Monday, April 05, 2010

Has Bogus Attack on Toyota Awakened a Sleeping Giant?

Almost one month ago, I wrote an article entitled “Toyota Recall a Hoax?” for my blog and Hometown News. You can read it by clicking on http://oncars.blogspot.com/2010/03/toyota-recalls-hoax.html.

I believe my column was prophetic. The only people still throwing rocks at Toyota are the hard core of the motley crew comprised of the Detroit Big 3 establishment voiced by the Detroit Free Press. The former members of the motley crew, the media and the US Congress have deserted Detroit to focus their attention other “important” issues.

The inbred Detroit-UAW-Bloomfield Hills Country Club- “Big 3” cultures just don’t get it. Fortunately for them, our government bought control of GM and Chrysler, so the US Congress drank the Detroit cool aide too. Of course the media hopped on the bandwagon like they did Tiger Woods’ sex life or an alleged gang-rape of a prostitute by a hockey team.

This motley crew with their former members, the media and the Congress, piled on Toyota with more nonsense and false allegations than most could even imagine. After this nonsense became boring and the public didn’t care or believe it anymore, Toyota added some price incentives last month and out-retailed EVERYBODY by at least 40,000 units and 40% of those sales were to owners of other make cars. The bottom line is the American consumer didn’t drink the Detroit cool aide.

There was a headline in the Saturday, April 3 Detroit Free Press, “Toyota must decide how badly it wants to land sales”. The gist of the article is that Toyota “bought the business” last month by bribing people to buy unsafe cars. Now, would you buy a car that you feared would kill you or a family member just because you could get 0% financing for 60 months? I don’t think so! The Detroit motley crew has awakened a sleeping giant. You see, people buy Toyotas instead of Pontiacs because Toyota builds better cars. Now that the false pundits have threatened and angered Toyota, Toyota has decided that they will also give “Big 3” owners a price incentive too. Check out Toyota’s balance sheet. They have “cash coming out of their ears!” GM and Chrysler are “hanging by a thread” and a prolonged price-war with Toyota will sever that thread.

My opinion is that of a former GM dealer (Pontiac) for 30 years who was lucky enough to buy a Toyota dealership in 1975. I’ve played on both teams, General Motors and Toyota, and I’ve lived both sides of the story.

I recommend that you read “Crash Course” by Paul Ingrassia. There’s a great review of the book in Barron’s, Monday, April 5 issue. The article on page 40 is entitled “How Detroit Ended Up in a Ditch”. 40. As a Pontiac dealer for 30 years while owning a Toyota dealership for 23 of those, I can vouch for the accuracy and objectivity of this book.

You think March sales were a fluke for Toyota? Anybody want to bet that Toyota out-retails every other manufacturer again in April?

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