Actually if you see the top i had labelled - 'for those who dislike Toyota as a brand / manufacturer ' :-). I am one such person.
How about you?
Ok here is what i observed and found some other of my peers agreeing with. - Across segments i compared Toyota with rival Japs or german same segment cars.
for example- Lexus Is250, 300 - compare with Infiniti Gs models - not only in Infinit able to command a higher price, but is closer to actual luxry and power, rather than just being what i call practical luxury of lexus. Again the feel of cheapness comes into play for toyota. Sure it sells no doubt - i am not saying as a global player they haven't got their act together. but i just hate them for their cars.
upgrade - LS model 600 or else - infiniti M35, M45 - wow look at the M35/45 interiors and the performance specs are better than that for Lexus.
After 20 years of plunging into the luxury segment - Lexus still is known for practical luxury.
However my experience with camry verus let us say, Altima 2.5 and 3.5 and Mazda 6 even accord, way better experience and again braking ! These actually feel like cars which make you feel nice to own them.
Fortuner has the same story, same engine as the camry, or dala or hiace van - makes it just a glorified dala. Whereas the competitors actually have some personality in their cars . my complain is exactly that, Toyota has taken the personality out of owning a car. In some ways its the Ford T model of the new era!
I am sure you will know that Vitz is a popular import in Pakistan right? well because of Toyota presense more Vitz is imported than Nissan Tida. At a Global level TIDA is a larger sales sucess than is Vitz or Yaris (same car diff. brand names). If you get a chance do drive an imported TIDA in pakistan, surely it is not that fancy looking but you will see what i mean byt its performance and ease of handling and drive.
Plus let us look at line-up, does Toyota have anything like Maxima? or 370 z or the Nissan GTR- these are flagship racers which set the quality perception for Nissan. Mazda has the miata roadster (MX5) and RX8 . Subaru has the legacy and Impreza and Impreza WRX Sti. Has Toyota ever produced anything as super and fast as Honda NSX? or even a popular roadster as Honda S2000, with the price of a cheap car you get a toy that can rev upto 8,9000 rpm and beyond. Yes supra was there, 'WAS'; dead long time now. Again Supra is dead but the Nissan Skyline GTR was a far bigger phenomenon than Ole man Supra.
Allow me to bring another angle into my argument. Do you remember 1994/5 - Honda creates firewords in the world by innovating Vtec. and what does toyota do? come up with a shitty VVti ( which i call Very Vtec) - only thing is the darn thing is not a Vtec. Vtec was focused on performance 'when' one needs it and economy when one doesn't - it is an import from sports technology. but Toyota's Vtec focuses on econmy only. Where does a Toyota Vtec perform. Is a Reborn sporty or is the Altis 1.8 sporty?
Again with Corolla - the same chasis, the same housing , same suspension set up is forced to take, 1.3, 1.6, 1.8 and even 2.0 Diesel.
I have not crossed over to German competition - a Passat 2.0 Tsi Turbo full options - has options that an infiniti can give a second look to and the engine literally SNARLS to 120 kms in 6 seconds. Check the price Tag yourself, nothing toyota has to compare to that. The new 2011 Jetta has fuel economy better than a Corolla but has far better built quality interior and mechanical than Corrolla or Camry etc.
I am in consumer research and marketing consulting by profession - so i had a chance to work on few projects with Ford and VW - it gave me some chance to see how auto business is seen and what they do to segment the market. Competition is catching upto the Toyota game.
Let me introduce to you, another species of ruthless makers. Say hello to the Koreans. I invite you to look in detail at the Kia Optima - it is cutting the market of Accord sharply in the middle east region as well as North America. This is one of the most beautiful modern cars you would see. Also look up Hyundai Sonata . Check them up on edumunds, to get a feel.
I wish we would have less corruption here so we all get CHOICES , and are not forced to choose from 3 only or expensive reconditioned exports. Competition would also bring the best of the market to top. Nissan ran away, so did Mazda and VW was shown the door twice by our great governance. (VW, BMW, Merc and Ford - all have plants in India and We have everything that India has and even more, just not the political bloody will! ). Dang, if there is a group of enterpreneurs we can make a better car than Corrolla or Swift even locally. In today's world its not a bid deal. Syria makes a car for decades. Russians only helped set it up once.
So in my mind - the bottom line is - they are all going after the Japs ( lead by the germans and flanked by Koreans and GMC) - and Toyota being the biggest , is likely to take the biggest hit as well.
[I]A World Without Toyota