Why Toyota Makes the Most Reliable Cars, Japanese vs American Culture

Why Toyota Makes the Most Reliable Cars, Japanese vs American Culture


rev up your engines, today I’m gonna talk
about why Toyota makes such reliable cars, what’s the reasoning behind that,
and I’ll start out by telling you the truth
nobody’s sponsoring this, Toyota isn’t sponsoring this, I’ve been a mechanic for
51 years look at my driveway, I’ve got a 1994
Celica, a 2007 Toyota Matrix, and a 2002 Lexus, and I bought all these vehicles
used, now why did i buy toyota products Lexus is a toyota product,
let’s not mash names there, well precisely because I am a mechanic, Monday
through Friday I spend all my time fixing other people’s cars, do you really
think Saturday and Sunday I want to have to fix my own cars, I want the most
reliable cars so I don’t have to work on the things, even though I buy them used I
hardly ever have to do anything to them anyway, now why are the Toyota line
reliable, well you have to understand it’s a different culture, I got a
master’s degree from the University of Illinois and some of the stuff I studied
was Asian business, being a Japanese company Toyota was always thinking
towards the future, they’re thinking sometimes even decades ahead, where
American manufacturers hey, like most American corporations, especially ones
that are publicly traded, they’re worried about the stock price, so they’re
thinking about the quarterly reports sometimes they’re only thinking three
months ahead, not three decades ahead there’s a real difference there between
short term and long term profits too, take Toyota in the 70s and 80s, people accused
them of dumping their small pickup trucks on the United States, they certainly
didn’t cost much back then, they do today but they didn’t used to, they built
themselves up a market of people who like their little trucks, wanted a
dependable little truck, so they sold a whole bunch of them, yeah they certainly
didn’t make that much money in the beginning selling those trucks, but they
sure as heck do now, they built up a market by just improving their vehicles
little bits at a time, I remember when I was a young mechanic in the 60’s
everybody laughed at the Japanese stuff and said, oh those little rice burners,
those little puddle jumpers what good are they, well sometimes being
conservative pays off in a business world, Toyota
never really made a v8 pickup truck until the tundra, they were originally
gonna call it the t-150 but ford threatened to sue them so they dropped
off on that and decided to call it the tundra, they were worried that they
weren’t gonna be able to sell them in large enough volume, they started making
them in Indiana where they used to make their forklift trucks, so they came in
very conservative, they ended up selling all the ones they made, and they just
started making more and more as people saw, Wow a reliable Japanese large pickup
truck with a v8 engine, that’s not their main market you know they’re not gonna
be beating Ford and selling v8 pickup trucks like the f-150, that’s a real
American thing and they’ve been building those f-150s for decades to perfecting
them as time goes on, but the tundra shows one basic thing about Toyota, they
were conservative they started with, okay we’ll try v8 trucks now and a small
amount, then as they got popular they started making more and selling more, even
though big trucks weren’t really in their market, their more into cars to get people
around in, that’s where they were making most of their profit, look at the camrys and
Corollas they sold millions and millions of those things, and really when you look
at them they weren’t particularly good-looking, and they didn’t ride all
that well in the beginning, but they just didn’t break down, and a lot of it has to
do with their entire manufacturing setup in Japan they don’t have the big labor
versus management fight like in the United States where they’re going at it
tooth and nail, in Japan a good factory job was seen as a lifetime thing, the
people would go on summer vacations together and they would all be treated
fine, and there wasn’t this, oh we’re the workers and the management is
screwing us over, it’s a completely different scenario than it is in the
United States, and let’s face it if you have a happy labor force and you keep
incrementally making your vehicles better and
better and perfecting them and then trying new things every once in a while
but doing it conservatively, your vehicles are probably going to come off
the line put together better than they are in a different scenario, where the
management and the workers are at each other all the time,
hey I’ve even had private conversations with businessmen in the United States
working for large corporations, and they said Scotty we can’t compete with the
Japanese on the same level, because they just have a different Society, they’d say
the pressure for short-term profit was really high in the United States, and
there are always trying to maximize that whether it be lowering the quality of
parts in cars to save money, or paying the guys who built them less money, and if
you think about it both of those are not such a hot idea,
you don’t want lower quality parts and you don’t want people who are building getting
paid less and less as time goes on, so if your main focus is not, how can we make
more profit by either cutting the quality of our products, paying the
workers less, you’re gonna make better quality vehicles that’s just common
sense, now me I admit it I’m a cheapskate, all these Toyota’s and Lexus’s
I bought, I bought them used but since the Toyotas are so well made, you can buy
one it’s got some mileage on it and still drive it for years, I mean I’ve had
my own customers sometimes arguing with me in saying, oh I’m happy with my Chrysler
I haven’t had any problems with it and then I say, well how many miles do you
have on it and they’ll say well we’ve got 30,000
miles on it, and I just laugh and say, hey call me up when you got a hundred
thousand or if it makes it to 150,000 and you spend
a ton of money fixing it, and over the last three decades, really I haven’t
personally found anything that’s more reliable for the money then the Toyota
products are, and I just hope that they don’t start following the Americans, but
sadly I see a little bit of that in the newer Toyotas, I see things breaking long
before they used too, I’ve seen power door locks break on cars there were only two
three years old, I see water pumps go bad on vehicles that had maybe 40,000 miles
on them, but let’s hope that that’s just a fluke and they don’t follow down
the line of planned obsolescence and start making cars that break down before their
time, so if you never want to miss another one of my new car repair videos,
remember to ring that Bell!