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Toyota, Automotive News
#15588 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [berri]
Jun 06, 2012 (9:40 am)
It is easy to armchair quarterback. But my guesses:
1. Small cars = low profit margins. But with the Corolla, since it is older technology, you have already amortized the costs, so this thing is making Toyota big money, compared to the other manufacturers' comparable cars. And, after all, the income is what matters to a company, right?
2. Since the Corolla is selling extremely well, then why spend the extra $ earlier than you have to? Good business sense here.
3. Since the Corolla already is one of the tops in fuel efficiency (even with that horrible 4 speed ), then why bother?
4. The Corolla is also pretty quite at speed, so the extra ratios are not going to be that big of a benefit in NVH.
No question about it, Toyota (like any company) has made some mistakes, but they learn and react quickly. I don't think the Corolla not currently having a 5/6 speed auto is a mistake, nor is it arrogance. A thorough study of TMC will show you that they are VERY well run. I like my Toyota stock, especially since I bought it at the height of the sudden-acceleration joke, media story, b.s., etc.
#15589 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [mcdawgg]
Jun 06, 2012 (10:02 am)
Funny thing is the 32mpg as tested is way better than even the ultra-fuel efficient models from competitors.
Lone exception - Mazda3 SkyActiv.
I'm glad someone leap-frogged them because maybe that will wake them up.
#15590 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [mcdawgg]
Jun 06, 2012 (11:08 am)
...kind of like Chevy hanging on too long with Powerglide! Toyota makes some good vehicles, no doubt. But heck, they've got a tranny they can basically use on the Corolla from the 4 banger Camry. The older buyers probably aren't going to care, but the younger ones do notice spec deficiencies. We've been looking at the Highlander, but can't understand why it's EPA ratings are pretty much the same as bigger crossovers like Explorer. I'm thinking its the old fashioned 5 speed in the Toyota? Every vehicle has its drawbacks, Toyota seems to be old fashioned trannies and crappy tires. The Highlander still comes with those crap Toyo's, while Explorer has a nice set of Michelins. Overall though, I agree with you that Toyota makes a good product with long term durability.
#15591 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [berri]
Jun 06, 2012 (11:21 am)
Some people like tried-and-true. Look how long GM kept the 3.8l V6 around. In hindsight, would you pick that or the 3500 from the Lumina?
3800 all the way...
#15592 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [ateixeira]
Jun 06, 2012 (2:26 pm)
Some people like tried-and-true. Look how long GM kept the 3.8l V6 around
Good point and the 3.8 served GM well for awhile. Outside of manifold gaskets I think it was a pretty reliable powerplant. Problem was that over time its competitors, including Ford were bringing out more modern OHC engines and that started to reinforce the consumer's view that GM was a company with obsolete technology. A big reason Corolla sells is price point. If Toyota would modernize it perhaps it could improve the profit margin a bit? Every time you read something about the Corolla it is always something like; reliable and affordable, but old fashioned. The 4 speed stands out in comparison charts. Why not use the Camry tranny that is already available and remove that deficit? Sell the car as desirable, not a bargain.
#15593 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [berri]
Jun 06, 2012 (5:47 pm)
Why not use the Camry tranny that is already available and remove that deficit? Sell the car as desirable, not a bargain
I understand, but I am sure that Toyota did a financial analysis, and it probably showed them that putting in a 5 automatic would not give them the highest financial return.
Maybe they could use a Camry tranny, but a Camry 5 speed auto tranny is for a 2.4L engine (they have a 6 auto in the 2.5L starting in 2010.) So maybe this would not work, and I am sure that it would take some engineering time and new parts, maybe even different gear ratios, etc. Lots more work than you would initially think, so $$ out the door.
Again, seeing how strong sales of the Corolla is, how high the mpg is, and it is a sure bet that the profit margin on this car is very high, why would you change it? The sales numbers show it is very desirable already. The vast majority of people are not like us - they are buying a cheap, reliable, comfortable car to get from point A to B. So having a 4 speed auto has not been an issue for sales of the Corolla yet, as most probably don't know or care. They just put it in "D" and that is the last thought they have of the tranny.
Now, with all that said, you can be sure that in the next year or so, the Corolla will get a 5 or 6 speed auto, and it will be a completely new package, new engine, etc. Toyota has a lot of work in front of them to best this generation Corolla's MPG, price, reliability, and sales figures.
#15594 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [mcdawgg]
Jun 06, 2012 (6:51 pm)
Different vehicle - do have any idea when the next Highlander update is do?
#15595 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [mcdawgg]
Jun 07, 2012 (5:09 am)
"...the Corolla already is one of the tops in fuel efficiency (even with that horrible 4 speed..."
I've rented a current generation Corolla, and the transmission was very well suited to the car, in my opinion. It's an unexciting car to drive, but, then, people don't choose Corollas for excitement.
I agree with the rest of your comments.
#15596 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [hpmctorque]
Jun 07, 2012 (7:40 am)
I bet their bean counters concluded a better trans would take away Camry sales.
Unfortunately Hyundai is taking advantage of that thinking. The average transaction price for an Elantra is now way above Corolla or Civic. The Limited model has heated rear seats, so they are indeed getting customers to climb the price ladder, and buy more profitable models with more equipment.
Remember when you paid more for a Honda/Toyota?
Fitzmall.com has 140 Corollas from $15,499 (talk about a loss leader) to $19,627.
Same dealer has 91 Elantras priced from $18,170 all the way up to $24,035.
Heck, Corolla sells at Accent prices - $14,750 to $18,000 even.
Heck, their own iQ starts at $16,205! How can a Corolla make a profit for $706 less than an iQ?
#15597 of 16273 Re: Sales break down [hpmctorque]
Jun 07, 2012 (9:01 am)
"I've rented a current generation Corolla, and the transmission was very well suited to the car, in my opinion"
I agree, I was just being sarcastic, since so many people here complain about it.