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Toyota #1 in the world

  1. Apr 24, 2007 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://home.businesswire.com/portal...d=news_view&newsId=20070424006461&newsLang=en

    I hate to see US companies falling behind but they deserve it! Case in point: GM blames sluggish SUV sales [due to home equity losses nationwide] for their 2nd place finish last quarter. I think most SUVs should have their tires glued to the ground and the companies making them run out of business.

    Also, as we've discussed before, after twenty years of ownership I am a huge Toyota fan. They make a great car.
     
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  3. Apr 24, 2007 #2

    Evo

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    Toyota's are excellent cars.

    It's irritated me for years that all the drive throughs, including the post office were raised up to suit SUV's. :grumpy: I'm glad to see SUVs falling out of favor.
     
  4. Apr 24, 2007 #3

    G01

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    I can't stand SUV's.........
     
  5. Apr 24, 2007 #4

    Moonbear

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    I agree! Grrrrr. :grumpy: Now I have to stretch to reach the windows, and at a few, can't reach at all unless I open the car door (like at the drive-thru ATM). Very few people who own SUVs actually need them, and most aren't even made to handle the terrain SUVs were originally intended for. Nothing but a status symbol.
     
  6. Apr 25, 2007 #5
    I own a acura--but what convinced me to buy was a friends Civic. I've owned Italian (not!), German, Japanese and USA. I'll buy another in a heartbeat.
     
  7. Apr 25, 2007 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I can't say anything bad about Honda [acura]. By chance I ended up with Toyota over the long run, but I did once own a Civic. Great car.
     
  8. Apr 25, 2007 #7
    Don't flame me for liking an SUV but I think their new FJ cruiser is a really neat vehicle. I am not happy with the new body style of their trucks...not happy at all.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2007 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    A diesel SUV that runs on biodiesel wouldn't be so bad, but it is still terribly dangerous for those of us who drive high milage [much smaller] vehicles. Have you ever been trapped between SUVs in a small car? If anything happens, the person in the small car has a serious disadvantage. Is it right that people trying to conserve energy [in the national interest as well as environmental] have to put their lives at greater risk to do it? This is why I think large SUVs and trucks should be treated as are tractor-trailers - 55 mph max and stay in the right lanes. Besides, forcing the reduced speeds would save energy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
  10. Apr 25, 2007 #9

    JasonRox

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    That won't happen in BIG America. I have never seen a good citizen's interest being put first in my life.
     
  11. Apr 25, 2007 #10
    Is the 55mph max thing just a states thing, because we don't seem to have that here. Semis blow by me all the time at at least 120 (km/h). I don't know how much limiting the speed will really help anyway, accidents will still happen.....small car drivers cause just as many as truck drivers do. Either way I wasn't condoning SUVs or anything I just think the new FJ cruiser looks really neat!!!
     
  12. Apr 25, 2007 #11
    Toyota are very visionary. I had the privilege of attending the opening of their Technical Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. The main speaker was their Director of Technology - a very astute man. They deserve every inch of their hard-won position.
     
  13. Apr 25, 2007 #12

    Moonbear

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    Most states have done away with that limit for some time now. It was implemented back during the 70s fuel shortage (I think) when it was determined that that was the optimal speed for conserving fuel. I don't know if that's the optimal speed for modern cars. For a long time, Federal highway funding to the states was tied to the states maintaining 55 mph as the maximum speed limit, so that's what got them to go along with it (they could have raised it, but would have lost the highway money, which would have been costly to the states). It wasn't meant as a safety measure, just a fuel conservation measure.

    In terms of semis, though, yes a lot of states still have a separate speed limit for them, especially when the car speed limit is fairly high, and that is a safety issue now...it doesn't mean they follow the speed limit. That takes into account the greater stopping distance for a loaded semi, as well as stability of the vehicle at higher speeds.

    The absolute worst combination I frequently see on highways are the semis exceeding the speed limit, and the small sports cars weaving through traffic, also exceeding the speed limit, and cutting off the semis. There are also idiots who will cut in front of a semi and then stop short, giving them no room to stop.

    People driving SUVs, especially the larger models, also often don't realize they are driving a truck and can't just drive it like they drive a car. I think this is even more of a problem since manufacturers have improved the steering so it doesn't "feel" like a truck so much. I think anyone owning an SUV or pick-up truck (or any other large vehicle, like a van, RV, or to tow a travel trailer behind your car) should require an additional driving test and endorsement on their license to be allowed to drive it, just to make sure they know how to drive the thing. This should include things like walking around the vehicle before backing out of a driveway to make sure there isn't anything or anybody behind it in the blind spot, and general awareness that they HAVE large blind spots, appropriate use of the side mirrors, ability to parallel park that monster, knowledge of increased stopping distances and safe following distances, differences in handling during a skid and risks of rollovers on tight curves, etc. Those vehicles do have a lot more in common with what semi drivers need to know than with what the average driving test covers for driving a car. While there are people who do know how to safely drive an SUV or pick-up truck, a lot don't. And, it's really not just them, and not just an issue of fuel consumption. There are people whose regular cars are small compact cars, but then when they need to move, they rent that moving truck and stick a trailer behind it to tow their car, and have never in their life driven a large truck, let alone handled a trailer before, and that's just a dangerous combination to put them on a long road-trip with no experience driving such a vehicle...and anyone with a valid driver's license can do it.

    Anyway, that's not the intent of the thread, and isn't really related to fuel consumption issues, or vehicle manufacturers, I just had to vent that thought.

    More on topic, in terms of vehicle needs of the general public, what manufacturers other than Subaru still have station wagon style models? I think a lot cut those lines as minivans and SUVs became the more popular "family" vehicles, but that's really what most energy-conscious families need...just a vehicle with a large enough area in the back to fit a stroller alongside the diaper bag and groceries. Half the problem is the way strollers have gotten ridiculously huge too. Some of them just won't fit into the trunk of some cars (it frustrates me when the trunk capacity is sufficient to fit something into it, but the opening isn't large enough). The older cars used to have huge trunks and trunk openings, and that was amenable for such uses as fitting in strollers. Station wagons aren't as ugly as they used to be, but maybe they need a make-over and new advertising campaign to get people to move toward smaller vehicles with better mileage without compromising that cargo space they desire. And maybe that's what they need to come out with as hybrid models, or models capable of running on biodiesel, etc, to attract the eco-friendly, family-friendly market.
     
  14. Apr 25, 2007 #13
    I know the Ford taurus used to come in a wagon model but I do not know if it still does. Volvo still might make them as well but I'm not terribly sure.
     
  15. Apr 25, 2007 #14

    Moonbear

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    Checked Edmunds on the Taurus, and they don't list a wagon model, at least for the 2008 year coming out. Oh, but I see they have the Freestyle. I don't even know if I've heard of that before. Is that new? They must not be advertising that very aggressively. Though, the Escape is cheaper!

    You're right, Volvo still has wagons, though with their price ranges, again I can see why someone would opt for a small SUV instead.

    So, it seems there are some options out there, now they just need to get those prices down to compete with the smaller SUVs and advertise them to the soccer-mom market.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
  16. Apr 25, 2007 #15
    The Freestyle is a "crossover" model...kind of half van half SUV. I think it has been out for about 2 years or so now, they advertised it a bit when it first came out but not so much now.
     
  17. Apr 25, 2007 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
  18. Apr 25, 2007 #17

    Moonbear

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    Yeah, I know that NJ does NOT have a separate speed limit for trucks, for example (then again, it's hard for even the cars to get up to the speed limit with all the traffic congestion). I don't think I've seen any separate speed limits here either (and the speed limit for cars is 70), but there are separate truck lanes (or for any other slow vehicle) going UP the mountains (and then they merge at the top with all the cars still trying to race past them :rolleyes:). MI did have a separate truck speed limit, and it was either 55 or 60, but the car speed limit was 75! That was just plain dangerous, because the trucks weren't even required to stay to the right lane, so you'd have a car flying along at 75 (or 80 or 85...no matter how high the speed limit is, there are still people driving 10 over), and come up against a wall of trucks going 55 or 60. If the car driver slowed in time not to hit them, then they're impatiently tailgating the truck, trying to get around to get back to the car speed limit. If you're going to have more than one speed limit, you need separate lanes for vehicles that need to follow those speed limits.
     
  19. Apr 25, 2007 #18
    Toyota have been number 1 for a while, the last chance saloon was passed up by GM when they snubbed Renault, I think they will live to regret that.

    Porsche is actually the most profitable in terms of profit margin per unit sold...

    How big are you talking about here? Ive not been to the states for 3 years or so, but I dont remember SUV's being *that* big, perhaps I was de-astonished by that point or something...
     
  20. Apr 25, 2007 #19

    I'm guessing that they mean larger SUVs such as Expeditions, Excursions and Suburbans rather than the teeny little Jeep I drive. Those SUVs are basically trucks without the box.
     
  21. Apr 25, 2007 #20
    They are about the size of a small mini bus right? By Truck also I guess in America you have a different definition, you dont mean a "Lorry" do you, you mean a "Van"

    We are speaking the same language arent we? :rofl:

    In Europe we dont see these gigantic Van/truck/pickups. We have what we term Cheslie tractors (which your jeep may be classified as, depending which model it is :biggrin: ), which are equally as annoying. Land Rover lost me when they decided to make the Range Rover Sport? What the hell is a Range Rover sport supposed to be? We also have people carriers here, stupid large bus/car things, BUT they are actually economical for the most part, I just dont like em.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
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