Miami.
Bloomberg predicts that “sales in March may jump 30 percent.” The prediction came after Bloomberg talked to Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com. “Americans love a bargain,” Anwyl said.
Should things get worse, then Toyota still has room to maneuver. According to Edmunds, Toyota put an average of $1,833 on the hood of each vehicle in February, way below the industry average of $2,588.
I hope none of the people currently buying Toyotas (won't call 'em the m-word; it's their money) even THINK about suing ToMoCo when/if something goes wrong. Buyer beware.
Just read Ralph SS's web link to the toyota driver runaway story. Not much sympathy for the guy per comments. It sounds real easy to "turn off the key" or "put it in neutral" but i suspect it would be very difficult to do when "your up to your *** in alligators". I think with a lot more practice he could do better and he will probably get the chance if he keeps the car.
Another thing that Toyota has working against it at this point is its New "Style" advertising theme, that is nothing more than a kneejerk reaction and completely against what thier message for the last 30 years have been "quality" (Toyota cars have NO style and I can't think of a single person who ever bought one for that reason and smart consumers can see that as well) Knee Jerk reactions in general have been toyota's problem in all of this. And yes I think there is more out there than they would want to admit, and alot of things are now being reported that most people would just say wow that was scary and then go on thier way, now they are reporting it (for some dubious reason for a few I'm sure. When my speed sensor in my 01 camry kept going bad (nothing like dropping from 5th to 2nd at 80 mph randomly), I didn't file a complaint, I'm sure other people didn't either, but if this had been broadcast publically, then I probably would have reported it. Toyota had the monies to deal with this correctly and in a way that when it was said and done would have made them look even better, instead they seem to be fixated on the short term bottome line. Perhaps they are in the business of making money rather than the business of making cars these days (GM)
Wow. P.T. Barnum was right; there is a sucker born every minute.