Toyota Is Not Having a Good Time

The bad news keeps coming for Toyota

By Brendan Moore

10.17.2007

Since you read this blog, you probably already know that Toyota took a shot to the temple yesterday when Consumer Reports stated that the Camry V6 and the Toyota Tundra are now rated below average in reliability, and further, the Lexus GS, an upscale clone of the Camry, was also rated below average. Additionally, this caused Consumer Reports to withdraw their long-standing “recommend” buy rating on all Toyota cars and trucks.

Wait, there’s more.

Toyota has lost three high-ranking U.S. executives to other car companies recently, they have sustained withering criticism in the past few weeks from environmental groups as a result of their opposition to a bill in the Senate that would require all vehicles sold in the U.S. to get 35 mpg by 2020, and their U.S. sales numbers have dropped for three straight months in a row.

Has the world turned upside down?

Toyota has had everything go their way for so long; it’s all been one long joyride for the company in the U.S. since the Seventies, and it seems almost implausible that they are now experiencing difficulties. And yet, here we are.

Is this a hiccup or the start of a long trend? It’s hard to say – General Motors had a 50-year run of good times until, coincidentally, the Seventies, and then three decades of decline that started with a whole lot of consecutive hiccups. They are just now climbing out of that hole.

It is worth noting that Toyota is managed better now than GM was then, but sometimes events have a way of transcending other attributes.

Stay tuned on Toyota.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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3 Comments

  1. Toyota is a very well-run outfit and they will recover quickly. There are a lot people with a huge interest in seeing Toyota fail and I’m sure they’re overjoyed at Toyota’s troubles, but their joy is isn’t going to last long. Toyota will come back stronger than ever and crush everthing that stands in it’s path, mark my words. Toyota is not GM or Ford or Chrysler, they are agreat company from the top down.

  2. Wow! That’s a pretty high level of confidence there, xray! Is Toyota that good, really? Because to me, they look like just another car company that could be at the end of a very successful run, like VW in the 60s and 70s, GM in the 50s and 60s, etc. But you probably know best, right?

  3. No, I would say we can see right through X-ray man and say he ain’t too bright!

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