Don't confuse Toyota for GM

November 25, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

It’s easy in times like these to ask if Toyota has peaked, to compare the Japanese automaker’s status to General Motor’s dominance in the U.S. in the ’50 and ‘60s and its subsequent decline.

But that would be a mistake, says Bruce Belzowski, an auto analyst at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

Unlike GM in its glory days, Toyota is fighting several strong competitors in a global economy, Belzowski reminds. Thus Toyota can’t afford to grow complacent and take its eye off the ball.

Toyota is back in the news again this week with another embarrassing recall. This time it’s over faulty gas pedals. Just weeks ago, the federal government began investigating complaints of rust in frames of its Tundra pickup trucks.

Toyota, which supports thousands of automotive jobs through its assembly plant in the southwestern Indiana town of Princeton, is dealing with two overarching problems. One is sluggish sales caused by the global economic downturn. The other is a string of once-uncharacteristic recalls, the result of its quick expansion over the past decade into a global powerhouse.

The sales downturn will go away as the economy recovers, Belzowski predicts. And Toyota is bearing down on the quality problems by asking fundamental questions about its internal processes.

Belzowski believes global competition has become so intense that in a given five-year period, Toyota or any one of a handful of other companies could rise to dominance. In other words, the future can still belong to Toyota.

What do you think? Has Toyota peaked, or will it rise to a long period of dominance? Have the recalls given you pause about buying its vehicles?

 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • peaked
    GM and others will match and could pass them. Americans are overall smarter than Japaneese who never invent anything but copy Ameican products and try to make them bette.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

ADVERTISEMENT