Last post on Nov 15, 2013 at 6:09 AM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
What is this discussion about?
#43 of 1735 Re: 2011 Redesign [bwia]
Feb 14, 2010 (7:35 pm)
I will agree with you that it was not a very noticeable redesign, but the things they added are nice additions to an excellent car.
When I was a car-crazy kid in the 1950s and 60s, my friends and I used to go to the local Chevy and Ford dealerships during the week before the new models were unveiled. We would peek in the windows, hoping to be the first to see them. There were radical design changes every year and that was exciting. Of course, the auto industry (and life) is different now. For economic reasons, the manufacturers don't change their designs as often and, for safety reasons, I no longer go snooping around car dealers' lots at night.
As to Hyundai, I believe that they have chosen to compete on the basis of price on all models in order to win market share and they are doing a fine job at that. I also think that they are marketing the Genesis as sort of a "poor man's Lexus," while Toyota offers the Avalon as a "rich man's Camry/Ford/Chevy." Thus the Genesis and the Avalon are not in direct competition. As the Camry gets bigger and fancier, Toyota may have to rethink the need of having Avalon in its lineup or the role that it is to play. If sales of the 2010 don't exceed those of the '09, they will probably either drop Avalon or take it in a new direction. Then you will get a major redesign.
#44 of 1735 The "new" 2011 Avalon
Feb 15, 2010 (8:12 am)
My distant connection to Toyota in Japan explains that the "new" 2011 Avalon is a result of the obvious: world economic conditions and the need for a reasonably priced near luxury (don't top the Lexus ES) model at Toyota in the U.S. This is the same argument that came up late last year concerning re-design and nothing has changed.
The Avalon would not be a viable product if it were made as a stand alone model. But given it's made with the Camry, it works for the bean counters. And it's American designed, another plus. It still helps get customers into the dealership but not as much as a decade ago (??), the new body changes are intended to cure that.
Toyota would love to come up with a totally new Avalon, or similar name, for the U.S. market. But unit sales are not expected to be high enough in the current economic downturn to make it work financially. Sooner or later it will happen, it just looks like later. The other choice was to drop the model completely, not a good choice as it does help Toyota to sell Avalons. And a "high end" Camry is not high end enough.
The Avalon lives on....
#45 of 1735 Re: The "new" 2011 Avalon [fin]
Feb 15, 2010 (8:27 am)
I guess my questions are these?
How much more is the cost if they had changed the body style more?
They did make changes that don't allow them to use any of the same body panels, so why not make a bigger change?
They changed the insides a fair amount, why not change it more?
Again, they can't use any of the old parts or parts from a different model car, so what are the added cost(s) to a complete change-over, although the insides did change more then the outsides (IMO).
It would seem that by making such small changes, they are dooming the Avalon, is that what you are hoping for? That doesn't seem to make any sense.
If the world economics are that bad, maybe not making it, makes more sense then doing it with such small changes?
Again, I will be trying it out, when it comes in to my local dealer (I put a small deposit on it:)), buy I'm not sure I want to trade for a newer one, that isn't a lot newer, cooler, better … I'll let you know after I drive it.
I'll be trading in my 2008 Tour Edition.
#46 of 1735 Avalon is Toyota's flagship sedan
Feb 15, 2010 (10:56 am)
Does not every automaker face the same dilemma? Look at Acura with the RL and TL models, or Caddy with the STS and DTS lines. What about the 'retro' styling in the TBird and Camaro, or the Taurus trying once again to breathe life into the SHO model that died because of lack of buying interest. That's what the fight about market share is about, and it's not gonna change. People want what they've always wanted, a reasonable price for a product that's as reliable as it can be. Toyota WAS doing that for awhile, but whether it grew complacent or became too large or started building in America where the quality was not as good is the stuff debates thrive on.
Is Hyundai the new Toyota? I don't know, but it's clear that Toyota is not the old Toyota. Nor can they be. Skip, I'll be interested in your reactions when you drive the new car, and everyone else's too. For me, it's a coin toss between the Avalon & Genesis; I'm gonna drive the new model too, being intently focused on the machine & my experience behind the wheel.
#47 of 1735 Re: Avalon is Toyota's flagship sedan [twinb]
Feb 15, 2010 (12:28 pm)
IMMHO the "retro" T-bird would still be in production if they had provided a "modern" interior. And by this time it would have, should have had, a nice DFI 2L I4 tri-mode (Otto/Atkinson/Miller) SuperCharged engine.
The new TwinForce (EcoBoost) "SHO"...?
Nothing but a GAS--GUZZLING showpiece for the "boy-racer" mentality crowd.
#48 of 1735 Re: The "new" 2011 Avalon [ncee]
Feb 15, 2010 (8:06 pm)
Pure automotive engineering, as in building a new model, and making it work on the showroom floor was never my area of specialty, but here are some guesses. IMO....
Compared to total redesign and a new assembly line, the cost of new sheetmetal and related exterior parts, including inventory, is insignificant. Same for the inside treatment. It's all heavy cosmetic, within limits, not structural. The main idea was to keep building the car with the Camry. If you need a different chassis Avalon will not work financially, it does not sell enough units.
The Avalon is a nice addition to the Toyota lineup of family and smaller sedans. It helps sell cars. The Camry is easily the dominant seller at the dealership. But if you want to step up a little (softer ride, etc.) from Camry the Avalon fills in nicely, undercutting Lexus by 8k or more. With this in mind you keep making Avalons even at near breakeven and my guess is they actually make a few dollars on each one.
Having owned three Avalons I consider them one of the best values out there. Great cars, all. But I have looked around and must concede that the Genesis and Azera are impressive, as are several others. When the '07 Limited hits 90k or close to it my search will begin. And by then there may be a total redesign of the Avalon.
#49 of 1735 "New" Avalon
Feb 16, 2010 (8:37 am)
I would call the 2011 Avalon a refresh, not a redesign. Looks like the biggest change is the instrument panel. I would bet that if Toyota knew of the current problems facing the company, it would have completely redesigned the Avalon to distance it from those problems, if only psychologically. Everyone that sees the 2011 Avalon will know it's an Avalon and will associate it with Toyota's pedal/acceleration problems, probably for years to come. Maybe these issues will force Toyota into major redesigns of its most popular products sooner, rather than later. Hopefully, quality and Deming's manufacturing principles will be relearned by Toyota soon.
#50 of 1735 New Avalon, yeah or nay
Feb 16, 2010 (9:28 am)
But will it be "to little - to late"?
The new one isn't much different, and for that reason, I'll have to drive it first, before I buy it, but I'm thinking, what's one more year (aside from 35,000 more miles on the car). But I also don't see them coming up with a "All New" (really new) design or model for a few years. Of course that could change if sales tank in general.
Of course at 35,000 + miles a year, I'll be ready to trade next year anyways (convincing myself:)).
#52 of 1735 Witch hunt, reality, both?
Feb 18, 2010 (4:07 pm)
What's going on here? First the recalls on cars, then the drive shaft on Tacoma trucks, now the steering on Corollas. I don't know what to make of all this. Has Toy's quality slipped so badly, along with their attitude toward customer complaints, that now they have to run around like chickens without heads trying to put out fires? From what Toyoda's been saying in his speeches, that's exactly what's happened. His response, besides bowing from the waste and apologizing? Form a quality committee. He should be an American politician. Where was he when all this was going on for the past, at least, 5 years.
Well, I know these issues are real, and customers have been complaining for a long time, but that happens in all businesses. What bothers me is the dealers' responses to their customers. I went thru a similar experience with run flat tires on our Sienna, and had the service 'advisor' tell me and my wife some gobbeldygook that wasn't true and made no sense. This was before the lawsuits started piling up and Toy finally agreed to include the tires on the regular warranty and replace them. (I know they don't make the tires, but they decided to use the run flats on the AWD van after they redesigned it and took away the space for the spare.)
Normally I'd just sit back and watch the circus with the politicians on TV going on and on about Toyota vehicles. But after months of researching new cars I'd decided to buy a '10 Avalon XLS. Shortly afterward the recalls began, and I've since cancelled the order. So what to do now? Buy one of the cars I crossed off my list and feel like I have a make-do car, or put an order in for an '11 Avalon and hope for the best, sitting on the edge of my seat with my fingers crossed everytime I drive it? That's a rhetorical question, I know none of you can answer it. And even though Toyoda has bowed and apologized, and Lentz and the suits have said with straight faces their customers are most important to them, that doesn't undo what's been done. I'm gettin' too old for this crap. What a mess.