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Old Feb 14, 2003, 12:54 PM   #1
medea
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Ford exec: camry better car than taurus...

Ford sales and marketing executive offers simple reason Toyota's sedan outsells Ford's.
A Ford Motor Co. executive paid a rare tribute to one of his company's fiercest competitors Wednesday, saying the hot-selling Camry from Toyota Motor Corp. was a better car than Ford's Taurus.
"Very frankly, Camry is a better product than Taurus today," said Jim O'Connor, who heads Ford's sales and marketing division for North America, speaking to reporters at the Chicago Auto Show.
"It's all about product in this business," O'Connor said, when asked why the mid-sized Camry outsold Taurus in the U.S market last month.
O'Connor said Ford still sees near-term demand for the Taurus, especially from its fleet customers and to supply rental cars for its Hertz subsidiary.
But Ford (F: down $0.33 to $8.42, Research, Estimates) is cutting production of the Taurus and its sister Mercury Sable sharply next year, building the vehicles in one plant instead of two. The glory days Taurus enjoyed as a top money-maker after Ford introduced it in 1986 are clearly over.
A new sedan, the Ford Five Hundred, will be launched next year, and the world's No. 2 automaker hopes it will help it recoup some of the car segment's losses.
But Toyota (TM: down $0.13 to $48.74, Research, Estimates) is poised to strip the Ford brand of its crown as the No. 1 seller of cars in the United States this year, and U.S. automakers are growing more anxious about the relentless assault by Asian automakers in Detroit's backyard.
Last year in cars, Ford brand sold a total of 864,903 units in the United States. Toyota brand sold 836,110. That was enough for Toyota cars to surpass U.S. sales of cars with the venerable Chevrolet nameplate from General Motors Corp. (GM: down $0.58 to $33.44, Research, Estimates).
Jim Padilla, Ford's executive vice president for North America, who was also attending the auto show here, said he had no apologies to make about the Taurus, saying the vehicle, like some fallen hero, "served the company well."
'Commoditizing' injurious to product
But he added that Ford itself had helped give the car a bad image, as a vehicle many consumers now see as little more than a drab rental car.
"Frankly, we didn't do ourselves any favor by pushing Taurus into rental fleets the way we did to get the volumes," Padilla said. "That kind of commoditized the product. The product is better than its image, that's my view of it," he said.
http://money.cnn.com/2003/02/13/pf/a...reut/index.htm
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 02:59 PM   #2
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Re: Ford exec: camry better car than taurus...

Quote:
Originally posted by medea
"Very frankly, Camry is a better product than Taurus today," said Jim O'Connor, who heads Ford's sales and marketing division for North America, speaking to reporters at the Chicago Auto Show.
In other news, circles are round and the sun is hot...
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 03:16 PM   #3
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Interesting...

I agree that the Camry is a much better built car. The Camry is one of the few good American built cars. In my opinion, foreign made cars are much better than American built.

But, I think that the Taurus is much better looking than the current model Camry. The current Camry is just weird looking. Plus, the Taurus drives better than the Camry.

Overall, a very interesting article. Doesn't really have an effect on me, though. I'm in the market for an SUV, not a sedan....

Last edited by RBMaraman; Feb 14, 2003 at 03:19 PM.
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 03:28 PM   #4
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Zoom, zoom, zoom...

Quote:
Originally posted by RBMaraman
I'm in the market for an SUV, not a sedan....
Seriously, driving one of those environmental embarrassments will not make your weiner bigger, but on the plus side will make you drive more aggressively as you bask in the confidence that in any accident you cause will put you in the upper hand survival-wise.

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 03:28 PM   #5
MacFan25
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Surpised to see that Ford exec. say that.

I have to agree that Camrys are better built. I see a lot of older model Camrys that are still running. They seem to want to run forever.
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 03:34 PM   #6
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Re: Zoom, zoom, zoom...

Quote:
Originally posted by jayscheuerle
, but on the plus side will make you drive more aggressively as you bask in the confidence that in any accident you cause will put you in the upper hand survival-wise.
Sorry if I am getting off subject, but you think that anyone who drives an SUV drives more aggressively?
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 03:39 PM   #7
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Re: Zoom, zoom, zoom...

Quote:
Originally posted by jayscheuerle

Seriously, driving one of those environmental embarrassments will not make your weiner bigger, but on the plus side will make you drive more aggressively as you bask in the confidence that in any accident you cause will put you in the upper hand survival-wise.

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Wow! You're scary!

I happen to like the way an SUV drives. After driving a little 1991 Toyota Camry for the past 3 years, I'm ready to graduate to a car I feel safer in. Plus, I'm not very tall (I'm almost 20 and I'm only 5' 3"), and I can see much better out of an SUV.

Generally, I'm more concerned about my own safety. The environment isn't on my mind 24/7, but I do think about it. Buying one SUV isn't going to bring down the polar ice caps.

Last edited by RBMaraman; Feb 14, 2003 at 03:43 PM.
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: Re: Zoom, zoom, zoom...

Quote:
Originally posted by MacFan25


Sorry if I am getting off subject, but you think that anyone who drives an SUV drives more aggressively?
Only those I've noticed.

Power and confidence breed carelessness. On top of that, most people don't have the skills to drive the bigger ones and should have to retake the driving portion of their license over again in one of these vehicles. That would keep 75% of them off the road. The majority of people buying them (aging boomers) would have bought foreign sports cars 10 years ago, but these show that you not only have money, but are rugged as well. It's the vehicle of choice for the NBA!! (Especially the H2's)...
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 03:45 PM   #9
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The lion's share of pollution comes not from SUVs, but from a very few older cars that don't meet modern emission standards.

It is highly ironic that someone who complains about fuel economy then turns arond and talks about whether a smaller car isn't as safe in an accident. Fuel economy and safety are a trade off. Larger cars tend to get worse gas mileage, but they also tend to be safer. When regulations made it impossible for auto companies to produce cars of an acceptable size for the consumer (remember those great big station wagons) they simply started selling "trucks" (SUVs) instead.
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 04:42 PM   #10
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Speaking of Camrys and Tauruses, has anyone noticed that the 2003 Camry looks a lot like the current Taurus?

The 1987-1991 Camry built the Camry's reputation for super-reliability. The 1992-1996 Camry was much larger, still very reliable, even though the 1996's were substantially "de-contented": much lighter, thinner, cheaper plastic, etc. The 1997-2002 Camrys were about the same size but again, more lightly built. We have a 1997 and, in the main, it has been reliable - but the flimsy cupholders broke, and assorted plastic parts of the dash come apart, and the rear-view mirrors have broken easily and expensively.

By contrast, my 1997 Chrysler minivan has had its transmission replaced, and some very expensive air conditioning repairs - but no problems with cupholders or rear-view mirrors.

My point is that Toyota's reputation for reliability was built on older models that were over-engineered to build that reputation - and they have gradually been de-contenting the models since then. They are still pretty reliable, but they are not the wonders that their cars of the late 1980s were.
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Old Feb 14, 2003, 08:26 PM   #11
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Re: Ford exec: camry better car than taurus...

Quote:
Originally posted by medea
But he added that Ford itself had helped give the car a bad image, as a vehicle many consumers now see as little more than a drab rental car.
"Frankly, we didn't do ourselves any favor by pushing Taurus into rental fleets the way we did to get the volumes," Padilla said. "That kind of commoditized the product. The product is better than its image, that's my view of it," he said.
http://money.cnn.com/2003/02/13/pf/a...reut/index.htm
Ah no. The Taurus went down becuase it's

1) ugly outside
2) ugly inside
3) Pricey
4) died in 5 years like most american cars.

The fact that is was a rental car is a scape goat. Build a better car (like Toyota, Honda, VW, BMW, Mercedes, gee, all imports i guess) and your car will sell. The big 3 were smoking the pipe dream that americans will buy americans. That's true of the abby boomers, but not GenXers.

Most american cars suck, the exception is the Lincoln LS however, that thing is sweet. The interior could use some flare tho. If you want a truck buy Toyota, wait, I mean Ford, wait, no.

The big 3 simply have some catching up to do, starting with interiors with style not bland round puffy plastic buttons.

My knock on Toyota is use some fricking REAL TIRES/rims. Who the hell wants 13 inch rims anymore!?!?Look at any Toyota and it looks like it's on bicycle wheels from behind.
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Old Feb 15, 2003, 09:50 AM   #12
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recommended reading

I recommend that you look for the book Car by Mary Walton. It talks about how ford redesigned the Taurus from the original shape to the butt-ugly rounded one and the tradeoffs they made. Ford was endorsing the book during the early stages of writing it, then they realized it wasn't a positive look at how they worked so they stopped helping out.

They pretty much started the redesign to target the Camry, to beat it. Half way through they said, ummm.... how about if we just try to be better than a GM car? it is a very good book.
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Old Feb 15, 2003, 11:57 AM   #13
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Re: Interesting...

Quote:
Originally posted by RBMaraman
The Camry is one of the few good American built cars.
Forgive my ignorance, but isn't the Camry a Japanese-built car?
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Old Feb 15, 2003, 11:59 AM   #14
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American cars do suck. I can't believe that none of the big 3 automakers haven't folded yet. Especially Ford. What a joke the company has become.
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Old Feb 15, 2003, 12:21 PM   #15
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Re: Re: Ford exec: camry better car than taurus...

Quote:
Originally posted by Kid Red
Who the hell wants 13 inch rims anymore!?!?Look at any Toyota and it looks like it's on bicycle wheels from behind.
Thinner tires are one way of getting better fuel economy...

- not that anyone cares...
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Old Feb 15, 2003, 01:35 PM   #16
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Re: Re: Interesting...

Quote:
Originally posted by shakespeare


Forgive my ignorance, but isn't the Camry a Japanese-built car?
The Camry is built in Georgetown, Kentucky. About 1 hour from where I live.

In a related story, I go to school in Evansville, IN which is 30 minutes from the Toyota plants that manufacture the Toyota pick-up trucks and mini-vans.

Actually, I'm not sure if any Toyota cars are still built in Japan. Does anyone know where the Land Cruiser, 4-Runner, Celica, and Corolla are made?

Last edited by RBMaraman; Feb 15, 2003 at 01:38 PM.
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Old Feb 15, 2003, 03:57 PM   #17
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Re: Re: Re: Interesting...

Quote:
Originally posted by RBMaraman


The Camry is built in Georgetown, Kentucky. About 1 hour from where I live.

In a related story, I go to school in Evansville, IN which is 30 minutes from the Toyota plants that manufacture the Toyota pick-up trucks and mini-vans.

Actually, I'm not sure if any Toyota cars are still built in Japan. Does anyone know where the Land Cruiser, 4-Runner, Celica, and Corolla are made?
Land Cruiser and 4-Runner are made in the US, RAV-4 is still Japanese, the Corolla is made in two small plants, one in Japan, and one, IIRC in Canada. The Celica is also US made. At this point Toyota is more American than Japanese.
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Old Feb 15, 2003, 04:21 PM   #18
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But Toyotas are still Japanese-engineered, right?
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Old Feb 15, 2003, 04:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by MacFan25
But Toyotas are still Japanese-engineered, right?
To be honest with you, I don't know. Here's the reason. My friend is an engineering student, and this semester he is working at the Toyota plant in Princeton, Indiana (It's the plant where the make the pick-up trucks and mini-vans). I asked him what he was working on, and he said the engineering team was working on a prototype transmission and a more aerodynamic pick-up bed. So, I think some engineering is done in the US, and some in Japan.

Last edited by RBMaraman; Feb 15, 2003 at 04:38 PM.
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Old Feb 17, 2003, 07:02 PM   #20
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of course the camry is better, but its cool that this exec spoke out. hopefully this means something better will be on the horizon from ford, they have done well with the focus. anyone know what the five hundred will look like?
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