GM exec gives Toyota truck thumbs up (Mike Hunter Take Note)

Could Lutz be preparing for Plan B at Toyota?
GM exec gives Toyota truck thumbs up (Mike Hunter Take Note) http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/09/news/companies/lutz_tundra/index.htm?postversion 07010913
DETROIT (CNNMoney.com) -- The new Toyota Tundra, the Japanese automaker's first entry into the full-size pickup market dominated by U.S. automakers, got a positive review from an interesting source Tuesday: General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, who heads the automakers' product development efforts.
Lutz, meeting with reporters at the North American International Auto Show, said he was impressed with the new Tundra, which is on display at the show and is now hitting dealer showrooms, and that he has no doubt that Toyota (Charts) will meet its sales target of 200,000 of the vehicles a year.
Detroit auto show highlights "I took a good look at it today," Lutz said. "I think it's a very, very, very well executed large truck. It's got good styling, great interior. It's a very nice truck."
Toyota has had a pickup under the Tundra brand name back to the 1990s, but the truck had never been considered part of the full-size market by U.S. industry standards.
The new Tundra clearly is part of that market, and is a competitor to the new GMT 900 series pickup trucks, such as the Chevrolet Silverado, which debuted last fall, as well as to the Ford F-Series pickup, which is the best-selling U.S. vehicle.
But Lutz said that he believes the new Tundra poses more of a challenge to Japanese automaker Nissan (Charts), which introduced the Titan full-size pickup in December 2003, than it does to GM, Ford Motor (Charts) or DaimlerChrysler. (Charts)
GM tries to change image to Green Motors "My theory is there's a lot of interaction within Japanese brands," Lutz said. "My personal belief is that the other full-size Japanese pickup truck is going to get severely dented in this process.
"Tundra has always had 100,000 to 125,000 sales. So they're going to get 75,000 extra," Lutz continued. "Of that 75,000 extra, I think Nissan is going to be the major furnisher of numbers. That's going to leave 30-40,000 to be split between Dodge, Ford and ourselves. To be honest, I don't think we'll feel it."
Lutz has a reputation for being outspoken, and sometimes outrageous, making statements that can stir up the industry and GM (Charts) dealers.
A couple of years ago he stirred a hornets nest at the New York auto show when he referred to Buick and Pontiac as "damaged brands" and suggested that if they didn't get better, GM might need to drop one or more.
Tuesday, in response to a reporter's question, Lutz said he's confident that GM will not be dropping any brands. But when asked if he was ready to declare that Buick and Pontiac are no longer damaged, he would not give them or other GM brands a clean bill of health.
"Damage is such a negative term. But let us say, clearly neither General Motors nor any of General Motors' brands are in the minds of the American public where we believe we now deserve to be based on the excellence of our product. It's what I call the reputational whack."
GM sweeps auto show honors He said until GM starts hearing from more customers that they are not shopping at competitors and coming to GM because of the quality of the product, "we have to tell ourselves, 'There's still a lot more work to do.'"
Asked how far GM was from that point, he responded, "I'd say we're at the end of the beginning."
-- The brave might not live forever but the timid do not live at all
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Is Lutz an idiot?...First rule of war...never encourage you enemy.

sion 07010913

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Or maybe he is damning the new, we really mean it this time, full size Tuindra with faint praise.
What did you expect him to say? That the new Tundra was another second rate Toyota design that peopel will line up to buy just becasue it is a Toyota? I'll bet that is what he really thinks.
Ed
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No, a person who lies is an idiot. I dont know anything about the competitive pickup, but if it is really good, you would look like a fool to lie about it.
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Get real. Tundra sales are merely an also-ran when it comes to truck sales. The 2007 Silverado easily beat out the Tundra for MTs 2007 Truck of the year award. As was noted the best selling vehicle in the US in 2006, outselling EVERY other car or truck, was the Ford F150 as it has been for THIRTY straight years ;)
More importantly GM sweep the North America Vehicle Awards, the NAVA compared the most outstanding 12 new for 2007, and 15 new for 2007 trucks, based on innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value for the dollar. The 2007 Silverado easily beat out the Tundra for the North American Truck of the Year Award, based on the votes of nearly 50 automotive experts in the US and Canada. GMs entry also outscored entries from Honda, and Toyota to win the 2007 North American Car of the year award.
mike

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