Recalls Leave Toyota Traumatized

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
recalls leave toyota traumatized

Some people ( like about half of the nation) are convinced the Government has a conflict of interest when it comes to Toyota. Many believe there is a witchhunt against Toyota by a government, and by unions that want GM’s major competitor bleed money and market share before the big GM IPO. 25 percent believe the criticism stems from an outright desire to help GM, while 38 percent disagree and 37 percent aren’t sure. Whatever the reason may be, Toyota is beginning to show battle fatigue.

The Wall Street Journal found a forecast that says that Toyota’s July sales will be shown with a minus in front when they are published on Monday, “while nearly every other car company’s sales are up.” Jesse Toprak, an analyst with TrueCar, says that “Toyota is going to be the only major auto maker to post a sales decline in July.”

Toprak’s crystal ball sees Toyota down by 4.4 percent in July, while Honda will be up 4 percent, Ford should increase 8.4 percent, and GM a whopping 23 percent. Toprak thinks by the end of the year, Toyota’s U.S. market could be less than16 percent.

According to the WSJ, it’s Toyota’s own fault:

In a way it was market share, or Toyota’s obsession with it, that got the car maker into so much trouble. For decades Toyota built a reputation as a maker of dependable, well-built vehicles that rarely had problems. But in the past decade the company shifted its attention to gaining market share. As Toyota ramped up production to support increased sales volume, it may have sacrificed quality. Does this sound familiar? It is the same flawed strategy that had the Detroit Three looking like endangered species a year or so ago.

A little smear campaign also helps. Says the WSJ:

The bad news for Toyota is the advantage of perceived quality it had over nearly every rival car brand is gone. And with competitors making better vehicles than ever, it may never regain its lead.

There are at least 76,750 Americans who think that was the whole idea – if statistics can be believed.

Join the conversation
2 of 54 comments
  • RRocket RRocket on Jul 31, 2010

    Toyota is about to post a $1.2 Billion profit for this quarter. I bet many car companies wish they were this "traumatized" and "fatigued" by being able to post similar profits without bailouts or bankruptcy.

  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Jul 31, 2010

    Even outside of the recalls, Toyota has a slew of problems that made them uncompetitive. The cars are not at all fun to drive. The cars are not particularly more reliable than the competition. Some cars seem to get all the engineering effort (Prius), while the rest seem to have gone materially unchanged for years (Corolla, Camry- the bread and butter). There's no reason to buy a Toyota over any other car, and in these tough economic times I think people are realizing this

  • Analoggrotto Only allow Tesla drivers to race, we are the epitome of class and brilliance.
  • Wjtinfwb When my kids turned 16 and got their Operators, we spent $400 to send both (twins) to 2 driving schools. One held by the local Sherriff was pretty basic but a good starter on car control and dealing with police officers as they ran the school. Then they went to a full day class in N Atlanta on a racetrack, with the cars supplied by BMW. They learned evasive maneuvers, high speed braking, skid control on a wet skid pad and generally built a lot of confidence behind the wheel. Feeling better about their skills, we looked for cars. My son was adamant he wanted a manual, Halleluiah! Looking at used Civics and Golf's and concerned about reliability and safety, I got discouraged. Then noticed an AutoTrader adv. for a new leftover '16 Ford Focus ST six-speed. 25k MSRP advertised for $17,500. $2500 above my self-imposed limit. I went to look, a brand new car, 16 miles on it, black with just the sunroof. 3 year warranty and ABS, Airbags. One drive and the torquey turbo 2.0 convinced me and I bought it on the spot. 7 years and 66k miles later it still serves my son well with zero issues. My daughter was set on a Subaru, I easily found a year old Crosstrek with all the safety gear and only 3k miles. 21k but gave my wife and I lots of peace of mind. She still wheels the Subaru, loves it and it too has provided 7 years and 58k miles of low cost motoring. Buy what fits your budget but keep in mind total cost over the long haul and the peace of mind a reliable and safe car provides. Your kids are worth it.
  • Irvingklaws Here's something cheaper, non-german, and more intriguing...
  • Wjtinfwb Happy you're loving your Z4. Variety is the spice of life and an off-beat car like the Z4 intrigues me as well. More than anything, your article and pictures have me lusting for the dashboards of a decade ago. Big, round analog gauges. Knobs and buttons to dial up the A/C, Heat or Volume. Not a television screen in sight. Need to back up? Use the mirrors or look over your shoulder. If your Z4 had the six-speed manual, it would be about perfect. Today's electronified BMW's leave me ice cold, as do the new Mercedes and Audi's with their video game interiors. Even a lowly GTI cannot escape the glowing LED dashboard. I'm not a total luddite, Bluetooth streaming for the radio would be nice and I'd agree the cooled seats would be a bonus on a warm day with the top down. But the Atari dashboard is just a bridge too far for me.
  • Craiger Honestly I was incredibly disappointed by the lack of steering feel. I dropped off my 530 at the dealer in New Jersey and picked up the Z. Driving all of my familiar roads I was just shocked at how much info wasn't coming through the wheel. Because of that I was never able to push the Z like I did the 530.