Toyota's Farley jumps to Ford to head marketing
October 11, 2007 - 9:34 am ET
Jim Farley, a marketing star at Toyota Motor Corp., is joining Ford
Motor Co. as group vice president of marketing and communications.
Farley, 45, joins Ford next month.. He will be senior marketing
officer and will report directly to CEO Alan Mulally.
Farley spent two decades at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., most
recently as general manager of Lexus Division. He previously was group
vice president of marketing for Toyota Division.
Farley also oversaw the launch of Toyota's youth subbrand, Scion.
It seems to me this is a smart move. I've thought for a long time
Ford's biggest problem was Marketing and Product Planning, not the
quality of the actual products. After pedaling some of the Toyota
stuff, selling Fords should be a breeze.
One thing I always wondered about with Ford and Chev, and DOdge of
course, is WHY they make the same car with 3 logos on it.
Grand Marquis/Crown Vic, Tempo/Topaz, Explorer/Mountaineer.... dodge was
even worse maybe, concorde, intrepid & Vision..
This HAS to waste production money... all the suttle differences in the
2..3 models costs money.
Or is this the same as Honda/Acura... ?
It's not the badges themselves, but the market those badges are aimed
at, and the image that goes with the badges.
GM's Harley Earl and Alfred Sloan started this back in the '20s. It was
conceived as a way of keeping customers loyal to GM's brands all the way
up the socio-economic ladder, while helping to keep production costs
You started at the bottom with Chevrolet, then moved up the mountain
until, maybe, one day you could reach the peak with a Cadillac.
Unfortunately, over the years the lines and pricing between brands got
blurred as GM's managers lost their focus. This situation was made even
worse when, for legislative and regulatory reasons, it became
economically impossible for each brand to have nearly-unique cars and
its own engines.
As each brand manager demanded a copy of a platform for himself, the
distinctions disappeared almost entirely (think Cadiallac Cimarron), and
customers got disgusted and confused. "Badge-engineering" continues to
this day, probably to help keep the dealers happy.
Ford and Chrylser did the same thing with their brand portfolios.
Writer Brock Yates has amply documented this phenomenon in his 1983 book
"The Decline & Fall of the American Automobile Industry".
Honda and Toyota have been much more careful with their Earl/Sloan
branding, keeping sharp distinctions between their brands, even as they
share many parts.
Lexus ES350/Toyota Camry
Lexus LX470/Toyota Land Cruiser
Lexus GX470/Toyota 4 Runner
Lexus RX350/Toyota Highlander (although they at least look different)
The rest of the Lexus line except maybe the LS are sold in other markets as
This when you lose me. You are repeating a bunch of BS that has no basis in
fact. Fact - in 2006 Toyota recalled more vehicels than Ford. Fact, the
previous generation of 4Runners had a far higher rollover death rate than an
Explorer. Fact - the difference in relaibility between a current Ford and a
current Toyota is trivial.
You got me. Its just BS and no factual basis. Its just the same BS
that Lexus are thinly designed Toyota that you pay thou$and. I'm not
going to defend toyota. I'm a Toyota owner but not a satisfied
You think there is a significant difference between an ES350 and a high line
V6 Camry? You think there is a significant difference between a LX470 and a
Landcrusier? You think the GX470 is radically different than a 4Runner? You
probably though the Lincoln Versailles was radically different than a
Yes, I think there is a difference that more than meets the eye. Lexus
is essentially a luxury car, how to define luxury is up to you. Lets
compare the resale values of lexus and toyota, are they the same?
Even ford makes *thinly disguised* Edge and the mazda CX, or the
fusion and mazda6. Focus and mazda3. Is it also luxury brand?
3 Little boys conversation while playing in the sand box:
Boy 1: When I grow up, I want to have a RAV4
Boy 2: When I grow up, I want to have an Explorer
Boy 3: When I grow up, I want to have a Pu$$y.
Boy 1 and 2: Why would you want to have that?!?
Boy 3: Well, my sister has a pu$$y and her man gave her a BMW and a
Well you are exactly the sort of person Toyota created Lexus for. There was
more of difference between the often derided Lincoln Versailles and a Ford
Granada than between a Lexus ES350 and a V6 Top Level Camry. The big Lexus
sedan is a unique and interesting vehicle - but not something I'd be
interested in buying.
Resale value has more to do with perception than reality. The Lexus ES350
has exactly the same drive train as a V6 Camry. There is no reason to think
it will last any longer.
I didn't say Ford didn't make thinly disguised models and sell them under
other brands. The Fords and Mazda you mentioned are not as closely related
as the ES350 and a Camry. The Fusion is derived from the Mazda 6 but is
larger and has a different automatic transmission and other significant
differences. The current Focus is actually based on a prior generation
European Focus. Mazda had input into that design, but I don't think it is
correct to say the current Focus is related to a Mazda 3 (might be better if
it was). The current Ford 4 cylinders used in the Focus, Fusion, and Ranger
are Mazda developed engines.
To be honest if I was to buy a Lexus the ES would not be my choice. I
would prefer an IS or a GS Hybrid
I'm not saying it will last longer, drive train has nothing to do with
Its just because the "..After pedaling some of the Toyota stuff,
selling Fords should be a breeze" to me is intriguing. Lexus remains
the best selling import luxury (foreign and domestic) brand in the US
and had great reviews even in Europe and beat the German brands.
I really hate to defend Toyota or Lexus since as I earlier mentioned,
I am an Toyota owner but not a very satisfied customer. Maybe another
member can do better than me in defending Toyota. If only my 07 Camry
had a flawless shifting, then I would bow down to Toyota and recommend
it to anyone I know. I do like what ford did with the Fusion that
comes in AWD, I do hope that Toyota jumps into this AWD bandwagon in
the midsized sedan category soon.
The GS sells in tiny numbers (fewer than 23K per year). The hybrid GS hardly
sells at all (fewer than 81 last month). I guess exclusivity is worth
something. The IS is a little more popular - around 56K per year). The
biggestest selling Lexus models are trucks and SUVs, not cars. They do sell
more cars than trucks (150,585 car and 94,071 Light Trucks in the US thru
Sept 07). BMW sold 169,761 cars trhu September (not including mins or light
trucks). So much for being the biggest seller of "luxury cars." They did
outsell Mercedes in cars (MB sold 127087 car through September) and Cadillac
(Caddillac sold 92,473 car through September). Lincoln hardly counts when it
comes to Luxury cars (they only sold 52,227 cars through September 2007 in
the US - Lincoln almost sold as many light trucks as car - 51,332 LTs
Shocks, springs, sound deading, and seats are the only things that affect
the "luxury." For what it is worth, Consumer Reports did give the ES better
ratings for noise and front seat comfort than the Camry.
For the ES350 CR said:
"With a very comfortable ride, quiet interior, and lavish amenities, the ES
provides a big luxury car feel and refinement in a trimmer package. It is
quick yet sparing with fuel. Agility is not a strong suit, and the ES is not
even remotely fun to drive. The few negatives include limited rear-seat head
room and rearward visibility."
For the V-6 Camry:
"The Camry is capable, quiet, and well rounded in all test versions, but is
not exciting to drive. Handling is sound, but not sporty. The ride is
comfortable and the interior is roomy. All powertrains are refined and
economical; the V6 XLE is very quick and the Hybrid combines good
performance with great fuel economy."
If I am going to spend big bucks for a luxury car it will be a BMW or a
Mercedes. At least they drive nicely. Different strokes for different folks
I guess. Even Cadillac is more interesting to me than the Lexus vehicles.
Only Lincoln has acheieve the level of boredom I associate with Lexus.
I don't understand why Toyota is having problems with the tranmsission. It
is from the same family as the one used with the V-6 Fusions and no one
ccomplains about the shifting of a Fusion.
Ford is buying the 6 speed automatic transmission sold in V6 Fusions
from Aisin-Warner, a company mostly owned (and controlled) by Toyota.
Toyota buys all its automatic transmissions from A-W (well since they
mostly own A-W, I guess they are buying them from themselves). The
Fusion 6 speed and the Camry 6 speed are from the same family. Ford
also buys parts for the Escape/Mariner hybrid from A-W. But then there
nothing new here, at times in the past Ford has even bought hydramatic
automatics from GM and sold 3 speed manuals to GM.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Aisin_transmissions - a
little old but interesting
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