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post #1 of 51 Old 05-10-2017, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Akio Toyoda: Don't call our cars 'boring' anymore


https://www.usatoday.com/story/money...ngs/101502702/
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Sensible, dependable, long-lasting.

That's how many new-vehicle buyers would describe Toyota. But boring? That hits a little too close to home for CEO Akio Toyoda.

"Until now, there were times when Toyota’s cars were called 'boring' or were said to be lacking in character," Toyoda told reporters Wednesday. "But I now feel that, in terms of driving and design, our customers have begun to favorably evaluate our cars."

Nonetheless, he acknowledged, there's "still room for improvement."

Toyoda's comments came as the Japanese automaker reported so-so financial results for the full fiscal year ended March 31.

Because of tough currency rates, the company reported a 20.8% drop in net income to a still-robust 1.831 trillion yen, or $16.1 billion at today's rates.

In the calendar-year 2016, Toyota lost its title as the world's largest automaker by a slight margin to Volkswagen Group.

Revenue fell 2.8% to $242.2 billion, while operating income declined 30.1% to $17.5 billion. Toyota projected a 2.5% decrease in revenue and an 18% fall in net income for the fiscal year ending in March 2018. The automaker projected fiscal-year retail vehicle sales of 10.25 million, essentially flat.

The company's vaunted profit margins are slipping. Toyota projected that its operating margin would fall from 7.2% last year to 5.8% in the new fiscal year.

Toyoda said the company must prepare for the "paradigm shift" in the industry toward self-driving vehicles.

"It is my view that our latest financial results demonstrate Toyota’s desire to steadily and continuously advance our investment in the future, rather than place top priority on short-term profit," Toyoda said.

He said the company was prepared for dramatic change after establishing an internal division called the Toyota Research Institute to work on futuristic technologies.

For now, though, the company's bread and butter remained vehicles like the recently redesigned Camry sedan, which Toyoda half-jokingly dubbed as "sexy" at the Detroit auto show in January.

The vehicle will be manufactured based on a new global platform for design and engineering. Toyota plans to extend that platform to other vehicles to lower costs and accelerate redesign rates.
http://jalopnik.com/toyota-please-st...ing-1795100473

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/201...o-crisis-mode/

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post #2 of 51 Old 05-11-2017, 10:43 AM
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If Toyoda-san implements his R&D to rejuvenate the floundering TRD division for NA markets and actually put in more powerful engines in their new lineups *C-HR, Corolla, 86* it might not be as boring.
I doubt the new Camry SE/XSE models will be as exciting as the current Mazda 6. One thing Mazda does well is make all of their lineups fun, sporty, and fuel efficient without offering powerful engines.

Hyundai offers a 201HP engine for their Elantra Sport, why can't Toyota offer something similar for their Corollas? Even Honda offers a 201HP engine for their upcoming Civic Si models, let alone a 300HP beast for the Type R. These are cars that are in the same class and yet, the Corolla is the most boring car. Even the Nissan will be offering a "NISMO" trim for their Sentras.

Toyota is just not getting it and is being stubborn with being vanilla, bland, and boring basic cars. Akio's statement that Toyota is beginning to be "exciting" is laughable at this moment.
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post #3 of 51 Old 05-11-2017, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by xpeed View Post
I doubt the new Camry SE/XSE models will be as exciting as the current Mazda 6. One thing Mazda does well is make all of their lineups fun, sporty, and fuel efficient without offering powerful engines.
Bingo.

While I don't need or really want tire-burning performance, simply making cosmetic styling updates is not going to pull Toyota's repuration out of the "boring" category.

The Aztec, Element, and even Avalanche are perfect examples of "out of the box" styling thinking either being a complete failure or at best "Meh"
At one point it looked like GM was going to subcontract their bodies out to Rubbermaid!
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post #4 of 51 Old 05-11-2017, 05:11 PM
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I always liked mid size sedans and had no affection for SUV's. I'm on my 5th Camry and never called any of them boring, not even the Gen 4 Camry. Sure they were not stupidly exiting to drive, but they all were perfectly balanced, nice looking and had nice looking and well thought through and comfy interiors. Unfortunately I can't say the same about the 2015+ Camry and based on the 2018 pictures and what I've heart from someone than have sat in and seen the 2018 Camry in person, looks like my next car will not be a Toyota, no matter how exiting or innovative the 2018 is according to Akio Toyoda. I think they went in the wrong direction with the 2018 design and sitting position and while they might attract some younger customers with better handling and sportier ride, they will lose a lot of high 30's-40's+ customers that historically were buying Camrys.

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post #5 of 51 Old 05-11-2017, 05:24 PM
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Wahahahaha, nope! I'll call him boring to his face if only he would start an account here

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post #6 of 51 Old 05-11-2017, 09:23 PM
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As long as the car gets you where you want to go safely and reliably, so what if it is boring. Many owners are concerned about what tech goodies are included more than sport and performance. Besides, many cities are so traffic choked there is really no room to take advantage of a "fun" car.
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post #7 of 51 Old 05-11-2017, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by molson.david View Post
I always liked mid size sedans and had no affection for SUV's. I'm on my 5th Camry and never called any of them boring, not even the Gen 4 Camry. Sure they were not stupidly exiting to drive, but they all were perfectly balanced, nice looking and had nice looking and well thought through and comfy interiors. Unfortunately I can't say the same about the 2015+ Camry and based on the 2018 pictures and what I've heart from someone than have sat in and seen the 2018 Camry in person, looks like my next car will not be a Toyota, no matter how exiting or innovative the 2018 is according to Akio Toyoda. I think they went in the wrong direction with the 2018 design and sitting position and while they might attract some younger customers with better handling and sportier ride, they will lose a lot of high 30's-40's+ customers that historically were buying Camrys.
Unfortunately for you David, Akio Toyoda is an enthusiast, while his board likely isn't. And of course, your priorities are different (A to B with the minimal cost to operate)

Anyway, most of these Camry buyers have and are moving to SUVs. Camrys don't necessarily need to change, but buyers' tastes already have and all Toyota has to do is make more Highlanders and RAVs while cutting back on car production.
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As long as the car gets you where you want to go safely and reliably, so what if it is boring. Many owners are concerned about what tech goodies are included more than sport and performance. Besides, many cities are so traffic choked there is really no room to take advantage of a "fun" car.
You sound bored yourself zythr

Boring doesn't sit well with the president of the company. He knows you can't just sell on name and reputation alone anymore. Emotionless people will always be emotionless when it comes to car buying, so even if they buy an emotional vehicle, they are likely to remain status quo.

There are plenty of other companies becoming boring, like BMW, perhaps you should jump on a company resting on their laurels. Toyoda san doesn't want to sell you 'boring' anymore, so deal with it.

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post #8 of 51 Old 05-11-2017, 10:30 PM
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Being bored is something that happens in the mind, it has nothing to do with the car. What matters is how you drive, not what you drive. Doesn't matter how the car looks, when you sit in the driver seat you can only see the hood in front of you.

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post #9 of 51 Old 05-11-2017, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Being bored is something that happens in the mind, it has nothing to do with the car. What matters is how you drive, not what you drive. Doesn't matter how the car looks, when you sit in the driver seat you can only see the hood in front of you.
Yes and no. For someone who cares about things other than the drive yes, it will have nothing to do with the car. But for someone who finds pleasure in driving, different cars do elicit different feelings and emotions. A Camry gives different feedback than say a Miata, an enthusiast favorite. While most would find a daily commute in a Miata a PITA, many would enjoy a spirited drive in the same car. For someone with a Camry, the drive is soothing and isolating from life's issues and what not.

As people we all are different, so for each car, YMMV. On TN, we have all different sorts of owners, many who just love Toyota for the comfy ride and reliability, etc. who are not necessarily 'car enthusiasts', while there are others like myself who like cars beyond just what the Toyota brand offers and are enthusiasts in general who've grown up liking them since we started playing with Hot Wheels and what not. Akio Toyoda is more of the latter IMO.

For what the Camry is for, it does its job well. It doesn't satisfy the average car enthusiast's definition of a fun ride (I've driven my share of Camrys), but that's never been its intention. If anything, all Toyota is doing is making it look more sporty rather than to stick the suspension of an 86 on there (They have made some tweaks though).

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post #10 of 51 Old 05-12-2017, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by got-rice View Post
Unfortunately for you David, Akio Toyoda is an enthusiast, while his board likely isn't. And of course, your priorities are different (A to B with the minimal cost to operate)

Anyway, most of these Camry buyers have and are moving to SUVs. Camrys don't necessarily need to change, but buyers' tastes already have and all Toyota has to do is make more Highlanders and RAVs while cutting back on car production.

You sound bored yourself zythr

Boring doesn't sit well with the president of the company. He knows you can't just sell on name and reputation alone anymore. Emotionless people will always be emotionless when it comes to car buying, so even if they buy an emotional vehicle, they are likely to remain status quo.

There are plenty of other companies becoming boring, like BMW, perhaps you should jump on a company resting on their laurels. Toyoda san doesn't want to sell you 'boring' anymore, so deal with it.



Not at all. It's just how it is. Many just want a car to get them where they want to go, be it an exciting ride or not. That being said, good for Toyota for trying to "spice up" their line up.
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post #11 of 51 Old 05-12-2017, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by got-rice View Post
Unfortunately for you David, Akio Toyoda is an enthusiast, while his board likely isn't. And of course, your priorities are different (A to B with the minimal cost to operate)

Anyway, most of these Camry buyers have and are moving to SUVs. Camrys don't necessarily need to change, but buyers' tastes already have and all Toyota has to do is make more Highlanders and RAVs while cutting back on car production.
If you think I'm no car enthusiast you are wrong. I had my share of fun to drive cars and loved my audi 100, 325 and passat, but I switched to cheaper and more reliable hondas and toyotas and was very surprised when the much more exiting to drive gen 7 was introduced. I liked all my cars and done plenty of modifications and DIY's on them, But in order to like my car the car has to be more than an econobox.
Have you ever thought that a lot of ppl moving to SUV's just cuz modern cars got bland and too amorphic or even worse- ugly? Speaking about Camry, more than a year ago one of the Toyota managers I spoke with said that a lot of ppl complaining about the 2015+ Camry and going with the Rav4 or used vehicles or simply leaving the dealership and buying something else. Personally I don't like the Rav4, but if I had to choose between a Camry and a Rav4, I'd go with a Rav just because it looks better, has nicer interior design and materials and better resale.
The new Camry is pretty ugly and disproportional. Its interior looks nice, but according to someone I know, the 2018 sitting position is too low and there a lot of questionable things interior wise.
Akio went in the wrong direction. He's wants to please Camry haters, that constantly complain about it been boring, bland, unexciting and forgot about buyers that were buying Camry since its release. Don't get me wrong, better handling and steering is a great thing and even if most of the Camry buyers don't really care about it, they would appreciate it more or less, unless it would effect the comfort and it sure would bring younger buyers into the Camry camp, but going with such ugliish-cartoonish design is a huge mistake. Most ppl do not buy ugly and weird looking thing even if they are comfortable and reliable.

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post #12 of 51 Old 05-12-2017, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by got-rice View Post
Anyway, most of these Camry buyers have and are moving to SUVs. Camrys don't necessarily need to change, but buyers' tastes already have and all Toyota has to do is make more Highlanders and RAVs while cutting back on car production.
Probably around 2000 or so, and more so 2010, Toyota finally took a look at Honda's "playbook" in having vehicles "grow up" with the driver.

Newer buyers may perhaps lament the up-sizing... I bought an '08 Tacoma because the current gen Tundra is just too effing big, the 1st gen Tundra was perfect....

But looking back at Honda's history, those who had a Civic in college are likely still attracted to the Civic as it has grown up. Likewise with the Accord.

The Camry and Corolla are both much nicer, larger, and more refined than the same models from 1995-2005, so again now, a Camry or Corolla owner from 1995 would be impressed with and likely remain a Camry or Corolla owner in 2016. A Corolla or Corona/Cressida owner from the 70s or early 80s would instead want to move up to the Camry or Avalon.

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post #13 of 51 Old 05-12-2017, 02:46 PM
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Most ppl do not buy ugly and weird looking thing even if they are comfortable and reliable.
I don't know about that. I do see a lot of new Prius and Mirai on the streets here and they're uglier than the new Camry coming out.

Not to mention Nissan Juke and Acura before they cleaned up their current designs.

Which tells me most people don't really mind the look as long it accommodates their needs inside since they're not looking at the exterior of the car most of the time.

My gut tells me most past Camry owners will still go for the new Gen 8 coming, regardless as every new car design tends to "warm up" to the consumers. Heck, even the current Prius design is starting to look "okay" in my eyes but I still won't get one.


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post #14 of 51 Old 05-12-2017, 05:49 PM
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Yes and no. For someone who cares about things other than the drive yes, it will have nothing to do with the car. But for someone who finds pleasure in driving, different cars do elicit different feelings and emotions.
What I meant to say is I've driven dozens of cars, it just rarely happened that I really hated one. Even a 90hp automatic Tercel can make me smile. Regardless of the car I always drive in a spirited manner so it never gets boring. Especially when driving a slow car fast, the sense of danger becomes quite real Everytime I drive I become a race car driver and boom, instant fun. I guess that's why I like Toyota, I need a car that can take a good beating

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post #15 of 51 Old 05-12-2017, 06:21 PM
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What I meant to say is I've driven dozens of cars, it just rarely happened that I really hated one. Even a 90hp automatic Tercel can make me smile. Regardless of the car I always drive in a spirited manner so it never gets boring. Especially when driving an slow car fast, the sense of danger becomes quite real Everytime I drive I become a race car driver and boom, instant fun. I guess that's why I like Toyota, I need a car that can take a good beating
I don't normally 'hate' cars. I don't understand the 'hate' the Camry sometime get, especially on jalopnik. Only time when I hate a car is when stuff keeps breaking, stupid design flaws (poor placement of things, odd arrangement buttons, excessive dash glare...).

I guess I fit in Phil_Bleach.

IMO as long as the Camry remains the same with the core values with it being a reliable mode of transportation for the majority of people, it will continue to sell just because of the name. Design might make people leave or join the crowd, but that is change.

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