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Old 10-02-2009, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default Toyota Head: Toyota is on the brink of "capitulation to irrelevance or death”





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Source: Special Automotive News Email Alert

Hans Greimel - October 2, 2009

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda said his money-losing automaker is “grasping for salvation” as it struggles to return to profit.

The world's largest car company was once targeting annual sales of 10 million vehicles but now expects sales of 7.3 million this year, down from 8.97 million in 2008, Toyoda said at a news conference here today.

Toyoda, grandson of the automaker's founder, said Toyota is on the brink of “capitulation to irrelevance or death” as he prepares for a second-straight year of substantial financial and unit-sale decreases.

Citing the five stages of corporate decline outlined by Jim Collins, author of How the Mighty Fall, the Toyota chief warned that his company has slumped to stage four.

“We are grasping for salvation,” Toyoda said, adding that the company has already spiraled through the first three stages: Hubris born of success, undisciplined pursuit of more and denial of risk and peril.

“Toyota has become too big and distant from its customers,” the chief executive said.


In the United States, Toyota's sales fell 13 percent in September from a year earlier as the market suffered a sharp letdown after the government-funded cash-for-clunkers program ran out. Total U.S. sales tumbled 23 percent. Toyota is down 28 percent for the year.

Separately, Toyoda called the current dollar-yen rate "very tough," saying the weak U.S. currency made it difficult to return to profit on an unconsolidated level.

"When you get to this level, it makes it difficult to return to profit on sales growth alone," he said.

Toyoda repeated Toyota's aim to return to profit at the parent level "as soon as possible," even as it expects global sales to fall 18 percent from 2008 to 7.34 million vehicles this year. That would leave about 30 percent of its production capacity unused.

Toyoda took the helm in June as the world's biggest automaker faced one of its biggest crises in history amid a global credit crunch and an industrywide sales slump that forced two U.S. automakers into bankruptcy.

For the financial year to March, Toyota has projected a consolidated operating loss of 750 billion yen ($8.4 billion), assuming a dollar rate of 92 yen. It has forecast a parent-only operating loss of 600 billion yen.

Presenting a further challenge, Toyota said this week it would recall 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus models in the United States -- its largest-ever recall -- because of a risk that a loose floor mat could force down the accelerator. The problem is suspected of causing at least one crash that killed four people.

“We would like to pay our deepest condolences for the loss of four precious lives,” Toyoda said. But because an investigation into the problem is still underway, he said he could offer no further details about plans to address the issue.

“Customers who chose Toyota and Lexus cars because those brands are safe and secure are now beset with anxiety. I regret and apologize for this development,” said Toyoda, who took office in June and is the grandson of the company's founder.
http://www.autonews.com/article/2009...310029966/1210
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:27 PM   #2
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Default Toyota ordered to preserve all documents about the ‘crashworthiness

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A temporary restraining order has been approved by Texas Judge T. John Ward to prevent Toyota from destroying any of its crash data, and research projects related to product liability or crashworthiness. The order stemmed from claims by former Toyota lawyer Dimitrios Biller that Toyota withheld evidence in over 300 rollover lawsuits.

The order will remain effective until a hearing on October 7 that will determine if the order would be extended. In the decision, Judge Ward had written that the court “finds an immediate threat of irreparable harm in that, under the allegations, a threat exists that evidence material to this case would be destroyed or altered.” Toyota has not given any comments.

Toyota spokesman Mike Michels could only say that Toyota feels it acted appropriately in the lawsuits. Biller’s suit is formidable on its own but if it does win the suit, it could lead to the reopening of cases that were previously rejected or settled due to lack of evidence.

So far, Dallas area lawyer Todd Tracey has asked Ward to reopen several cases and there are sure to be other lawyers and injury victims who will follow soon.
via autoblog]
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:29 PM   #3
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first I've heard of this.
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:34 PM   #4
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At least he is wise enough to recognize this downfall coming and is (hopefully) smart enough to stop it. Much better than GM or Chrysler execs.

He sounds like a very smart man.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kpluiten View Post
At least he is wise enough to recognize this downfall coming and is (hopefully) smart enough to stop it. Much better than GM or Chrysler execs. He sounds like a very smart man.
This is Chryslers second time around. In 1979/80 they were on the verge/in bancruptcy. they didn't learn.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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Or just the difference in cultures. In America when something goes work everyone wants to know who to blame. Whereas in Japan (at least in the past) you work together to fix the problem. And if need be you resign to protect the honor of the corporation.

Something you'd never see Rick Wagoneer doing 5 years ago when he should have.
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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To be fair to Chrysler, those responsible for the first turnaround had long since departed by the time the second crisis happened.

And good on Toyoda/Toyota. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, or something like that...
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:36 PM   #8
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Mr. Toyoda

"Don't be sorry...BE DIFFERENT"
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:53 PM   #9
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Keep in mind Toyota has more North American auto content than Ford. This is a high percentage American employer. We can't afford to lose more jobs in USA.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:08 AM   #10
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Keep in mind Toyota has more North American auto content than Ford. This is a high percentage American employer. We can't afford to lose more jobs in USA.
I think them realizing this early and deciding to do something about it before its a major problem will save them. The toyota/subaru coupe is the first sign of them realizing this.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:46 AM   #11
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“Toyota has become too big and distant from its customers,” the chief executive said.

Who knew that dropping all the exciting cars from your lineup and serving up the blandest cars on the planet would end up distancing them from customers? They could fold as far as I'm concerned as they don't make a vehicle I would consider purchasing.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:00 AM   #12
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I felt that way for GM because they didn't give a damn about changing until bankruptcy was knocking down their door. I do care if toyota folded. I don't think they will. They caught it early, like they should have. Yes you can say that they havent made exciting cars for years, but their sales didn't reflect the situation until recently. Toyoda taking the over was a great move. I think this guy knows what his grandfather built and realizes how different they are now. He's trying to get them back on track.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:30 PM   #13
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“Toyota has become too big and distant from its customers,” the chief executive said.

Who knew that dropping all the exciting cars from your lineup and serving up the blandest cars on the planet would end up distancing them from customers? They could fold as far as I'm concerned as they don't make a vehicle I would consider purchasing.
+1
but you have to admitt that those damn camry's are popular with the average 'merican.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:44 PM   #14
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+1
but you have to admitt that those damn camry's are popular with the average 'merican.
True but without some sort or spark or cachet, people looking for just good reliable transportation could easily be swung to Hyundai or another competitor if the price is right. While I don't think Hyundai is up to Toyota's level quite yet, they will be soon at least IMHO and then unless Toyota has some new image there could be trouble.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:41 AM   #15
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Keep in mind Toyota has more North American auto content than Ford. This is a high percentage American employer. We can't afford to lose more jobs in USA.
Toyota did not "open" SIA.
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #16
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Keep in mind Toyota has more North American auto content than Ford. This is a high percentage American employer. We can't afford to lose more jobs in USA.
NUMMI is being shutdown next year.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:12 PM   #17
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Toyota would have been a pariah like GM or Chrysler had they been an American company.

Fortunately for them, the Japanese government will loan them money, change vehicle laws/taxes and do anything necessary to help them recover. I'm glad he at least realized the mistake, my Toyota built in 2002 is subpar in every way to the one I had built in 1992.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:34 AM   #18
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I really am impressed with my Alpine (thought it was going to suck).

Nick
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:46 AM   #19
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Would people stop dumping on GM, holy crap. They f'd up, every auto company has, but a lot of our country would not be what it is today if it were not for GM. People are quick to forget what GM did for this country in building it up into the super power that it is today in lending factories to build the tanks and weapons used to defeat the axis powers in WWII (yes I admit quite a bit of controversy involving building axis vehicles too), employing more people than any other company in this country and creating GMAC MANY years ago allowing people to afford the cars and homes of their dreams. AND ONCE AGAIN OUR GOVERNMENT GIVES TONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS AS WELL AS TAX BREAKS TO FOREIGN AUTO COMPANIES. I think Subaru screwed up in making the STI a hatch, I don't like hatchbacks but I don't want subaru to go under because of it, I just want them to make a car that I want again. Ok done with my rant for the time being LOL
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:24 PM   #20
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Would people stop dumping on GM, holy crap. They f'd up, every auto company has, but a lot of our country would not be what it is today if it were not for GM. People are quick to forget what GM did for this country in building it up into the super power that it is today in lending factories to build the tanks and weapons used to defeat the axis powers in WWII (yes I admit quite a bit of controversy involving building axis vehicles too), employing more people than any other company in this country and creating GMAC MANY years ago allowing people to afford the cars and homes of their dreams. AND ONCE AGAIN OUR GOVERNMENT GIVES TONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS AS WELL AS TAX BREAKS TO FOREIGN AUTO COMPANIES. I think Subaru screwed up in making the STI a hatch, I don't like hatchbacks but I don't want subaru to go under because of it, I just want them to make a car that I want again. Ok done with my rant for the time being LOL
GM also, single handedly, destroyed our urban mass-transit systems which we are struggling to build today.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:40 AM   #21
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I can only speak of the service I get from our Toy dealership. It sucks, they do not seem to care. I have owned 6 toyotas. This time when trading in the Rav4 after multiple problems I bought a Ford instead. Better craftsmanship with the Ford over the Toyota, so far with 18k no problems. The Rav had been in twice by this point. Perhaps I was just unlucky with the Rav4. I do not think there quality is where it was 10 years ago. I hope they wake up and get back to making simple and apealing small cars that run forever. Done ranting thanks
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:12 PM   #22
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Default Toyota, Saatchi sued for 'terror marketing campaign

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DETROIT -- Toyota Motor Sales USA and its ad agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, engaged in a bizarre, online "terror marketing campaign" that frightened and harassed thousands of consumers via e-mails, according to a lawsuit filed Sept. 28 in Los Angeles.

The suit claims the online effort, dreamed up by Saatchi to create buzz for the youth-targeted Toyota Matrix, involved a series of e-mails last year to plaintiff Amber Duick from the fictitious Brit Sebastian Bowler, who had moved to the U.S.

A Toyota spokesman said the automaker doesn't comment on pending litigation. Kurt Ritter, chairman of Saatchi's west coast operations, did not return an e-mail or phone call for comment.

Bowler's digital missives to Duick indicated he knew her, knew her address and was coming with his pit bull, Trigger, to stay with her to avoid the cops. In his second e-mail to her, Bowler listed his MySpace page, which is still up (although it says he last logged in June 2008)

video here


His video and pictures on MySpace "depict Mr. Bowler as a fanatical English soccer fan who enjoyed drinking alcohol to excess," the suit says. His MySpace page also shows a photo with an arrow pointing to "me" and the caption "my mate took this photo which shows me right before the riot."

One of the nine e-mails to Duick, the suit alleges, was a bill for $78.92 from a motel for Bowler's one-night stay there, plus damage to a TV set and picture frame. He had listed her as a reference and told the motel to send her the bill, the complaint says.

"My client was terrified," said her Los Angeles attorney Nicholas Tepper. "She slept with a machete next to her bed and she slept with mace. She could barely sleep or eat normally."

The suit says "she became physically ill" because she was convinced "a disturbed and aggressive" stranger was en route to her house.

Tepper said laws lag technology.
"The technology comes first and morality and guidelines seem to follow." Tepper said a friend of Duick's sent her an e-mail for a personality test called "The Other You" that triggered the blitz.

The final e-mail had a link to a video that showed Bowler driving into a drive-in movie where the film "Imbecile" was playing. The out-of-focus film shows an old man laughing continuously, revealing to Duick that "she had been punked" and all the e-mails were part of an ad campaign for the Matrix, the suit claims.

The Toyota brand was the sixth largest advertiser in the U.S. last year, based on its measured media spending of $824 million, says TNS Media Intelligence. The automaker said last month it will spend $1 billion on advertising and incentives in the fourth quarter across its Toyota, Scion and Lexus brands.

The suit comes after Toyota Motor announced Sept. 28 it is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA on a plan for a recall of 3.8 million vehicles -- which will be its biggest ever in the U.S. -- due to an issue with floor mats.

Toyota issued a safety advisory Wednesday urging owners of five Toyota models and two Lexus models to remove driver-side floor mats which, if not secured properly or if additional non-factory mats are used, can cause uncontrollable acceleration. The carmaker is asking owners not to replace the mat with any other.
http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dl...73366025532771
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:58 AM   #23
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Go back to 1993 Toyota. You had the Celica All-Trac, the MR2, and you brought us the MKIV Supra.

God that was a good year.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:21 PM   #24
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Go back to 1993 Toyota. You had the Celica All-Trac, the MR2, and you brought us the MKIV Supra.

God that was a good year.
+1
I'd be happy to consider a Toyota again if they make something interesting. Hell, even a hybrid sporty car like they were talking about a few years ago would get me to take a look.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:28 PM   #25
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Toyota wouldn't necessarily realize how sever this was going to be if they hadnt already seen it happen to two other major American company's so don't give him to much credit.

If you ask me Toyota could do with a little downsizing. Their overpriced, boring, and ugly vehicles need some help. Plus look where they have directed our beloved Subaru. The latest Legacy is an abomination in styling.

Toyota has for some reason been taking over for quite some time now and im glad their growth is slowing.
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