• Jan 15, 2009
Remember that horrible "Saved by Zero" campaign (no, not that one) that Toyota ran late last year? Besides producing some of the worst commercials the world has ever seen, it was a failure when it came to its singular goal of selling more cars and trucks. Toyota was the only automaker in the top five that actually lost market share at the end of the year, despite running its 0% financing deals. So, what's next? Incentives.
According to Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales here in the States, "The shift that you'll see in January from December is more consumer cash and less APR and lease support through our dealers."

These days, the biggest rebates come on big trucks like the Tundra, but we should also expect some great on everything from subcompacts like the Yaris to hybrids like the Prius. So if you're thinking of buying a new Toyota, you might want to hang on a little while longer.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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  • 41 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Part of Toyotas problem may be that the market is crashing harder in areas where they tend to thrive. California has one of the worst economic situations in the US and imports rule the roost in California. Until urban areas where Toyota reigns supreme begin to recover from the recession, we can expect more of the same.

      I am sure this is a situation Toyota wanted to avoid at all costs. Adding incenteves may become an expectation of Toyota buyers for a long time to come. This is also not good for resale values as they compare to sticker price not sticler minus the $2500 rebate.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Being from Australia, I wouldn't expect you to know that one of the largest reasons behind GM, Chrysler, and Ford's woes is related to legacy costs and not from thier operations in foreign markets. They compete quite well in other markets thank you very much.

      Many of the legacy costs stem from the fact that management and unions expected the American buying public to be loyal to thier brands forever on thier home turf. This was not the case and now every working employee at GM is responsible for about 3.8 retirees. This can't work EVEN IF YOU ARE TOYOTA!

      Japanese domestic market companies have been vehemently protected to keep the same from happening there. Toyota holds about 50 percent of the market in Japan. How well off would they be if Hyunai, Kia, VW, BMW, Ford, GM, Mercedes, and the plethora of Chinese makes began chipping away at this market dominance. Toyota would be in dire straights at home if Japan honestly had an open market and Toyota's share of the market fell to about 20 percent like GM did in it's home market.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Given the state of the economy and the auto industry I'm really not impressed by the rebates being offered on automobiles. While I don't really check on trucks and their rebates, I just thought manufacturers would be a little more willing to throw cash at consumers when it came to sedans vans wagons and hatches.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If Toyota effective lowers the price of a 2009 Camry via cash rebates, then this effective price gets closer to a used 2008 Camry, which means that the 2008 will have to lower its price and the 2007 as well and so on....it will reduce residuals for the Camry and then cost more for Toyota when they receive Camrys back from leasing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This was inevitable, it took a while but it happened.
      People now realize that Camry and Corolla are the least remarkable cars on the market.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Az Mike - There is no dening that Toyota is defantly the most competantly managed car company of any and they deserve credit for doing everything they can to retain permanent employees all while Ford and GM have literally retrenched hundreds upon hundreds of workers. Infact - thousands.

      Here in Australia, Ford and Holden have been no different and retrenched many hundreds of positions all while Toyota as the 3rd local manufactuer has yet to sack a single person and all positions have been retained (to date) and that is despite the current hardship.

      I don't agree with much of your statement as believe alot of it is a load of rot.

      Take GM for instance, they have been the biggest selling automotive manufactuer for inexcess of 70 years yet how well are they taking the current crisis and the fact Toyota has toppled them as No.1 ... from were i sit and observe - not to well at all.

      Toyota is a damn good company and strives to promote loyality as much as they can but at the end of the day, everything has it limit.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well what I was trying to refer to was starting from the middle of the paragraph of this abstract:
        http://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/2625.html
        From the sentence "Australia has a long...."
        I have no idea why it is not copy and pastable for some magical reason, and why even posting the URL of the original website that hosts it doesn't work (this is a mirror). Maybe some kind of weird copyright thing, but very bizarre.
        • 6 Years Ago
        wow since that previous comment actually posted, I guess I'll just post without the excerpt.

        @AZMike
        The US still charges a small tariff on imported parts and cars, which is already enough to promote using domestic content when possible-which is why foreign car companies from Toyota to Hyundai to Mercedes have plants here and use US parts. There is thus no need for a domestic parts rule, especially considering the following.

        Australia does not have a high domestic content requirement anymore. (see above post and google for the article since autoblog's comment system literally doesn't let that thing post)

        To put it into real world terms for you: right Toyota makes their cars here, and use US parts because we have competitive parts and manufacturing. They use domestic content if it's cheaper to make it here because it makes financial sense for them. If you forced all car manufacturers to use a large percent of domestic parts you'd basically force them to buy parts even if those parts cost a lot more and made no sense. Thing is, right now Toyota exports cars built here to Europe across the atlantic. It wouldn't make any sense to do so if cars built here had to use uncompetitive parts, so they would stop building and exporting those cars. And the same applies to all the other car companies and even parts suppliers themselves. Toyota would just start buying parts from Europe for their sales there, or just ship things in from Japan if it's cheaper. The big 3 car companies wouldn't use our own parts either for export because those cars would be insanely uncompetitive-so they'd start buying more parts from elsewhere for export. So all you'd end up doing is hurting the parts industry even more.
        And this is all before you consider the fact that changing trade agreements is going to get your country reciprocal tariff increases that are going to make it even harder for to export anything.

        Making all this even worse is the fact that not only have you cut off our export income, we're now spending more of what money we do have on ridiculously expensive and uncompetitive car parts. This would be an absolute disaster for the economy.

        Free trade WORKS because it lets everyone use the most competitive things and trade with each other. It's not a coincidence that the wealthiest countries also happen to be the ones with the freest trade!

        If any of these ideas could actually work to make our economy much stronger you can bet that we'd be doing it right now. But there's a reason why nobody does this crap anymore, and it's because every country that's tried has failed miserably. It wasn't until China opened itself up to foreign companies and capital that their economy finally grew. Did they have tariffs after opening up? Yes but it made sense then because they had no established industries of their own that could even hope to compete against any foreign companies-20 years ago there was no Chinese car industry at all (save for a few hand-built cars for the party heads). If they didn't use tariffs they'd have just given away what little money the country had. There's a reason why China has been LOWERING their tariff every single year-it's 9.8% now, down from 16.4% just 8 years ago (almost half!) and they'll keep lowering it. Somewhat obviously, their economy hasn't tanked in the last 8 years. Have uncompetitive companies gone bankrupt from this? Yes but that's a good thing-you don't want uncompetitive companies wasting your national income on crap that's not competitive and can't ever be exported.

        It doesn't make any sense for a country with established industries to raise tariffs or make barriers to free trade, because it just ends up making your own industries less competitive, and triggers reciprocal tariffs from everyone else that kill your exports. It's GOOD to be able to import cheap parts and goods from elsewhere so your industries can use the most competitive parts, and so your country doesn't spend an obscene amount of it's income on overpriced crap that couldn't possible sell as exports.

        The world economy can actually grow and make EVERYONE wealthier when you trade. I know these ideas "feel" great intuitively, but there isn't some fixed amount of money in the world-the world can get wealthier over time, and you can make that happen with trade so that there'll be more money to go around. It's unfortunate that this isn't more obvious to most people.

        I know these ideas are popular and populist, but I'm getting really, really, tired of people on Autoblog blaming all kinds of crap for the US auto industry's problems. I love the US auto industry, and it's a point of personal pride that the US makes some of the best cars in the world (I still think our stuff is much better than the Europeans-VW is already like their most reliable normal car). But this crap is like whini
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow did the comment system kill this thread or something? Nothing posts.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Az Mike - i served in the Royal Australian Navy for nearly 12 years and have travelled extensively but admittedly never to the US or any associated territory.

        As for my comment regarding Toyota and it's management ... they are infact arguably the most competantly managed automotive manufactuer that can be found anywhere in the world today yet wether you choose to acknowledge that or not doesn't change that very simply fact ... not even remotely.

        Regarding local content in Australia for all cars sold, that is infact grossly incorrect as the bulk of saleable vehicles sold annually are imported with exception to the Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Territory aswell as the Toyota Camry and Aurion which are the only vehicles on sale in Australia that are locally manufactuered - everything else is imported.

        And while you critise Toyota supposedly exploitng markets such as the US, please do not forget that Ford and GM own quite a number of subsidaries throughout the world that they have been exploiting for a number of generations themselves but i guess it is OK for American companies to exploit themselves throught the rest of the world but not foreign companies to the US doing the same in the The States ... wouldn't you agree that is a rather ignorant and arrogant point of view because i sure as hell do.

        Here is a single example of so many ... for many long years, Holden has advertised itself in Australia as the 'Australian Company' despite the fact it is 100% American owned.

        Regardless of the conversations we can undulge in for many hours, nothing changes the fact that Ford, GM and Chrysler landed themselves in the dog house for many reasons and most of them due to thier own ignorance, arrogance and just downright incompetant management.

        On the other hand, if the American BIG 3 were inflicting damage on the rest of the global automotive community then people like yourself wouldn't give a damn otherwise but because the boot is on the other foot this time around ... people like yourself try to blame everybody else instead of the very people and culture that created it.

        Do yourself a favour fella and step up the plate and accept were the blame rightfully lies and not try to justify it otherwise.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This post is broken into a few parts since I'm having trouble getting it to post:

        @AZMike
        The US still charges a small tariff on imported parts and cars, which is already enough to promote using domestic content when possible-which is why foreign car companies from Toyota to Hyundai to Mercedes have plants here and use US parts. There is thus no need for a domestic parts rule, especially considering the following.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Shane,

        you obviously haven't traveled much; I been to Australia seven times.

        what is amazing about Australia is they have actual local-content requirements for all vehicles sold, and have since the auto industry began there. anything else brought in ("fully imported" in Aussie-speak) is subject to very stiff tariffs.

        we are too dumb to do that here in the US. we allowed the Japanese to send anything they wanted here without any local-content rules at all. they sold all of their vehicles here FOR LESS THAN COST. until 1985; it took a Congressional investigation at that time to stop it. if you owned a business, would having a competitor who sold for less than cost to be an issue? damn right you would!

        Toyota isn't "the most competently managed" they've just learned to exploit countries like the US, paying wages far lower than similar wages paid by the UAW. we'll leave out the wages Toyota's Japanese workers receive, because they are THREE TIMES HIGHER than their UAW counterparts.

        of course, their government artifically controls the Yen's value, to always make the exchange rate beneficial to their manufacturers. they are actually building FEWER vehicles here in the US on a percentage basis than they did five years ago. how would that fly Down Under? I didn't think so.

        as far as the "rest of my statement being rot"; what do you base that on? personal experience of the American automotive marketplace? you obviously don't have any; I owned a new car dealer for ten years. there are very few other countries besides the US and Canada that offer incentives of any kind (let alone the size of ours), or subsidized financing like we do here in the US and Canada.

        the truth is that Australia is a very closed market, and is one tenth the size of the US market. you'll never see deals or incentives like we do in North America.

        AZMike

      • 6 Years Ago
      it just goes to show that no one is invincible from everything that is happening
      • 6 Years Ago
      methinks the emperor gots no clothes.

      many of us have had to listen endlessly about all of Detroit's "faults", and how the Japanese know everything.

      I've pointed out (as well as others) that the downturn is affecting all manufacturers, not just the domestics. in most cases, the mostly sophomoric audience here at Autoblog just doesn't "get it".

      used truck and SUV values have gone up 50% over what they had been this past summer. whenever this happens (as always), teeny cars move to the back of the lot, and the only folks who buy them are the ones who can't afford anything else.

      expensive, teeny, "statement" cars like the Prius and Smart are languishing on lots and at ports nationwide. no waiting lists for anything. I can remember just a few months back getting into an argument with someone here on Autoblog who refused to believe that there were no waiting lists for the Prius. I provided links to every Toyota dealer in the Phoenix area; lo and behold, every dealer had at least 50 Prius in stock. not everyone everywhere is willing to pay over list for this overpriced car. right now, they're a hundred bucks over invoice. I'm sure the Prius incentives will be at least as hefty as they were back in 2007 ($3,000).

      this has a very strong feeling of deja vu for me. I lived in Hawaii from 1987-1991, and watched everything go to hell there in regard to real estate right after the Gulf War started in August of 1990.

      if an American developer hit a rough spot, they would do whatever it took to keep the project moving. if they needed to renegotiate with the banks that were providing financing, they would.

      what did the Japanese do? they put chain link fences around the projects, and left town. no one even got a final paycheck.

      when you look at the Japanese economy since WWII, it's been up, up, up. they don't have a clue what to do when they is a worldwide downturn. if sales have shrunk in Japan, just raise sales abroad.

      what do you do when that doesn't work?

      if the recession continues at this level, I have a feeling that all the Toyota touchy-feely "we're not building anything, but we're still paying our workers" here in the US will disappear in a puff of public relations smoke.

      AZMike
        • 6 Years Ago
        Regardless of what you think of it the Prius can hardly be considered "teeny" since it's classified as a mid-size car by the EPA. It's certainly one of the smaller mid-size, but if you are going to count that as teeny you have to count every compact as teeny too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Methinks you may be right. + +
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hope people buy a car from them soon or they'll start playing that gosh darn awful song again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It wont get out of my head. Now I cant sleep! curse you Toyota!
        • 6 Years Ago
        OMG! Ever since I read the headline I can't get that song out of my head!!!

        Damn you Autoblog!
        • 6 Years Ago
        The song was fine until Toyota got a hold of it for their crappy commercial. I love The Fixx.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Camry and Corolla are amoung the most reliable, dependable, durable, trouble free and low cost maintenance motor-vehicles on the market.

      The new 2.5 4-cyl engine mated to a 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic gearbox should ensure the Camry remains a highly competitive vehicle as it always has been.

      Toyota makes a damn fine product and certainly amoung the most consistant and competitive of all .
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mr. Rashleigh,

        Have you ever even looked at the competition, other than Honda? A better question is have you ever looked at the numerous quality studies done year in and year out? The reason I ask the second question is because you lumped the Europeans in with the Japanese as having high quality scores. Which has not been the case for many years. Your preachy attitude is unfortunately like too many Americans today. Instead of investigating and considering numerous options you and many like you just take it for granted that there isn't anything out there other than Toyota. When you have a customer that has allowed himself to become that captive it allows the dealer to charge a premium for it's product. Fortunately for you it appears that you are a Toyotaphile. The ones who have been really brainwashed are the Hondaphiles. Those guys pay a premium even above what you pay at your local Toyota dealer.

        I challenge you to drive your precious Corolla over to a Ford dealer and test drive a Focus. You will come away thinking where the hell have I been after experiencing the sportier handling, quitest interior in the class, more torque at the low end of the spectrum where it is needed, and equivalent if not better fuel mileage. And if you are a technophile and with a surname such as yours I suspect you are (stereotyping) you may just be blown away by SYNC like everyone else who has tried it.

        Most importantly for your sake, make sure you don't tell them your name. Due to your posting on this public forum your reputaion may proceed you. You might hear the salesman say "Johnny, it's Rashleigh from Autoblog! Hurry jack the prices up on everything by $2,000. This idiot likes to pay too much for his cars. I think it makes him feel superior"
        • 6 Years Ago
        Jobu37 - Unfortunately for you, reality is not just the American market but the global community woke up to General Motors and Ford and relised much better motor vehicles can purchased elsewhere and that is exactly what they done ... started buying cars elsewhere

        As for Toyota ... they arguably engineer amoung the highest quality, most reliable, dependable and troublefree motor vehicles available today and you can be assured they will remain highly competitive in the years to come and that is more i can say about GM who might not even make it out the dog house they made for themselves and deservidly so as they are undeniably amoung the most ignorant, arrogant and incompetantly managed automotive manufactuer of all.

        Why does Toyota charge a premium ... because they can and the comfort they enjoy is that they have room to move not just with the pricing of thier vehicles to retain customers but the relative flexibility of adjusting thier fleet.

        Unlike Ford and GM who have to literally invest billions upon billions of dollars to comprehensively restructure thier failed empires, Toyota only has to either drop some models or adjust production numbers to satisfy the ever changing market.

        And while i am at it, in 2007 Toyota only marginally outsold GM to become the world's No.1 automotive manufactuer but last year (2008), they eclipsed GM by an impressive 1 million plus units and that is despite the economic downturn.

        So who exactly have woken up to who may i ask because according to sales statistics, GM and Ford are not fairing to well at all ... are they - especially on a global level.

        Don't get me wrong, each and every manufactuer wether they build trains, planes or automobiles have thier challenges to restrict operating losses especially in times like now but the differance is ... some are in much better condition then others.

        And before i conclude, you can be assured Toyota will bounce back more quickly from the current slump then GM could ever hope and that's even if they not opearting under bankruptcy protection by then.

        And Mr Jabu ... the reason why companies like GM continued to manufactuer such poor quality trash for so many years is because not only did people like yourself accepted it for whatever stupid reason but never knew any better. But haa ... i guess Ford, GM and fans alike finally woke up and smelled the coffee.

        The differance is, most reputable Japanese and European car companies engineer high quality motor-vehicles because it is the DNA of thier culture whereas Ford and GM only decided to invest greater effort simply becuase they had no choice otherwise.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Derek - so what exactly has Ford and GM got to stand out from others then !!

        At the end of the day, Toyota arguably has the most consistant and competitive fleet of all and i guess the very simple fact that they are currently the worlds No.1 manufactuer suggest many disagree with your statement.

        Happy Penguin - historically the American population has developed the best space craft, aircraft and military equipment yet amoung the worst and most horrid automotive vehicles to have been released especially common joe-blow cars.

        At the end of the day, my statement stands true and although you probably know it, you just don't want to accept it and it has been the denial attitude over the years that ended Ford and GM in the sh*t ... literally !!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Problem is that word "among". Reliable and low cost maintenance pretty much describes any new car. Toyota has nothing else to make them stand out from all the other cars though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Jabu37 - lets get something straight here, over the years it has been the typical Ford, GM and Chrysler loyalist that have been 'philes towards thier beloved brands while everything else wasn't worth sneezing on according to people like yourself.

        But haa ... that is OK but as soon as others start defending anything else then all of a sudden they are branded 'philes or in this case Toyotaphiles.

        Lets face the hard facts here fella, people like yourself hate companies like Toyota because over the years they have grown so successful they now screw your beloved American brands up the backside with a size 20 steel capped boot but if the boot was on the other foot then it be perfectly fine otherwise.

        Well guess what mate ... it's not and just face the raw truth of it all - your beloved Detriot manufactuers have screwed up bigtime and it has been no-ones fault but thier own so stop blaming everybody else but them and soley them.

        As for my defence of Toyota, that is because people like you attempt to spill nothing but pure rot over the internet all because Toyota have become successful for very good reasons while Ford, GM and Chrysler pay the penalty for years of corruption, ignorance, arrogance and just down right incompetance.

        As for you believing people just automatically buy a Toyota without looking at the competition ... what a load of more rot. Have you ever stopped for a minute (probably not) to consider many Toyota sales have come about because customers have done thier research. Fact is buddy despite how painful it may be ... some people simply don't like Ford, GM or Chrsyler and probably for good reasons of thier own.

        People say Toyota styling is boring, well it is obvious that many see it differently. Lets not forget that millions upon millions of customers have endured negative ownership experiances in past from the American trio (wouldn't have been hard) and after making the switch have enjoyed better motoring ownership so no matter how hard Ford and GM work to improve themselves, because of thier questionable past they may never get many of thier once would-be customers back regardless of thier new found propaganda.

        You say GM and Ford now make good products, well guess what dude ... not only does Toyota continue to make a good product today but have been for a lot longer then many examples that have come out of the factories from either of the Big 3,

        Better still ... maybe you should take your Ford / GM rosed coloured glasses of yourself and actually take a stroll down to Toyota, Honda, Mazda etc and take one of thier cars for a drive.

        Last but not least - Quality / Customer Satisfaction Surveys ... once again, incase you haven't noticed and probably not but Toyota / Lexus have undeniably been the most consistant and amoung the highest performing in each and every survey that has been released over the years and not just in the US but pretty much all over the world.

        The thing is with Toyota, they have offered greater consistancy then any of the American 3 unlike some others who appear to do well in some surveys then drop of dramatically in others, Toyota on the otherhand has arguably performed consistantly towards the top in each and every survey no matter wether it be in the US, UK, Canada, Australia or anywhere for that matter.

        As far as i am concerned fella, i just tell it the way it is and if you find that hard to accept (nodoubt you will) then it just is tough luck.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "The differance is, most reputable Japanese and European car companies engineer high quality motor-vehicles because it is the DNA of thier culture whereas Ford and GM only decided to invest greater effort simply becuase they had no choice otherwise."

        There's that mention of DNA again. So Japanese and Europeans are just bred better than Americans. I suppose Hitler was right and we should be breeding a master race. What a load of horsesh!t.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Remember that horrible "Saved by Zero" campaign (no, not that one) that Toyota ran late last year? Besides producing some of the worst commercials the world has ever seen, it was a failure when it came to its singular goal of selling more cars and trucks."



      The person that wrote this most hate Toyota with a passion to go off like that just over a commercial. By the way the writer is talking you would think the commercial was showing babies dieing..or pups being killed. Get a grip it was not that bad and cut the bias act.

      Shame.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Condumrum - make no mistake of it, every company is feeling the pinch with Toyota no exception but the differance is, some are more favourably positioned then others and despite the challenging economic environment, Toyota remains a mega wealthy and stable company all while GM can nol onger stand on thier own feet and dependant on the local purse.

      The longer this downcycle continues, the greater the possibility GM and then perhaps Ford will collapse ... PERIOD !!
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