• Alex Posted: 12/23/2009 6:02am PST

    The American car companies have finally figured out how to pull up quality and materials, improve their balance sheets and supplier relations and this is the biggest Christmas present they could ever get. There's always some low hanging fruit but good product costs money. Looks like Toyota is headed down the same cost cutting road to oblivion that ruined American product and supplier relationships in the 80's and 90's. It'll be interesting to see how friendly (and high quality) Toyota's suppliers stay when they see their margins under attack. Cost cutting $1,500 off material cost is never worth it in the big scheme of things if it means you need to put a $3,000 incentive on the hood to move the metal. You can only take so much out at a time when the others around you are putting in.

  • R2Dad Posted: 12/23/2009 10:04am PST

    American companies forgot about styling while they were too busy chasing costs and market share the past 25 years. Toyota, which has never been known for styling, is backing down that same path. Will be curious to see where they cut costs on models like the FT-86 (which seems to have the possibility of an attractive design). I can imagine Toyota management completely perplexed by pony cars, because they don't fit the Toyota equation for a sound business case.

  • fb_1510606196 avatar Carl Posted: 12/23/2009 5:38pm PST

    I agree with #1 and #2. I was there when GM was improving profit the same way in the 1960s. I think the new Toyota brass forgot what Deming told them about quality about that time.