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BEST CARS for the Money, Toyota Clear Winner!

Thursday, January 1st, 2009
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Well recent car sales numbers aren’t good…November sales were down over 30% from last year and Toyota dropped 34% as a result of the wide credit crisis and consumer belt tightening that is the new American pastime. Still, this is a great time to buy a new car for those that need one or just want one because they can buy. 

Here’s what’s going on…With such a mixed bag of messages flying around as if shot out of a paintball gun, like domestic bankruptcy, dealer closings, warranty questions, rising incentives but an uncertain economy, and no advice for consumers;….Car Buyers find their head spinning 360 degrees and just don’t know what to do. 

The key to surviving the current marketplace is to stretch dollars as far as they’ll go and that doesn’t mean flocking to the biggest incentives. No, it means focusing on cars that are proven winners and offer great value over the car’s entire lifetime…

Enter this year’s U.S. News Best Car for the Money awards…The awards use U.S. News’ online automotive rankings based on the collective opinion of the automotive press, which helps eliminate subjectivity and elevate expert opinion about each car. Initial price is a factor, but more importantly, a five-year total ownership cost is incorporated. 

Across 14 new car classes, the clear winner is Toyota, with Five Best Car for the Money awards in their classes. They are:

  • Toyota Camry                     Best Midsize Car for the Money
  • Toyota Highlander               Best Midsize Crossover for the Money
  • Toyota Tacoma                   Best Compact Truck for the Money
  • Toyota Avalon                     Best Large Car for the Money
  • Toyota Sienna                     Best Minivan for the Money

Also, Lexus, Toyota’s luxury marquee pulled in another Three awards out of 14.

One reason Toyota models take so many of the awards is their Bulletproof Quality (See Post On Toyota Quality). That not only lowers the cost of maintaining Toyotas; it means that they retain value better than most other cars. With the conditions that we have for the beginning of 2009, it just makes sense to stick with cars that offer maximum satisfaction at a minimal cost.

The U.S. News Best Car for the Money awards cut through the fog surrounding the auto industry and point to Toyota for cars and trucks that combine value with day-to-day livability…and given that new Toyotas can be purchased with an Exclusive Lifetime Warranty for unlimited time and unlimited miles, Buyers have  the can’t lose silver lining they’re looking for in all of this…

Toyota Build Quality

Thursday, December 18th, 2008
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I’ve had hundreds of conversations over the past few years with people who tell me they’ve owned 6 or 7 Toyotas and that the very first one they bought is still in the family on the road, has 250K miles on it with Aunt Lucy’s nephew driving it and, well…this always leads to the question of How Can This Be?

Here is a brief background about The Toyota Production Process that offers explanation for this phenomenon. First of all Toyota does not build vehicles using a mass-production model like American domestics and others do. Toyota reasons that mass production practice of passing errors down the line in order to keep the line running only causes errors and defects to multiply. Mass production workers are oriented to believe that actions they could take to stop the line would be cause for discipline and therefore allow problems that they observe to continue on down the line. The result of this is football stadium size lots full of vehicles with problems and rework defects.

The Toyota Production Process operates on a foundation of some funny looking words like Jidoka, AndonGenchi Genbutsu, and a few others. Jidoka is a term meaning automation with a human touch or the ability to stop production lines anytime at the sight of a problem. Andon refers to realtime visual and physical controls about current production state of affairs, Any Toyota worker can stop the production line  any time at the sign of trouble by pulling an “ANDON CORD”. Genchi Genbutsu is to “Go and See” and is the belief that practical experience is more valuable than theoretical knowledge; “One must see the problem to know the problem”.

The terms above provide 4 foundation principles that Toyota Vehicle Production is built upon:

  • Detect abnormalities
  • Stop production
  • Fix or correct the immediate condition
  • Go and See, investigate, define and eliminate the root cause through corrective measure

Toyota factories also feature the famous “10 Stall Garage” at the End of the Line Defect Check Point. As long as less than 5 stalls are filled with defect vehicles at the same time defined by Toyota’s rigid standards, production lines continue. Anytime defect vehicles fill 5 or more of those 10 stalls, the entire production line stops and all managers “Go and See” to investigate the problem first hand…thus, Genchi Genbutsu applied.

Whether driving a 2009 Avalon Limited or a 22 year old Corolla FX, all Toyotas are built the same way under the principles and funny words outlined above. In addition a buyer can now purchase a new Toyota with an exclusive Life Time Warranty with unlimited miles and unlimited time.

SOUTHEAST TOYOTA INCENTIVES

Friday, December 12th, 2008
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Click Here For Toyota Current U.S. Deals, Rebates, and Incentives
Here are incentives for new Toyotas at your Southeast Toyota Dealers for the rest of the year. If you are thinking about a new Toyota, now is the time to act:               

2008 December Incentives        
12.02.08 – 01.02.09       
         
Camry Hybrid         none      
Prius  Scion            none                       
Land Cruiser          none      
Highlander hybrid   none      

                                                                                     
            
         

Cash back                                      24 mos 36 mos 48 mos 60 mos   72mos
08 Avalon      $1,000  or                 n/a        n/a        n/a       n/a 
09 Yaris         $500  or                    n/a        n/a        n/a       n/a       
08 Yaris         $750  or                    n/a        0%        n/a       n/a       
08 RAV4        $1,250  or                 n/a        0%        n/a       n/a             
08 FJ             $5,000  or                 n/a         0%        0%       0%                       
09 Corolla all  $1,250  or                 n/a        0%        n/a        n/a        
09 Matrix all   $1,250  or                 n/a        0%         n/a       n/a         
09 Camry all   $1,500  or                 n/a        0%       2.90%   3.90%    
08 Solara        $3,000  or                n/a        0%         0%        0%       
08 Highlander $5,000  or                 n/a        0%         0%        0%       
08 Sienna        $2,500  or               n/a        0%         0%        0%  
09 Sienna        $1,000  or               n/a        0%         n/a        n/a        

08 Tacoma      $2,500  or                n/a        0%         0%         0%  
09 Tacoma      $750     or                n/a        0%         n/a         n/a  
Sequoia all      $4,000  or                 n/a        0%         0%         0%          0% 
Tundra all       $4,000  or                 n/a        0%         0%         0%          0%