• Apr 25th 2007 at 8:34AM
  • 28

Toyota's learning that in the case of the Tundra, American buyers won't just pick from the selection of trucks the dealer has left. It's a role reversal for the automaker used to people accepting whatever Camry they can get.

Former VP of Marketing Jim Farley said Tundra buyers "have a build-to-order mentality that we are not used to at Toyota." Whereas a Ford truck dealer often has an inventory that looks like the factory shipping yard, or has a dealer nearby who does, Toyota doesn't keep nearly as much inventory on hand. But truck buyers want what they want, and they don't want to pay for it until they see it. Toyota and its dealers are having to adjust. The company is using a vehicle pool, swapping Tundras between regions, and letting dealers modify orders. But as Toyota gets to know more of the American car buyer, it will find out just how many hurdles domestic makers often have to jump through to make a sale. It's not easy being number one -- just ask GM.

[Source: Autoweek]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm still trying to figure out if i should buy a 08 Titan or a 07 Tundra this fall. The guys and Gals at http://www.toyotatundraforum.com seem really happy with their Tundras but so are the people at http://www.titantruckz.com/. I guess when the time comes it'll be who gives me the best deal and I have a sneaking suspicion that if gas hits the $4 a Gallon that they are predicting this summer the deals are going to be really enticing but If not there is always the Nissan Rogue http://www.nissanroguesuv.com/ which I'm sure will have the MPG and a low sticker price.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey Jim Sanders, anyone with a brain knows that advertising in newspaper and television for cars is limited to a certain amount, like 5, 10 or so unless stated otherwise. I know I sold cars. As for the Houston area, Texas of course, the truck capital of the world, Toyota has incentives as high as 2,000 cash back already on ALL ext cabs and 1k on ALL reg cabs. Ford has 4k on a FOUR YEAR OLD TRUCK! And the Ford only sells a few hundred bucks lower than a new Tundra. Yeah Toyota handed their @zz to themselves on this one. This might be the last attempt we ever see truckwise.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hopefully the other two truck makers have got it right by now. The German one obviously didn't or they wouldn't be trying to flog it off. Gee! Toyota has been at this for a couple of years now. You would think they would be better then the Americans by now. Toyota probably needs a few more months yet. It took the Americans almost a century.

      Now get off the pot Aaron and groupies. You cry like some whimpy child who is afraid of the future. The remaining two American car companies may end up like Chrysler and your blaming everyone but them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The mentality of "take what's on the lot" and the extreme arrogance and outdated high pressure "this deal is only good for the next 5 minutes", "I have an idea let me get the sales manager", "we're kind of slow today, I'll let you have this car for sticker price just because I like you and we haven't sold many cars today" kind of tactics, and the swarm of bees (19 year old "sales associates") who attack you the moment you drive onto the lot, are going to be the downfall of Toyota in the long run.

      My wife likes Toyotas and has had 2 of them. Buying her cars (Camry and Sienna) was less enjoyable than a root canal. One dealership never would give me a straight answer on price, and the one we ended up buying the van through took over an hour to just give me a stinking price. Then the haggling started, but it took an hour to get to the point we could actually talk. They kept playing the "make me an offer" game. We went to 4 Toyota dealerships in the area and all were that bad.

      Contrast that to the buying experience last summer on Pontiac G6 Convertible. I shopped 2 GM dealerships and was treated well at both. The sales staff was courtious, quoted a price right up front, and actually pretended they appreciated my business. So far, I've had fewer problems with the Pontiac than I had with either of my wife's Toyotas. In fact, the only issue with the Pontiac was a "squeak" in the convertible top. I took it back to the dealer, they made some adjustments on the mechanism and it's been fine since. I had the Toyotas back a number of times for issues (water pump went out on one, alignment/eating tires issues, power window motor burned out in the first 2 months on BOTH of them, headlight housing that would not align the beam correctly and had to be replaced, and others).

      Toyota cars are no gems as far as build quality is concerned. I do not know how they got the reputation of being high quality because the two I've owned both had a lot of little problems that added up to a pain in the back. Then couple the problems with a very negative buying experience and Toyota's run at the top is going to be short lived.

      I have had a Ford Escape and a Pontiac G6 Convertible in the time we've had the 2 Toyotas. Neither the Ford or the Pontiac have been in the shop for anything other than the above mentioned squeak in the top. The Ford had a recall about something with the throtle cable and I had that fixed when I had it in for an oil change. No problems at all.

      So, positive buying experience, and trouble free cars (Ford and Pontiac) vs. horrible buying experience and nagging issues. Which one would you prefer?

      I'm not a "Buy American" fanboy and not a "Japan is great" fanboy. Just relating personal experience.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Never a truer article has been written. I am a Toyota salesman and this is a big part of what we have been dealing with. It is a different market for us and the buyers are much more particular. There are more challenges, but there are also more opportunities. There definitely needs to be a change, but it appears from where I stand that Toyota is working on making those adjustments.

      The previous Tundra did prepare us for this a little bit, but there are simply more options and configurations now. The option lists on these trucks look like alphabet soup. It is allot for the salesman and customer to comprehend, but it does allow choice once we can find a way to fully exploit it. I currently have two trucks on order that Toyota does not have as a standard build, so I am crossing my fingers that I can get these for my customers.

      To a potential Tundra shopper out there I say stick with it. Use your sales consultant to learn what features are best for you, but also get what you want. There are probably going to be some dealers that are more open to getting you the truck you want than others. Also keep in mind that it may take a little while and watch for over-promises. I always try to err on the side of caution. I may lose some sales that way, but I work to make sure that I can meet my customer’s expectations.
      • 8 Years Ago

      I'm well aware of many challenges of getting vehicles assembled to dellivered in two weeks, but I don't think it's an unreasonable goal. We've been able to cut down the shipping time from goods from Asia to the US particually by Walmart and Target. Many thought it just had to take months to get those goods and that it would never change.

      You said that uner today's process you were able to get a vehicle in 4 weeks. By saying you don't think we can down to 2 weeks, thats basically saying that you think the process is currently running a near optimum efficiency, which I don't think you believe. Also if more dealerships were open to trading vehicles it would help the supply chain as when I spec out a vehicle, I don't care if it comes off a lot 1,000 miles away or straight from the factory.

      I think the industry is moving towards being able to deliver vehicles quicker, but they have been focusing on the design and engineering aspects so vehicles don't take as long to go from concept to production. This is also important in allowing consumers to choose what they want.

      I won't dispute your comment about the unions being a roadblock to progress.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm not just going to spend $35-$40k on something that doesn't have everything I want. I think this is normal. These new trucks are awesome!

      2007 Toyota Tundra Forums
      • 8 Years Ago
      Funny that I didn't see anyone suggest the Honda business model. FEWER options instead of more. Just offer each body style in maybe 3 configurations.

      1. Base work
      2. Mid line, include pwr windows, seat, etc
      3. High line, w/ all the bells/whistles except maybe NAV, which would a 4th subgroup.

      It seems it would save enough in production costs and inventory costs and transportation costs to make accepting a few extra items you maybe didn't want almost "free". (it does cost you a few hundred $$$ to buy a truck they brought in from 90 miles away, even if they hide it in the numbers)

      I've bought a lot of trucks, some fancier than others. But any used car appraiser will tell you (one did tell me) that most of these fancy options are worth nothing (he held up his hand to make a big ZERO symbol)or very little. So either you have money to burn (buy the loaded version) or you don't (buy the mid line if you want some luxury with your truck)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Aaron: Yeah, TTAC is pretty lame. You gotta love the "don't criticize anything on the website or your comment will be deleted" rule. I had a comment removed once because I questioned his opinion and the fairness of the website in general. I mean how do they justify reviewing a GM car only to post an editorial about how GM sucks right next to it? Or the exaggeration of Domestic faults coupled with the downplay of Asian import faults. Or how they bash magazines for their acceptance of manufacturer ads when reviewing the same cars.... oh wait, what's that on the TTAC home page? A Toyota ad..... hmmmm. I know that by visiting TTAC they get money from ads for my hit, but still it's funny to read the BS on that website. Especially Glenn A the Prius dude. Anytime there's an article on Toyota or Hybrids, Glenn A shows up and preaches. My favorite was when he said the regen braking on his Prius saved the life of a kid he almost hit. Too funny!

      Brad: It may be inefficient, but people are willing to pay to get what they want. Especially once you eclipse the $20k mark, and past $30k I'd expect nothing less than being able to buy exactly what I want. Compare $33k and waiting 3 months to get exactly what you want versus $30k and getting it immediately for something you kinda like, but isn't really what you wanted. Seems like an obvious answer to me when you're dealing with that kind of cash and something that you'll likely keep for 4 years. I hope GM and Ford take advantage of this and cater to those who want a specific car and let the sheep keep buying their appliances at Toyota and Honda because that's what Consumer Reports told them to do.
      • 8 Years Ago
      HOLD ON!!!! All this criticism as Toyota becomes the #1 auto maker in the world. I love it!!! I'm not an expert, but Toyota has set the standard for a lean manufacturing "pull" system. In simple words, they keep a minimum inventory and produce only what a customer wants. There is no way to please everyone, but again as Toyota becomes #1, they've obviously done something right.
      • 8 Years Ago
      31. Right on point Don.. They overspent on the factory, messed up the engine plant schedule, underestimated demand for the certain body types, slapped incentives on it already (which normally when done on the american side garners laughs from the import loyalists), overpriced and overequipped the base ones, put together a craptastic intrior and assumed the normal way of take what you get would work..

      Posted at 3:24PM on Apr 25th 2007 by Aaron

      Looks like TTAC agrees...

      "The Curse of the Toyota Tundra"

      White Goodman, if you think TTAC is Toyo's fan site you should read this.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hopefully the other two truck makers have got it right by now. The German one obviously didn't or they wouldn't be trying to flog it off. Gee! Toyota has been at this for a couple of years now. You would think they would be better then the Americans by now. Toyota probably needa a few more months yet. It took the Americans almost a century.

      Now get off the pot Aaron and groupies. You cry like some whimpy child who is afraid of the future. The remaining to car companies may end up like Chrysler and your blaming everyone but them.
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