Toyota Makes Big Cuts In Europe...To Emissions.
Toyota is probably feeling a little unloved right now. The US government has been trying to burn them at the stake, Chinese buyers are shunning them and even the Canadians are even saying “No, eh?” (My experience of Canadians is pretty much limited to “South Park” and “Due South”). But love and good news can come from the most unlikely of places.
Reuters reports that Toyota has made huge steps to complying with EU legislation several years ahead of schedule. The EU is getting quite serious with CO2. Official EU data, which was analyzed by green transport campaigners T&E, shows that Toyota has cut the average CO2 emissions from its cars by 10 percent. This was more than five times the pace of BMW, last year’s leader. The average CO2 emission for Toyota’s cars in 2009 was 132g/km. This puts it up with Fiat and PSA as the companies best placed to meet the EU’s target of 130g/km by 2015. With quite a few years to spare.
“Three years ago the car industry said it could not deliver car CO2 targets on time but is now set to achieve them years ahead of schedule,” said Jos Dings, director of T&E. When the conversation turned to van emission standards (about 175g/km by 2016), Mr Dings got rather cynical, “The same industry is saying van CO2 limits cannot be met – it is time the credibility of these claims was questioned,” Makes you wonder what the big problem about cutting CO2 really is. I thought diesel was the panacea to everything? High mileage and low CO2 emissions. Or do the credibility of those claims need questioning…?
Toyota achieved the enviable state where nostalgia replaced reality in the conception of their product. They never were as good as perceived and now public perception has caught up. Automobile buying has always been about emotion and I predict their worldwide numbers will reflect the pablum aspect of their offerings. Witness the meteoric rise of the VW Group. No fear in that lineup. Now if they can keep their focus. That, and hope the Euro maintains its intrinsic weakness.
Awww, a "Hello, Kitty" tail pipe end! Don't let someone's young daughter see that, otherwise it might start a trend. I'm not sure about Toyota, though. They're taking hits of late and perhaps for good reason. If their quality really has suffered, I can't help but feel that their out-sourced, foreign factory-built vehicles just aren't as good as when they were exclusively built in Japan due to the cultural differences. The Japanese used to be very united in culture, discipline, ethnicity, etc. That is changing, too. I don't believe the scattered off-shore factories with different cultures translates as well to the "Toyota Way". I suppose we have to stay tuned and keep reading TTAC and others to get a better read as time passes.
I could certainly see this as being part of the problem. I worked for Acura through the early 2000's and the build quality differences between the 1st and 2nd gen TL was pretty remarkable. One major change that I believe stemmed this result was the changing of the first character of the VIN (changing from "J" to "1").
If you would like to broaden your knowledge of our Canadian neighbors, you could do worse than check out old episodes of the Red Green Show. Great automotive segments in them too! "I am a man. I can change. If I have to. I guess."