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#15609 of 16275 Re: Sales break down [hpmctorque]
Jun 08, 2012 (8:08 am)
For a non-enthusiast, perhaps.
Torsion beam rear and 4EAT don't exactly set hearts aflutter, but there are plenty of point A to point B customers.
Even if that's all I could afford, I'd get something like a Fit instead.
#15610 of 16275 Re: Sales break down [hpmctorque]
Jun 08, 2012 (6:06 pm)
I think Toyota tried their best with the Camry, don't you?
Given your comments about Toyota, why did you buy a new Yaris?
I DO think they did a good job with the new Camry, yes. They completely reinvented the Yaris for 2012, vs what it was before, which is why I picked one up for my commute car.
What is so frustrating about Toyota these days is that their development efforts for new models are so lumpy - why is the RAV4 so tacky inside and so dated technologically, as is the Corolla, yet the Camry is near the top of its class (and so is the Yaris, I would say). I guess the answer is they let them run too long (although in the case of Corolla, when they DID claim to update it a few years back, they had done little more than slap fresh lipstick on the same old pig).
And despite what more and more automakers are doing these days, we still see Toyota reluctant to add DI to their engines, or to make the use of 6-speed transmissions widespread, and of course this is an area where the Yaris, despite all the major changes they made to the rest of the car, is still a let-down. A new 2012 model introduced with a 4-speed automatic? Imagine if they had put in a 5- or 6-speed automatic - could they perhaps have made this little car do 40 mpg on the highway? I would say yes, most likely.
And for my part, I will make do with the 39 mpg I am getting in mine, but imagine if they had put in a 6-speed manual instead of the 5-speed mine has, so that it didn't rev at 3000 rpm to go 70 mph. Would 40-42 mpg be easily achievable? Yes, and it would be up to the class norm too.....
#15611 of 16275 Re: Sales break down [nippononly]
Jun 09, 2012 (6:03 am)
I agree with you that some of Toyota's actions - or inactions - are puzzling.
As for DI, Nissan and Honda didn't adopt it yet either, as far as I know. Yet, even without DI, the 2013 Altima achieves 38 mpg highway. That's tops in its class, unless the '13 Accord does better, and one mpg better than the '13 Malibu light hybrid. I'm wondering whether DI isn't always better, or whether Nissan is just keeping that feature in reserve.
As for the '12 Yaris, since that model is built in Japan, the lack of DI and a 6th gear probably has to do with cost. This is a low profit segment to begin with, and the yen is strong, so Toyota may earn nothing, or possibly even lose a little, on each Yaris. Whatever the explanation is for not including these enhancements, Toyota is spending very little to market the Yaris in the U.S. That ties in with the company's expectation that, at least for now, the Yaris will be a relatively low volume model in the U.S.
There's also the fact that if the Yaris features DI and 6-speed transmissions, the Corolla must too. The business case just may not be strong enough to make these investments. Another thing to consider is reliability and cost-to-repair. These probably favor 4-speeds over 6-speeds, especially for the automatic.
#15613 of 16275 Re: Sales break down [hpmctorque]
Jun 09, 2012 (1:11 pm)
The business case just may not be strong enough to make these investments.
And there you have it. You have neatly placed in a nutshell the message that I think sums up Toyota these days.....the days when it made business sense to just make the best product in each class and charge accordingly are gone I guess. Now it often makes more sense to make the cheapest product....not exactly aspirational, eh?!
#15614 of 16275 Re: Sales break down [nippononly]
Jun 09, 2012 (3:19 pm)
I believe that a key challenge for Toyota, unlike several years ago, is that it has expanded into virtually every segment, when you include Lexus and Scion. That's similar to GM. This degree of vehicle diversification makes it virtually impossible to have leading edge products in every segment. They have to continually ask themselves whether, for example, they'll get a bigger payback from investing in a new transmission for Yaris and Corolla, or an improved battery pack for Prius. The answer may be to invest their marginal yen in Prius, to maintain their lead in hybrids. I imagine that the Prius line has more-long term profit potential than the econobox end of the spectrum.
I'm just conjecturing, I really don't know, but that's what I think.
Ford, on the other hand, took a different approach, by selling its PAG (Premium Auto Group) brands, and shutting down Mercury. It put its resources into fixing its main brand, and now that Ford has recovered, resources are being poured into Lincoln. Given its relatively limited resources, Ford Motor Co. had to make some hard choices. For example, it hasn't introduced RWD sport sedans, but has poured a lot of money into improving fuel economy, which is a higher priority for most consumers.
#15615 of 16275 Re: Sales break down [hpmctorque]
Jun 11, 2012 (8:11 am)
For Toyota, I think having Lexus is somewhat of a handicap. They need to keep Toyota vehicles to "less than Lexus". So that creates a glass ceiling for them - the IS gets DI but the Camry and Avalon cannot.
The lesser Toyotas, then, can't either.
Hyundai doesn't have that handicap, so even the Accent gets DI. Oddly the Elantra doesn't, go figure.