Last post on May 22, 2013 at 7:20 AM
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Toyota, Automotive News
#16142 of 16274 Interesting Commentary...
Feb 08, 2013 (8:22 am)
Q: (Other reporter) Whatís your take on Nissan saying sales are moving more towards fleet and away from consumer?
We really donít play in the fleet market and we base most of our sales on retail sales and satisfying that retail customer. I believe that side of the market will improve because there is a lot of pent up demand. We are even seeing that in the retail market, people have held onto trucks longer than they have. We are already seeing that, last month truck sales were up 30 percent.
We believe that 1.8 million (units) sold in the half-ton market isnít unreasonable. Were comfortable with that, we would like to increase our market share, but quite honestly we are limited by capacity. If we can keep the plant at 100% capacity and have the best truck on the market, we will be satisfied.
Q: (responds to questioning about ĺ ton and why if it doesnít affect CAF… standards, why doesnít Toyota build them)
Quite honestly, we donít have the capacity to build more trucks. The truck capacity in San Antonio is 250,000 at full capacity. I would love to have more capacity, it is a good problem to have (laughter). But, it allows us to really focus on satisfying our customers. We arenít trying to be everything to everybody. If you look some of our styling especially on premium grades, it is polarizing. It is a love/hate that is by design. The person who likes the Platinum doesnít like the 1794.
Q: Could we be looking at a Hybrid?
I canít speak to future powertrain.
Q: You did sign an agreement with Ford, would you have to adjust the chassis?
Again, I canít speak to future powertrains, but we might have something.
Q: Mike, are the rust issues done with this truck?
The rust issues were a supplier issue and yes, we have a different supplier. And we have increased the overall corrosion to what we believe is the best from a durability stand point. Again, we had a supplier quality issue, unfortunately. We caught the issue and it has been fixed.
And I have to say, I think, when you look at what Toyota has done, when we found out we had corrosion issues, we made sure we satisfied customers. Again, durability is one of our foundations, we went back and made sure those customers were satisfied by either replacing frames or replacing trucks. Itís an unfortunate situation. We try to make sure we are good partners with our suppliers and support our supplies, but in this case we had an unfortunate situation.
Q: (other reporter and I ďdiscussingĒ past rust issues, I bring up the bed bolt rust)
On the bed bolt rust issue, we had the same corrosion everybody else did. We changed the coating on our bolts to a 20-year protection cast corrosion treatment.
Part of the corrosion especially with fasteners is with the elimination of the heavy metals. We canít use Chromate anymore which was the main corrosion element in fasteners.
Q: Whatís your take on the bed bounce issue; do you think this truck rides better?
The choppy ride in itself, yes it does. We made some improvements. We tuned the suspension. Is our choppy ride completely gone? No it is natural part of a truck. Our competitors have a choppy ride as well.
Q. How does the ride compare to competitors?
I think this truck is better than maybe the #1 selling truck. They changed their calibration and tuned suspension. Not sure why they did, but they did. We added other features like the Aero-Fins stabilizers (located on rear tail light and mirrors). They donít look like much, but they are really quite surprising. They are just these little small wings that are on there. They look great in the wind tunnel. But, when you actually put them on and start driving more than 45mph you really start noticing.
What it does is it creates turbulence alongside the truck and it helps with straight line stability of the truck itself. The air is pushing and instead of becoming detached from the truck, it is pulling air alongside the truck and it helps stabilize the front. The ones on the back creates a downdraft which helps with the choppy ride as well.
Q: On the hood raise did you have to compact anything or was that for cosmetics?
Q: Have you changed the rear-end at all? (Limited Slip)
No, we have not changed the limited slip at all. We have done a lot of driving of other trucks. Quite honestly, youíd be surprised what this truck can do. When you talk about changing rear-end I have a 10.5 axle on it, thatís what our competitors have on their ĺ and 1-ton trucks. That helps with that SAE J2807 standard and gives us that durability that we are trying to promote.
Q: (Another reporter question) Other truck manufactures arenít up to SAE J2807 standard yet?
Itís a mystery to us. All major OEMís participated in creating that standard. If you look at any manufacture in North America and some of the foreign producers all participating in the writing in that standard. But, we are the only ones since 2007 that complied with the standard.
I can speculate why that is. I canít tell you why they are trying to create their own standard.
When we adapted the standard our towing went down a few hundred pounds. With this truck, we got that back. Our speculation is that the other players in the market will go down a lot more than just a few hundred pounds.
Our goal is to make sure we are really satisfying the customer and we are giving the customer what we say we are giving them. So, they walk away satisfied.
I donít have a lot of complaints about you promised me this fuel economy and Iím getting this fuel economy. We focus on combined fuel economy. When we market our vehicles, test our vehicles, certify our vehicles, we are always talking real-world fuel economy. We are probably under-promising and over delivering. But, a lot of our customers do the opposite. Their focus is on highway. Well, if you only drive highway and EPA cycle then fabulous you can probably hit that. But, what we are seeing in the market right now is a lot of complaints especially with a lot of these smaller displacement engines. You promised me this and I am not getting that at all. You promised me 21 and Iím getting 15. There is a big difference there and I paid a $1,000 more for this engine.
We want to make sure that we are actually delivering what we are promising. That is one of the reasons we focused on the new towing standard. When the customer hooks us up and they read through our ownerís manual, its not like well you said I was going to tow 11,100, but by the time I make all the deductions I have to make, Iím only towing 7,100. When you read our brochure, we say here are your deductions and we say you can tow this amount, you can tow this amount.
You donít have to sit there and do a lot of fuzzy math to get there.
#16143 of 16274 Re: Interesting Commentary... [anythngbutgm]
Feb 08, 2013 (8:30 am)
The rust issues were a supplier issue and yes, we have a different supplier
Interesting, so no longer Dana. Wonder who the new supplier is?
We want to make sure that we are actually delivering what we are promising
Fine and dandy but it sounds like they're using this as an excuse not to innovate at all. You can't win the game if you're sitting on the side lines.
I would love to have more capacity
Baloney. They think it's too risky to increase capacity, so they intentionally limit supply so that there is enough demand, and they can sell their trucks at a premium vs. the domestics.
#16144 of 16274 Re: Interesting Commentary... [ateixeira]
Feb 08, 2013 (9:47 am)
Interesting, so no longer Dana. Wonder who the new supplier is?
I've been scouring the net all morning to find this info, with no luck...
Surely Greg and some others on here are going to be disappointed by this. Seeing as his claims that all Toyotas frames are gone by 5 years. Funny, I saw a 90's T-100 go by my window about 5 minutes ago... hmmm...
Feb 11, 2013 (11:45 pm)
updated the Corolla's looks again. You think this time they will give it its first powertrain update in eleven years? I wonder if I would need two hands to count the number of models besides Corolla that still offer a 4-speed auto as the only automatic option.....and 11 years ago, the same criticism could have been leveled at the 3-speed auto Toyota still employed in the '02 Corolla.
Toyota could distinguish itself here with a direct-injected engine and a 6-speed auto for the '14 Corolla (not to mention a bit of a power bump and a 40 mpg rating), but I will be very surprised if they do.
I do really like the look of the Note, but Toyota has announced that the Matrix dies this year for America, so unless they bring the Note with a different name here, I don't think it will be offered in the States.
#16146 of 16274 Re: so they have [nippononly]
Feb 12, 2013 (6:26 am)
I'm sure they will update the powertrain. But you have to give Toyota credit, the Corolla is a money-printing machine for them. They still sell tons of them! To top it off, the Corolla, even with it's 4 speed auto, is still one of the most fuel efficient in it's class!! CR's real world MPG tests had only a diesel and a hybrid beat it!!! I like my Toyota stock performance!
#16147 of 16274 Re: so they have [mcdawgg]
Feb 12, 2013 (10:03 am)
Sure has been selling, but I'm sure they'd like to push transaction prices up several grand. They're cheaper than the average Elantra by far.
#16148 of 16274 Re: so they have [ateixeira]
Feb 12, 2013 (10:22 am)
True, but with the current one, since they are using a drivetrain that has been around for a long time, all the big development costs, molds, etc. have long since been paid for. Has to be a money printing press at this point!
#16149 of 16274 Re: so they have [mcdawgg]
Feb 12, 2013 (10:29 am)
True, but over time the value of the name erodes.
#16150 of 16274 Re: so they have [ateixeira]
Feb 12, 2013 (11:54 am)
It'll take a long time, even with fleet dumps. Many people simply think "Corolla" when wanting a frugal new car, and don't look elsewhere. Also in my area, if you are fresh off the boat and wanting your first USA car, you run to the Corolla.