A Toyota commercial they are running in my area claims that 80% of all
Toyota sold in the last 20 years are still on the road. This seemed to
be a very low number to me. What do other think?
I would have thought given Toyota's increase in sales over the last
twenty years they would have had more like 90% of the cars sold in the
last 20 years still on the road. Toyota sales have been increasing
over the last twenty years, so a higher percentage of Toyotas will be
newer models. Since a high percentage of Toyotas are newer vehicles
that are more likely to still be on the road, the overall percentage
of Toyotas sold in the last 20 years will be higher (becasue of the
newer car bias). For GM, the math works the other way. GM sales have
been stagnent or actually declining over the last 20 years, so a
higher percentage of their cars will be older and therefore less
likely to still be on the road. I am sure the 80% number is based on
registrations, so it might be that it over estimates the number
actually in daily use - or under estimates it in cases where cars are
used off road (or illeagally) and not registered.
Does anyone have any actual numbers? I am confident that 100% of the
NEW vehicles I purchased in the last 20 years are still on the road,
but maybe I am an exception.
Here is sort of what I am thinking.....NOT REAL NUMBERS -
For a manufacturer with increasing sales (5% increase per year)
Year Original Percent Total
Sold Sales On road On Road
1990 500000 33% 165000
1991 525000 38% 199500
1992 551250 43% 237038
1993 578813 48% 277830
1994 607753 53% 322109
1995 638141 58% 370122
1996 670048 63% 422130
1997 703550 68% 478414
1998 738728 72% 531884
1999 775664 76% 589505
2000 814447 80% 651558
2001 855170 84% 718343
2002 897928 88% 790177
2003 942825 91% 857970
2004 989966 93% 920668
2005 1039464 96% 997886
2006 1091437 97% 1058694
2007 1146009 98% 1123089
2008 1203310 99% 1191277
2009 1263475 99% 1250840
Total 16532977 80% 13154033
For a manufacturer with slightly decreasing sales (1% decrease per
year), but same percent still on the road:
1990 1263475 33% 416947
1991 1250840 38% 475319
1992 1238332 43% 532483
1993 1225949 48% 588455
1994 1213689 53% 643255
1995 1201552 58% 696900
1996 1189537 63% 749408
1997 1177641 68% 800796
1998 1165865 72% 839423
1999 1154206 76% 877197
2000 1142664 80% 914131
2001 1131238 84% 950240
2002 1119925 88% 985534
2003 1108726 91% 1008941
2004 1097639 93% 1020804
2005 1086662 96% 1043196
2006 1075796 97% 1043522
2007 1065038 98% 1043737
2008 1054387 99% 1043843
2009 1043843 99% 1033405
Total 23007003 73% 16707535
The net is, manufacturers that have similar reliability can have
significantly different percentages of vehicles built in the last 20
years still on the road. Ergo, the Toyota's ad claim is at best
meaningless, at worst deliberately misleading....but then I've always
assumed that the Chevy (or sometimes Dodge) ads that clam their trucks
are the most reliable and longest lasting (based on registration data)
are deliberately misleading. So, I don't think Toyota is being
espeically misleading, but I wonder how many people understand the ad?
I'll bet many people think Toyota is saying 80% of 20 year old Toyotas
are still on the road, instead of 80% of the Toyotas sold in the last
twenty years....isn't marketing wonderful. There is a huge difference
in the two statements.
State motor vehicle deparments probably have the data, although it might
need to be massaged in order to make sense of it. If magazines & newspapers
can get the information, you probably can too. That's a big "if", though. It
might cost money.
I should have been a little clearer. I am sure RL Polk & Co. has
amassed the registration data for all the US into a huge database. RL
Polk is in the buisness of selling this information. Ads claiming
longevity often reference RL Poolk data as the source of the claim,
but I can't access the raw data without paying for it. I was hoping
there was an open source (i.e. free), possibly a simplified version,
available to the public. Without being to actually see the data, it is
hard to know how to treat the claims based on the data. I once wrote
Chevy and asked about their claim that Chevy makes the longest lasting
most reliable trucks. All they said was that it was based on RL Polk
registration data for a particualr period. Of course without actually
ahving access to the data, I can't see how the claim means anything.
Even worse, even if I had the raw registration data, I doubt it is
meaningful unless you also know how the trucks were actully used. I
always assumed that a higher percentage of Chevy trucks were purchased
by suburban users than was the case for Ford (i.e., more Fords were in
commercial use / farm use / fleet use), and therefore the Chevy trucks
were more liekly to be gently used, better cared for, and used less,
so therefore registration data byear alone would tend to suggest they
lasted longer... which might not really be true for vehicles used in
the same manner by similar populations of users.
I guess the old statement that "Figures don't lie, but liars figure"
sums up the problem with claims made based on RL Polk registration
data. I've always assumed that manufacturers actually have good data,
but that they have no intention of publishing it. No manufactuer
builds perfect vehciles, and if they start putting out the good data,
sooner of later someone is going to demand to see the bad data as
well, and use a lawsuit to pry it out into the open. Better to make
unverifiable claims based on third party information that can be
checked but don't actually prove anything.
I am 100% sure that Toyota is telling the truth when they say 80% of
the Toyotas sold in the last twenty years are still on the road. I am
also certain that it is virtually a meaningless statement, but that it
sounds like it means something important. It is the perfect sort of
marketing claim - true, verifiable, and easily missunderstood to be
more significant than it is. At least that is how I see it.
Write to Polk and ask if anyone (maybe a magazine) has published articles
which answer your questions using that data.
While you're at it, see if they have any data which backs up your bullshit
claims about what types of people buy certain brands of trucks for
particular purposes ("work" versus "just to haul groceries and the dog").
On Tue, 27 Oct 2009 11:58:16 -0400, "JoeSpareBedroom"
Folks who use them for specific jobs - work - most often know which is
best for their purpose.
If you want a truck because it's "big and mean looking" compared to
the Corolla, or to toss some 2x4's and drywall, or a TV in the bed
once in a while, just about any will do.
On Tue, 27 Oct 2009 17:39:48 -0400, "JoeSpareBedroom"
that different people buy different trucks for different purposes.
Everybody know that. Show me the data that most people wipe their ass
after taking a dump.
Never mind. I know that.
I never said people did not buy trucks for different purposes. Rather, Mr.
White claimed that certain types of people bought particular brands as "fun
trucks", and other brands as "work trucks". Example (paraphrasing): "Nobody
buys Tundras as work trucks." I've explained that I've never seen actual
data to back this up, and as far as I know, neither has anyone else, ever.
I'd like to be proven wrong, but not using anecdotes.
On Tue, 27 Oct 2009 18:07:09 -0400, "JoeSpareBedroom"
of truck suspensions all day, every day.
Don't know if he sees many Tundras though. Some of that stuff is
But he has no "prejudice" among brands. Though he's a solid GM car
fan, he digs the Ford trucks. For professional reasons.
But what you'll get from all his experience will be an anecdote.
....and a very small sample.
It would be great if state motor vehicle departments would add a little
questionaire to their forms. "How will you use this truck?"
1) Family transportation
2) Towing a sport vehicle or boat
4) Building trades
That sorta thing. Just because they could do it.
It's fairly well known that Fords are a bit tougher in general.
The older ones in particular. The 1/2 tons even more particular,
as the Chevy half tons have a suspension that is not much
different than a large car. Where as the Fords used twin I
I've had plenty of both makes, and for work, I would say the
Ford hands down. Not to say the Chevy can't work, but they
won't take the brutal abuse the Fords will.
It may be anecdotal, but I've always preferred Chevy's for
street trucks, and Fords for work trucks.
I still have two Fords at this time. A 68 F-250, and a 74 F-100.
Both run great and I wouldn't be afraid to drive either one anywhere.
Both have six bangers, "300 in the 68, and a 240 in the 74",
both have manual's, and both are so simple and rugged that
you have to be really mean on a vehicle to kill one of them.
Wonder how many 40+ year old cars are still on the road,
and pretty much driven regularly... My 68 F-250 is one of them.
Course like any vehicle, upkeep has to be done.
I'm not saying the engine hasn't been rebuilt and the front end
is original.. I put a new long block in it in about 2002, and
totally rebuilt the front end, including king pins in about 2004.
But for a 41 year old truck, it runs good and is totally reliable
So easy to work on too. You can actually climb in under the
hood of mine to be next to the engine. :/
Parts changes are a breeze. I can rebuild Carter 1 barrels in less
than an hour.
The 68 with the granny gear 4 speed would probably rip
trees out of the ground with the low RPM torque the 300
has. I know it would drag my Corolla down the street kicking
and screaming the whole way if they were connected by chains.
But my favorite street trucks I've had were both Chevy's,
and both had 250 sixes.. A 66, and a 72. Both were step
sides. I had Blazer buckets and console in the 72. Good
street trucks.. The 66 was a step with the small back window.
It's older 250 had more guts than the semi smog version in the
The heaviest duty Chevy truck I had was a 78 3/4 ton. It was
fairly stout as far as Chevy's go. But the front end wasn't quite
as stout as the twin I beams on a older 3/4 ton Ford.
I can have an opinion or make assumptions about how trucks are used. I
don't think my assumptions or opinions are the same as "data." If you
disagree with my opinions, I get that. But you need to recognize the
difference between opinions and data. Maybe I need to include "I
think," or "I beleive," or "it seems like" in front of every
statement, but wouldn't that be tiresome. And of course, you need to
do the same. When I present something as a fact, I usually try to cite
a source. Otherwise you can assume my statemens represent an opinion,
a persoanl observation, or an assumption. The statements may indeed be
wrong, or silliy, or even stupid, but they are mine.
As for how trucks are used, I can only go by what I see in my little
corner(s) of the world. Mostly, where I farm, the overwhelming choice
for pickups are Ford SuperDuties with a few F150s. Then Chevy
Silverados (mostly HD), and then Dodges (again, mostly HD). I know one
farmer with a Frontier (like I used to have), but he also has an F250.
I also know one farmer with a Tundra (the old better style). He has an
F250 also. Most of the "new" Tundras I see are parked in town. They
are new, clean, and shiny with mostly empty beds. I realize this might
be too small a sample to be meaningful beyond my area, but it is the
best I have. Maybe where you live, all the contractors love Tundras.
Where I live it seems Tundras are mostly owned by people who have day
jobs in town and plenty of time to polish the truck. It seems unlikely
to me that Contractors overwhelmingly prefer Tundras anywhere given
the relatively poor Tundra sales. Even when the new Tundra sales were
"great" they had less than 10% of the big pickup market. So unless all
the Tundra are going to contractors, it seems unlikely they can be
that common as contractor trucks anywhere. The local electric co-op
did buy one this year. It will be interesting to see if they buy more
in the future. They buy based on sealed bids, so I guess the Toyota
dealer gave them the lowest price.
I don't feel as sure as you do about Toyota telling the "truth."
If that "truth" has no real relevance to me, or deceives me in any
way, it fails my test as "truth."
As you said about the Chevy trucks, even registration raw data can't
One of my sons does truck front ends all day.
He knows more about trucks than any registration database.
You might think that a guy that plows snow with a Chevy 3/4 ton
knows about snow plowing with Chevy trucks.
You'd probably be wrong if you catch him early on.
My son could tell you that he has to fix them all the time because
they just can't handle a plow.
Sometimes accumulated "anecdotes" of real experience mean more than
A few honest high volume mechanics can provide more useful information
about real costs and repairs than the cloudy info found in Consumers
Not knocking CR, as it has it uses, but there's more than one way to
skin a cat.
I have real prod figures and real numbers on UK DVLA registration /
Many cars don't get taken off the register. UK had a purge a few years
back by swapping to a new style log book. Anyone selling a car got a
new log book, then it was when they taxed the vehicle for the road and
they had a final mop up where people that had un-taxed vehicles off
the road could send in for new log book.
Taxation laws that require a vehicle to be declared as being off the
road annually have also meant people are less likely to hang on to a
project car or "doer up". As a declaration has been signed that the
vehicle is off the road and thus not liable for road tax being caught
with it on the road is tax evasion and not "oh sorry I must have
RHD European cars production numbers from NISSAN FAST database CD ER1,
so UK + Ireland and a few for Cyprus - maybe 6 or 7% not for UK. Only
the ones that came to UK will be on DVLA database. Bear in mind
there's at least 2 months between cars being made and first sales, the
boat trip takes 4-5 weeks. There was also overlap on RS13 and S14 as
old stock ran out slowly, the DVLA made no distinction between S13 and
S14 during the overlap. Limited number in first year will be pre-prod
bucks and test mules.
Silvia RS12U FJ20E & CA18ET
Year prod DVLA registered
1983 2 0
1984 3134 57
1985 2906 91
1086 2296 88
1987 690 119
1988 1009 100
1989 ---- 50
Looks like 505 out of 10037 = 5% over 20 years old.
200SX RS13U CA18DET
Year prod DVLA registered
1988 532 0
1989 2822 338
1990 2088 487
1991 2978 594
1992 1827 575
1993 1267 441
1994 ---- 456 (S14 went on sale Sept)
I've got a Dec '93 built RS13U that was registered new in UK Dec '94,
may even be some '95 reg. 11508 made, less than 2891 left, 25% of over
15 years and up to 20 year old cars.
200SX GBAS14U SR20DET
Year prod DVLA registered
1994 788 see RS13
1995 1298 508 (some could be old stock RS13U)
1996 425 552
1997 1178 569
1998 1143 605
1999 70 833
2000 ---- 508
2001 ---- 59
4848 made, of the last 455 made 26 went to Ireland and 5 to Cyprus.
3094 left so over 7 years old and up to 15 there's about 63% left.
The attrition rate is possibly higher than it would be for sad gray
porridge. A leading UK car guide says of the RS13 "Dangerous in the
wrong hands". Lots fall off roundabouts sideways, quite a few have
gone though hedges anyways round or up, up trees, been wrapped round
telegraph poles. At least one has knocked down and rail slid sideways
the full length of a lamp post, driver said hitting his head on the
roof rail above the door hurt a bit.
Don't ask about anything else, if it isn't an S platform I couldn't
Spamtrap reply domain as per NNTP-Posting-Host in header
Good question. Here in Chicago I don't see as many older cars like we
used to. Rust takes a toll on cars and people will get rid of them
sooner.... With the two cars I have even when they were newer it was
rare to see them. For example the 91 Bonneville, Pontiac only produced
something like 43,000 compared to 143,000 in 1989 and 1992. 1992 was
first year for that body style so people waiting for it to debut -rather
than buy a 91.
I rarely see any 2005 Park Avenue because it was the last model year and
so few were produced. Its very easy to spot because the 05 has a
different grill and tail light panel than the 97-04 model. 300 black and
silver tu-tones editions were produced and I have never seen any on the
road yet in the 5 years since the cars demise.
I still see many 87-89 LeSabre & Bonneville LE and SE models on the
road and out of state. Occasionally I see the 87-91 SSE, but not that
often. but they are far from being in real nice shape - very rusty, but
they are still running.
91 Bonneville 320,204
05 Park Avenue 92,153
There isn't anything "new" about it. North America has been selling itself
out to other countries for many years. Take a look at where your computer,
TV, microwave, etc., were built. They were once built here, by American
workers, but not any longer. The same is happening with the auto industry.
Too many people like "SMS" think the Japanese are some type of God's, who
can do anything better then the American's, and have no problem sleeping at
night knowing our children will be forced to flip burgers at McDonald's for
a living...providing there are enough people making enough money to *buy*
Neither Hummer nor Chrysler were capable of competing profitably, I guess
Chrysler has been in trouble for years, thinking back to the days when Lee
Iacocca struggled to keep them from going totally under.
I agree with Knight, however, that our "government" has made it too easy
for our American companies to send production to sweatshop countries and
then reimport the product and make a killing.
I heard just the other day that iPhone by Apple is populated with parts from
Japan and perhaps Korea, and then assembled in China. The hard parts
manufacturers capture some $27 and a little more for the cost of the iPhone.
China makes about $4.00 per unit for the assembly. In the end, Apple takes
about 50% of the sales price of the phone in the USA as profit. Maybe a
smart business decision but it humps the economy and the jobs here in
the target market. The object of the study was the design, innovation,
planning make the money. It doesnt take any particular talent to put a
in a hole.
One of the reasons our kids have to flip burgers or roll tacos is that many
of them do not prepare themselves for design, innovative and planning jobs.
There was a time when a high school graduate could get a job, rear a family,
buy a home, and have a good life. That is getting much much harder to do.
My point was that the "new" part with Hummer & Chrysler was that the
government forced it. I can't wait to see what happens the next time some
still existing American company tries to get the govt. to impose
anti-dumping levies against one of these companies that were forced off
shore by that same govt.
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