Toyota Jumped the Shark Today


“With our rivals and the rules of competition also changing, a life-or-death battle has begun in a world of unknowns,” [Toyota CEO] Toyoda said during a fiscal update last week. “Cost reduction is crucial. It is a fight to restore our original strength.”

Dear Toyota USA
I read the article below and it sickens me. You are a great company well on the way to being FCA if you take your eye off product and think only of Expense controls.
Having worked for a company that cut expense for 17 straight years (when it wasn't spending $3 Billion to buy companies it had no idea what to do with), let me be the first to say, this will not work, and it will drive your talent away.
It's not employees' fault that Tundra is a dead stick. Chevy makes oodles of cash off the Tahoe/Suburban line and you can't move the metal. Your hybrid strategy is a money-losing mess. Your playboy CEO wants to go racing and no one's been minding the store for nearly a decade.
To wit:
- The Tundra is a distant 4th among full size trucks.
- Scion lived for 5 years too long.
- The FT86 was a vanity project.
- You have a rebadged Mazda2 *and* a Yaris? Huh?
- the Carbon-fiber @ scale stuff from the LF-A hasn't paid off.
- Hydrogen fuel cells are the _right_ answer, but the market wants BEVs, and you're waiting _forever_ for your solid-state tech to mature.
But here we are. It's time to 'trim the fat'. Give me a break.
Is this armchair quarterbacking? Sure. None of this is easy. You need *product* and you can't trade on your name and reliability reputation forever. You need *profitable* products that don't need incentives, and in the current climate that means trucks.
The new Camry is the definitive midsize sedan. The Taco is still good. The 4Runner is great and very profitable. Fix the Monstrosity that is the Tundra and the rest of this is academic, and kill the vanity projects.


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