By on October 14, 2010

Given the controversy of the Volt (earned or not), GM is being closely watched from all angles. Some people think that GM hasn’t changed. Others think that this may delay GM’s IPO. But, ironically what hasn’t changed, despite the witch-hunt of GM’s owners, is Toyota’s unwavering support of GM.

The DetNews reports that Toyota is fully behind GM, despite this controversy. “I don’t think it really matters to the viability of the Volt,” said Bill Reinert, national manager for Toyota’s advanced technology group, “I don’t think they’re going to lose one customer if someone calls (the Volt) a hybrid…Whether it’s a hybrid or an extended range EV, it’s still an interesting car, a challenging car and all congrats for them to do it.” Talk about taking the high road.

Mr Reinert made these comments at the Business of Plugging In conference. Also there was a representative for Nissan. He was a bit more evasive of the issue. “We’re just focused on making sure we deliver a very seamless and customer experience for out customers,” said Scott Becker, Nissan’s senior vice president for finance and administration (quote was taken directly from DetNews. Blame them or Scott Becker for the syntax errors).

Bill Reinert of Toyota, on the high road again, praised both cars, “I think they are both viable cars – I think they are coming at it from a different direction. They are going to let the market sort it out,” he said. Trouble is, the market isn’t going to sort it out. There are market distorting subsidies attached to the cars. And lest we forget that Nissan had “Volt-gate” problems of their own. But the most baffling of all of this? Why is Toyota still playing nice with GM? The only answer I can think of is the words of Humphrey Appleby from “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister”. “It is necessary to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back” and in this case, the knife will be in the shape of the Toyota Plug-in Prius.

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28 Comments on “Go GM! Says Toyota...”


  • avatar
    Stingray

    Meanwhile… I’m happy at the prospect of having a CNG or LPG fueled V8 car… that yes, will have as little CO2 emissions as a Prius, and the glorious sound of a REAL engine.
     
    FUCK YEAH!!!

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    It is the mannerly way of preparing to harvest former GM customers as they come into the Toyota fold.
     
     

  • avatar
    mike978

    Toyota is playing nice because they know there would be a huge backlash if they attacked GM. They cannot complain about the Volt being subsidized because the Prius was. They want to be seen as all American (NASCAR etc) so attacking a true American company would be bad business. Also they need the American market because they do so absymally in Europe (5% market share if that in the major markets).

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Kudos to Mr. Reinert and Toyota. If more people took the responsible trip on The High Road, we’d all be better off for it. Toyota’s executives, shareholders, dealers, suppliers and employees have nothing to gain by trash talking competitors. And by the way, Mr. Reinert is correct, too. Always wish your competitors the best of luck.

  • avatar

    it’s not about being responsible or nice, it’s being smart. do not be lulled into a feel good half-slumber during the dusk of Toyota-san, for the Sun shall Rise again another day, shining light on their predatory and merciless ways.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Business is business!

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Hey Buickman — Can you please put the yellow menace ravings aside? It isn’t 1945 anymore. GM and Toyota can be both tough marketplace competitors and business partners who need each other, and in ways that go beyond what’s in the showroom. I know this might be a little too complex for your paranoid thinking, but try it for a day or two.

    • 0 avatar

      Yellow Fever? 1945? wake up my brother and listen to Lee…

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Careful, Buickman – I re-read the FAQs regarding this website and commenting, and several of us may be in trouble!

    • 0 avatar

      Zackman,

      thaks for the heads up, certainly want to follow the rules here at TTAC. have never received a warning, and hopefully never will. meanwhile, visited the FAQ you mentioned and found this…

      Any commentator who flames or trolls receives email notification that the comment was edited or deleted. If the comment is deemed excessively offensive or mean spirited, the commentator also receives a warning. After the second offense, the commentator will be banned from posting on the site. Permanently. I repeat: there is no coming back. Ever.
      If you encounter an offensive comment, do not respond in the comments section. Send an email to Robert Farago or Frank Williams and we’ll take care of it.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    GM is a huge customer of Toyota, and Toyota taps numerous GM patents and pre-BK, was also a huge consumer of GM parts.  This has gone back for decades and way beyond lets slap GEO emblems on a Toyota Corolla and call it good era.  Shoot, one of the other car sites is doing a junkyard series on how hard is it to get part X out of cars from Europe, Asia, and the United States.  The speedometer from a 1995 Buick Rivera – made by Toyota.
     
    You don’t slap around one of your biggest customers and one of your bigger suppliers, and where you have key patent dependencies.  It is also worth noting that Toyota leadership openly stated around three years ago the Volt would never see the light of day (wrong) and was technically impossible to build (wrong again) and they had no interest in building electrics (yes they got into bed with Tesla when they could see just how wrong they are about the coming wave of electric cars).  Generally when I’m wrong, I tend to be contrite.  Just sayin’

    • 0 avatar

      The speedometer from a 1995 Buick Rivera – made by Toyota

      Which explains why that part — and precious few others on the last Riv — worked as designed and without error.

      As far as the high road, I think the only “road” issue Government Motors should be concerned about is whether those roads have nice, wide shoulders for stranded and broken-down Volts to park on…

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      That is a nice autoblog spin of what Toyota said about the Volt.  My recollection of Toyota’s comments remotely pertaining to the Volt were that they felt the parallel hybrid was preferable to a series (which has been proven out for range extended mode with the Volt’s amazing mid 30s mpg… and the fact that the Volt isn’t even a true series hybrid like originally claimed), they didn’t feel electric cars were yet ready for mass market (which they aren’t, as illustrated by the $7500 required to make the Volt and Leaf even remotely economically viable), and the vaporware comment was the fact that it isn’t really fair to compare a vehicle that is currently available (the 2nd gen Prius) to a vehicle that is 3 years from delivery.. which was the case when the comment was made in Sept of 2007. 

      You have a very selective memory when it comes to Toyota, it seems. 

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Quentin:
      +1
      I ran down some of those autoblogospherisms myself and Toyota was candid about their assessment of the prospects for vehicles with large batteries but not overly critical of GM and certainly not insulting.  Their remarks contrasted sharply with how El Lutzbo claimed Toyota dissed GM, with what El Lutzbo said about the Prius and with the foolish things El Lutzbo claimed on behalf of GM and the Volt (like the price).

  • avatar
    Steven02

    It makes good business sense for them not to attack Toyota.  If they did, it would make headlines and not in a good way.  It is rare, and I mean very rare, that you see a company attack another company in the press.  You do it with good products.  Toyota has been doing that for a long time.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    A smart move by Toyota. They have nothing to gain by trash talking competitors. Lutz never learned that lesson :).
     

  • avatar
    AaronH

    “But, ironically what hasn’t changed, despite the witch-hunt of GM’s owners, is Toyota’s unwavering support of GM.”

    There is a big criminal gang created by retarded voting parasites with huge armies, nukes, and all the “money” they can print and spend telling you to do something…Like…Oh…Praise one of their own….

    What on earth would you do?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I would plan for a life after the US market stops being viable. Appeasement never works, and Toyota ought to dust off the model that made them so successful here, recycle it in China.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    …shining light on their predatory and merciless ways.
    Coming from someone who is from the GM camp, this is a classic example of the pot calling
    the kettle ‘Black arse’!

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Toyota has nothing to fear from the Volt.  They’re just offering respectful pity.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Wow, Buickman, how very timely. 1992-style “Japan-bashing” from a guy who had no problem selling Japanese vehicles in Chrysler showrooms, raving about another country whose economy that’s completely imploded and been outsourcing just as much as we have.
     
    Lido was wrong about no idiots at GM – Stempel was running it then.
     
    FYI, “yellow menace” is a WWII term for the Japanese enemy, while “yellow fever” is being attracted to Asian girls.
     
    Hilarious stuff, though. What’s next? Reagan asking Mr. Gorbachev to “tear down your walls?”

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Let’s call a spade a spade. The Volt is a game changer. Toyota and every other car company knows that.  So what’s so surprising about Reinert’s statement. 

    • 0 avatar

      Corvair, Vega, Chevette, X Cars, J Cars, W Bodies, Cimarron, Catera, 350 Diesels, 8/6/4, Allente, Fiero, Saturns, Australian GTOs, disintegrating intake gaskets, to now the “game changing” Volt? you’ve got to be kidding me? pssstttt….hey bud…wanna buy some stock?

    • 0 avatar
      SpinnyD

      It’s not a “game changer” if your doing basically the same thing that someone else did way back in 1997. all they did was add a plug in charger. You can buy a Prius today and have it modified to use plug in tech and still have about 10k in your pocket for what the “game changer” costs. And get better mileage.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Toyota has nothing to fear from the Volt.  They’re just offering respectful pity”

    Here’s a nice perspective from someone who drove a Volt & then had to get back in his Prius.  

    At the end of our full-day drive, a GM rep shrewdly handed over the keys to a 2010 Prius, a car I had driven before and enjoyed. The Prius is roomier than the Volt, but as soon as I turned on the ignition and started moving, the gas engine loudly snapped on, making me long for the comparatively silent, gliding operation of the Volt. The steering felt stiff, the transitions between battery and parallel power jarring

  • avatar
    i_godzuki

    Isn’t the Prius like almost half the price?

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