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RE: [toyota-prius] Autoweek Article - good perspective on Toyota

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  • Manny Fernandez, Jr.
    For all of you out there who demand that Toyota and other manufacturers become more green-keep in mind that they are public companies that provide products
    Message 1 of 16 , May 2, 2005
      For all of you out there who demand that Toyota and other manufacturers
      become more green-keep in mind that they are public companies that provide
      products that consumers want. While we who own the Prius feel high and
      mighty at our effort to save the world there are a lot of folks out there
      who don't give a damn. If you want to rapidly change what is being made
      then we will have to take our clout and use it in the political process to
      change and create laws. You can dramatically alter the buying habits of the
      public by using laws, incentives, taxes, etcetera. To demand that Toyota
      change its product mix to make you happy is not well thought out strategy.
      We need to look into the future and change things in a way that is not too
      disruptive and yet accomplishes the goal.

      I would dare to say that by repealing the Federal law that allows 100% write
      off in the year of purchase for vehicles over 6000 lbs. would have a
      significant impact on that market. However, if you invoke that to occur the
      next day-there will be a whole lot of layoffs occurring as a result. There
      needs to be a balance between the human side and the business side.

      For all the tree huggers out there, I wonder how many live their lives in
      total harmony with nature and do everything in their power to save the
      earth. I mean think about it. We can set up coop food programs where we
      eat only what is grown organically. Stop going to Restaurants where food is
      wasted. Stop eating meat that requires so many resources to create. Stop
      eating fish that are endangered. Everyone should grow their own food where
      practical. Don't purchase retail products unless packaged in bio-degradable
      containers. Only drive if it is absolutely necessary and then only after
      considering all the stops. Load as many neighbors in the car so that fewer
      cars are on the roads. Never go someplace alone unless absolutely
      necessary. Keep all lights off in the house unless you are using that room
      and then keep only the necessary wattage to accomplish the task. Wash
      clothes by hand and dry them outside when possible. Do not purchase
      anything that is disposable such as paper plates if a plate that can be
      washed by hand will suffice. Don't use air-conditioner, don't use a
      heater-wear more clothes. Don't buy clothes for fashion buy clothes that
      last. Don't take so many bathes and showers. Don't have a lawn that
      demands watering. No gardens unless they are zeroscape. I guess I could go
      on and on. Please feel free to add some additional items. When you think
      about it there is a lot we can do as individuals that will have a tremendous
      impact on our society.

      Manny

      -----Original Message-----
      From: toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com [mailto:toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Sam Williams
      Sent: Monday, May 02, 2005 8:50 AM
      To: toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [toyota-prius] Autoweek Article - good perspective on Toyota

      http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=102240

      Kevin A. Wilson: Prius: A Free Pass for Sequoias
      KEVIN A. WILSON
      Published Date: 5/2/05
      It came to me at the gas pump. The beneficiary of expense-report
      largesse was a Toyota Tundra, extended cab, iForce V8, 4x4 and-on
      this particular tankful-a 14-mpg gas-sucker. So the thought that came
      to me was, "Why does Toyota get a free pass on this stuff?"

      On the passenger-side front seat was a copy of Wired magazine with a
      digitally enhanced hot-rod Prius on the cover, proclaiming a story by
      an author who evidently not only sipped the Toyota Kool-Aid but
      gulped gallons. Did you know that Toyota-almost singlehandedly if you
      buy into this account-will save us all from global warming and put
      hydrogen fuel cell cars in your garage within the decade? Some of us
      thought that-hybrids aside-Toyota was busily selling mega-SUVs like
      the aptly named giant Sequoia and aptly nicknamed Land Crusher, not
      to mention designing ever-more bloated Lexi for fat cats. Fine cars,
      but not saviors of the earth-at least not until Toyota makes good on
      its pledge to hybridize everything it makes.

      For now, asked to nominate a "green" car company, most would point at
      Honda, where commitment runs across the entire range. Honda has just
      collected its third straight annual award as the "greenest automaker"
      from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

      Meanwhile, Toyota builds a factory in Texas to make a much bigger,
      badder pickup than this Tundra. Yet in the general press,
      genuflection toward its sombrero badge has become the norm. Even
      radical publications that routinely rant about the evils of
      globalization and corporate giantism are slavering over Toyota. This
      is so, even though Toyota is poised to become the biggest car company
      on the planet bar none, supplanting the firm these same publications
      routinely lash as evil incarnate: General Motors.

      What makes Toyota benign in their eyes is, of course, the monumental
      success of the Prius. As one who hailed the breakthrough and clever
      design of the first-generation model, I've certainly been on the
      Prius bandwagon. Bandwagons tend to get overloaded and race out of
      control in the media, though, and the victims of the rah-rah are
      nuance and perspective. Toyota is a big and growing global concern.
      It got that way by catering to consumer desires. Whether that desire
      is for fuel-efficient boxes or overpowered, oversized crates, it's
      all money in the bank. They're good at it, but why the unquestioning,
      near-religious fervor?

      This works the other way, too. Pack journalists smell blood, so
      they're nipping at GM's heels. Sales got off to a slow start, and
      suddenly business report-ers who can't tell a hybrid from a hyphen are
      compar-ing GM's woes to Toyota's success and calling for heads to
      roll. I called it the "piling-on effect" in a recent radio interview.

      Dan Neil, Pulitzer-winning L.A. Times car writer (an ex-AW writer
      whom I'd never lump in among car-ignorant heathens), irri-tated GM
      enough that the company pulled its ads out of the Times. We've had
      similar things happen here-with Toyota, and others. This attempt to
      bring pressure to bear alienates the press, generating more piling-
      on; it's not quite as clever as hiring private dicks to tail Ralph
      Nader, but close.

      Not that the ink-either in the press or the red stuff on the balance
      sheets-is unearned. It's just that the GM story is no more "red" than
      matters Toyota are "green." Real life isn't that black-and-white.

      The automotive beat is fun because the story is in constant flux. One
      day they're hanging Bob Lutz in effigy, the next they notice he
      hasn't been at GM long enough to develop new product from the ground
      up. A dose of Solstice might be solace; add some Sky and people might
      see light in the darkness. Similarly, one day we're all applauding a
      Prius, then Toyota rolls out a big-as-Texas truck on a day gasoline
      hits $3 a gallon.

      Perspective requires one to look farther down the road than the
      bottom line on the latest quarterly sales report. I'm not holding my
      breath.






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    • Lawrence Murray
      Sam, A very good observation concerning the plight of GM versus the success of Toyota! Now I guess you will have to place me in the pile on group concerning
      Message 2 of 16 , May 2, 2005
        Sam,

        A very good observation concerning the plight of GM versus the success of
        Toyota! Now I guess you will have to place me in the pile on group
        concerning GM in particular and Detroit in general! Where has the
        initiative gone in American automotive industry! They failed to learn the
        lessons of the past (70's) and thus repeated them in the later part of the
        20 century. Yes, Toyota is no saint. They cater to the market place just
        like any other business. One difference I see is GM seems to cater only to
        a segment of the market (gas wasters)! In many cases they drive the market
        to their way of thinking! Look, I am so sick and tired of foreign companies
        having the answers for our short cominings. It is a trend that is not just
        in the auto industry. Those businesses know who they are! I will leave
        that to another day! We need leaders in our state capitols and Washington
        to simply say what can we do to help ourselves! Now, I am all for free
        trade! This is vital to a stable and growing economy. But why is it we
        here in the US seem to be preaching for this and not truly benifitting. We
        should be the leaders of generating fuel efficient cars! We have the
        knoewledge and resources to do so but not the will!!! If GM and the rest of
        Detroit do not begin to smell the coffee then let the market place dictate
        their fate! This country needs vehicles like the Pruis and Civic hybrid and
        Ford Escape Hybrid. Let's get this thing started and stop the non sense.
        Toyota has laid down the guantlet. Will GM pick it up, will the US auto
        industry pick it up?!!!


        Larry
        04 Salsa Red #6


        P.S. Remember a young John Kennedy set the goal of placing a man on the
        moon! We did! We had a national goal then! No politian since seems to
        have the vision or the brass to do so now!! Sam if there is one, would we
        follow?



        From: "Sam Williams" <s.c.williams@...>
        >To: toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [toyota-prius] Autoweek Article - good perspective on Toyota
        >Date: Mon, 02 May 2005 15:49:49 -0000
        >
        >http://www.autoweek.com/article.cms?articleId=102240
        >
        >Kevin A. Wilson: Prius: A Free Pass for Sequoias
        >KEVIN A. WILSON
        >Published Date: 5/2/05
        >It came to me at the gas pump. The beneficiary of expense-report
        >largesse was a Toyota Tundra, extended cab, iForce V8, 4x4 and�on
        >this particular tankful�a 14-mpg gas-sucker. So the thought that came
        >to me was, "Why does Toyota get a free pass on this stuff?"
        >
        >On the passenger-side front seat was a copy of Wired magazine with a
        >digitally enhanced hot-rod Prius on the cover, proclaiming a story by
        >an author who evidently not only sipped the Toyota Kool-Aid but
        >gulped gallons. Did you know that Toyota�almost singlehandedly if you
        >buy into this account�will save us all from global warming and put
        >hydrogen fuel cell cars in your garage within the decade? Some of us
        >thought that�hybrids aside�Toyota was busily selling mega-SUVs like
        >the aptly named giant Sequoia and aptly nicknamed Land Crusher, not
        >to mention designing ever-more bloated Lexi for fat cats. Fine cars,
        >but not saviors of the earth�at least not until Toyota makes good on
        >its pledge to hybridize everything it makes.
        >
        >For now, asked to nominate a "green" car company, most would point at
        >Honda, where commitment runs across the entire range. Honda has just
        >collected its third straight annual award as the "greenest automaker"
        >from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
        >
        >Meanwhile, Toyota builds a factory in Texas to make a much bigger,
        >badder pickup than this Tundra. Yet in the general press,
        >genuflection toward its sombrero badge has become the norm. Even
        >radical publications that routinely rant about the evils of
        >globalization and corporate giantism are slavering over Toyota. This
        >is so, even though Toyota is poised to become the biggest car company
        >on the planet bar none, supplanting the firm these same publications
        >routinely lash as evil incarnate: General Motors.
        >
        >What makes Toyota benign in their eyes is, of course, the monumental
        >success of the Prius. As one who hailed the breakthrough and clever
        >design of the first-generation model, I've certainly been on the
        >Prius bandwagon. Bandwagons tend to get overloaded and race out of
        >control in the media, though, and the victims of the rah-rah are
        >nuance and perspective. Toyota is a big and growing global concern.
        >It got that way by catering to consumer desires. Whether that desire
        >is for fuel-efficient boxes or overpowered, oversized crates, it's
        >all money in the bank. They're good at it, but why the unquestioning,
        >near-religious fervor?
        >
        >This works the other way, too. Pack journalists smell blood, so
        >they're nipping at GM's heels. Sales got off to a slow start, and
        >suddenly business report�ers who can't tell a hybrid from a hyphen are
        >compar�ing GM's woes to Toyota's success and calling for heads to
        >roll. I called it the "piling-on effect" in a recent radio interview.
        >
        >Dan Neil, Pulitzer-winning L.A. Times car writer (an ex-AW writer
        >whom I'd never lump in among car-ignorant heathens), irri�tated GM
        >enough that the company pulled its ads out of the Times. We've had
        >similar things happen here�with Toyota, and others. This attempt to
        >bring pressure to bear alienates the press, generating more piling-
        >on; it's not quite as clever as hiring private dicks to tail Ralph
        >Nader, but close.
        >
        >Not that the ink�either in the press or the red stuff on the balance
        >sheets�is unearned. It's just that the GM story is no more "red" than
        >matters Toyota are "green." Real life isn't that black-and-white.
        >
        >The automotive beat is fun because the story is in constant flux. One
        >day they're hanging Bob Lutz in effigy, the next they notice he
        >hasn't been at GM long enough to develop new product from the ground
        >up. A dose of Solstice might be solace; add some Sky and people might
        >see light in the darkness. Similarly, one day we're all applauding a
        >Prius, then Toyota rolls out a big-as-Texas truck on a day gasoline
        >hits $3 a gallon.
        >
        >Perspective requires one to look farther down the road than the
        >bottom line on the latest quarterly sales report. I'm not holding my
        >breath.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >To access group's website features such as Files, Photos, Links, Database
        >and Polls, go to
        >http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius
        >, Photos, Links, Database and Polls, go to
        >http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • bhamilt
        Larry said: One difference I see is GM seems to cater only to a segment of the market (gas wasters)! ================ Or is it bowing down to oil companies? Do
        Message 3 of 16 , May 2, 2005
          Larry said:
          One difference I see is GM seems to cater only to a segment of the market
          (gas wasters)!
          ================
          Or is it bowing down to oil companies? Do corporations lobby corporations?

          Betty
        • Manny Fernandez, Jr.
          I hate to say it but the world is not just one big conspiracy. GM does some stupid stuff in my opinion. They are so big that they focus on what is big in
          Message 4 of 16 , May 2, 2005
            I hate to say it but the world is not just one big conspiracy. GM does some
            stupid stuff in my opinion. They are so big that they focus on what is big
            in their business not what is small. They grew up in a "large batch"
            mentality as a means of success. Because of the many layers of management
            it takes decades for changes to occur. They are driven by short term
            profits which are demanded by large institutional organizations that hold
            the stock. This is further impacted by tying performance and pay to stock
            prices. This in it self is the fundamental problem in the United States
            today. We should do away with stock options as they lead most individuals
            and organizations to do dysfunctional things. Pay for top management is
            outlandish and while they provide leadership the troops touching the product
            really create the wealth. I believe strongly that to correct industry
            across the board we need to change our compensation methodology.

            Manny

            -----Original Message-----
            From: toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com [mailto:toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of bhamilt
            Sent: Monday, May 02, 2005 11:27 AM
            To: s.c.williams@...; toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com; Lawrence Murray
            Subject: Re: [toyota-prius] Autoweek Article - good perspective on Toyota

            Larry said:
            One difference I see is GM seems to cater only to a segment of the market
            (gas wasters)!
            ================
            Or is it bowing down to oil companies? Do corporations lobby corporations?

            Betty



            To access group's website features such as Files, Photos, Links, Database
            and Polls, go to
            http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius
            , Photos, Links, Database and Polls, go to
            http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius

            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • JerryW
            ... I would not know where to start listing down the things GM does wrong. Sad to say, I believe the company is doomed. It s already been in Ch.11 once, hasn t
            Message 5 of 16 , May 2, 2005
              >
              > GM does some
              > stupid stuff in my opinion. They are so big that they focus on what is big
              > in their business not what is small. They grew up in a "large batch"
              > mentality as a means of success.
              >

              I would not know where to start listing down the things GM does wrong. Sad
              to say, I believe the company is doomed. It's already been in Ch.11 once,
              hasn't it, and is heading that way again.

              The UK industry has gone altogether, but VW and Renault can build a car to
              your specific order and deliver it in a month. So can Toyota, in Japan.
              Henry ford's approach needs updating now...

              Toyota is more profitable than all three US mfrs combined (!) and presumably
              sells those big SUVs because your neighbours want to buy them? They aren't
              on sale here, mostly.

              Regards

              Jerry


              Prius Fan and owner of:
              http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Prius-Europe/


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • JerryW
              ... Interesting article on GM: http://business.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=464872005 Regards Jerry Prius Fan and owner of:
              Message 6 of 16 , May 2, 2005
                On 02/05/05, JerryW <jerrywh@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > I would not know where to start listing down the things GM does wrong. Sad
                > to say, I believe the company is doomed. It's already been in Ch.11 once,
                > hasn't it, and is heading that way again.
                >

                Interesting article on GM:

                http://business.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=464872005

                Regards

                Jerry


                Prius Fan and owner of:
                http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Prius-Europe/


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Woolf, Richard
                ... is big ... Sad ... once, ... car to ... Japan. ... presumably ... aren t ... I would think that a big reason the huge SUVs aren t in Europe is that the
                Message 7 of 16 , May 2, 2005
                  > Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 20:04:18 +0100
                  > From: JerryW <jerrywh@...>
                  > Subject: Re: Autoweek Article - good perspective on Toyota
                  >
                  > >
                  > > GM does some
                  > > stupid stuff in my opinion. They are so big that they focus on what
                  is big
                  > > in their business not what is small. They grew up in a "large batch"
                  > > mentality as a means of success.
                  > >
                  >
                  > I would not know where to start listing down the things GM does wrong.
                  Sad
                  > to say, I believe the company is doomed. It's already been in Ch.11
                  once,
                  > hasn't it, and is heading that way again.
                  >
                  > The UK industry has gone altogether, but VW and Renault can build a
                  car to
                  > your specific order and deliver it in a month. So can Toyota, in
                  Japan.
                  > Henry ford's approach needs updating now...
                  >
                  > Toyota is more profitable than all three US mfrs combined (!) and
                  presumably
                  > sells those big SUVs because your neighbours want to buy them? They
                  aren't
                  > on sale here, mostly.
                  >
                  > Regards
                  >
                  > Jerry

                  I would think that a big reason the huge SUVs aren't in Europe is that
                  the European governments' heavily tax gas so that the price stays high
                  (even when it isn't here in the US). As we can see by what is happening
                  in the US now, higher gas prices make people consider other
                  alternatives. When I visit Britain/Europe I look forward to seeing how
                  small the cars can get. (I love the miniature Mercedes. I've seen kids
                  in the US that have toy electric cars as big). Also, I really enjoy
                  that I can get around via something other than a car without giving up
                  very much. I think the higher cost of fuel combined with the closer
                  proximity of cities makes traveling by alternative means easier than in
                  the US. The US has much more space and we seem to think we need to fill
                  it. Plus, to be quite honest we're becoming GIANTS. We're getting
                  bigger and taller (Blame the growth hormones in the milk and the fast
                  food lifestyle). Giant people need giant cars (although, I am a fairly
                  fa..uh..BIG guy and I fit comfortably in my Echo & Prius...more so in
                  the Echo because if the headroom).

                  I was quite shocked when one of the most right-wing, Bush-lovin',
                  SUV-driving people in my office came to me the other day and wanted more
                  information about hybrids. He's considering purchasing one (but
                  absolutely cannot live without an SUV so her could never purchase a
                  Prius). I told him about the Highlander. He's also considering the
                  Ford Escape. The funny thing is that he got into an argument with
                  another right-wing, Bush-lovin' co-worker because he felt that her SUV (
                  a Jeep) was bad and sucked up too much gas because it was bigger than
                  the SUV he drives (a Honda). His SUV was accepible but hers wasn't. We
                  all draw the line somewhere.

                  I for one look forward to even higher priced gasoline.


                  - Rich, 2001 Aqua Ice Opalescent, 69,000+ Miles, Cincinnati, Ohio
                • JerryW
                  ... It would be nice to be able to say it was because we are so much more discriminating and environmentally aware over here, but sadly it isn t so. I can t
                  Message 8 of 16 , May 2, 2005
                    On 02/05/05, Woolf, Richard <richard.woolf@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > I would think that a big reason the huge SUVs aren't in Europe is that
                    > the European governments' heavily tax gas so that the price stays high
                    > (even when it isn't here in the US). As we can see by what is happening
                    > in the US now, higher gas prices make people consider other
                    > alternatives.
                    >

                    It would be nice to be able to say it was because we are so much more
                    discriminating and environmentally aware over here, but sadly it isn't so. I
                    can't even get my own children to switch off the lights.

                    Fuel prices probably do have something to do with it, and of course that is
                    one reason [so the government says] why taxes are so high in the first
                    place. A litre of beer is cheaper than a litre of petrol.. Also, very large
                    cars simply are not practical for many people. A discovery or an ml mercedes
                    is about as big as they come and many think that's too big. There are
                    anti-SUV protest groups now, especially around London.

                    Jerry


                    Prius Fan and owner of:
                    http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Prius-Europe/


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Sam Williams
                    Toyota is a large and profitable car company. Who else but a large and profitable (and forward looking) car company would take the risk on a hybrid? (Years
                    Message 9 of 16 , May 2, 2005
                      Toyota is a large and profitable car company. Who else but a large
                      and profitable (and forward looking) car company would take the risk
                      on a hybrid? (Years of R&D, billions of yen.....). They are large
                      and profitable because they have consistently delivered a product that
                      people want to buy, not just today, but for the past 30 years.
                      Americans want big cars; Japanese want small cars, ergo, concomitant
                      Sequoia and Prius from the same manufacturer is no surprise.

                      I favor an increase in the gas tax - gradually. 10 cents per quarter
                      for the next 10 years. $4 on top of today's gas price would be
                      comparable to what much of the rest of the world is paying, and would
                      certainly force a lot of Americans to think twice about buying 4000+
                      lbs. of metal to haul around their 200 lb. carcass. (Carcass
                      estimate reflects increasing median American body-mass.)

                      I think it has to be gradual to allow people to plan. A car is a
                      major expense for most people and they should have time to plan.

                      -Sam
                    • Dave Bassage
                      Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 10:28:14 -0700 From: Manny Fernandez, Jr. Subject: RE: Autoweek Article - good perspective on Toyota For all of you
                      Message 10 of 16 , May 2, 2005
                        Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 10:28:14 -0700
                        From: "Manny Fernandez, Jr." <drmanny3@...>
                        Subject: RE: Autoweek Article - good perspective on Toyota

                        For all of you out there who demand that Toyota and other manufacturers
                        become more green-keep in mind that they are public companies that provide
                        products that consumers want. While we who own the Prius feel high and
                        mighty at our effort to save the world there are a lot of folks out there
                        who don't give a damn. If you want to rapidly change what is being made
                        then we will have to take our clout and use it in the political process to
                        change and create laws. You can dramatically alter the buying habits of the
                        public by using laws, incentives, taxes, etcetera. To demand that Toyota
                        change its product mix to make you happy is not well thought out strategy.
                        We need to look into the future and change things in a way that is not too
                        disruptive and yet accomplishes the goal.

                        I would dare to say that by repealing the Federal law that allows 100% write
                        off in the year of purchase for vehicles over 6000 lbs. would have a
                        significant impact on that market.

                        For all the tree huggers out there, I wonder how many live their lives in
                        total harmony with nature and do everything in their power to save the
                        earth.

                        Manny

                        ==================================

                        Manny, you make a lot of interesting points. A few reactions:

                        I don't think we can look to any one source to institute change. Sometimes
                        the consumer drives it through demand, sometimes progressive businesses
                        drive it by introducing a product we didn't know we needed until given the
                        option, and sometimes government passes laws or incentives to help steer
                        common practices. Not to mention market driven change, which we'll see in
                        the transportation arena when the demand for oil outstrips the supply. In
                        this administration I don't see much in the way of environmental
                        leadership. I see more coming from the business and consumer side. But
                        that could change after another election cycle.

                        I really do believe that we prius owners are on the leading edge of
                        significant change. I just can't see gas getting any cheaper or even
                        holding steady for more than a few months. The financial pressure to
                        consider fuel efficiency when buying a car will continue to mount.

                        I'm also a Toyota fan, and have been for quite a while. Yes, they have
                        their faults, but their whole way of doing business is fundamentally
                        different than US auto makers, and that has started to pay off. I do
                        believe they're committed to incorporating environmental stewardship into
                        their business practices. As I just posted on another group, the WV Toyota
                        manufacturing plant has achieved zero landfill with their processes. Not
                        even lunch room waste ends up in a landfill. They don't publicize this
                        much, but are truly committed to doing what they can to minimize their
                        footprint. The closest I've seen a domestic car maker come to this is when
                        Ford built a facility with a green roof. And if Honda and Toyota want to
                        compete to see who is the greenest, I'm all for it. That's bound to
                        improve performance on both sides.

                        As to your list of personal green practices, there was a lot of good stuff
                        there. The problem is that I fear too many people feel like they should
                        feel guilty if they don't do absolutely everything they can to be green,
                        even if some options just aren't at all practical for them. I don't think
                        we'll ever improve our collective environmental performance through guilt,
                        at least nowhere near enough. So I applaud loudly whenever someone takes
                        even a baby step towards better environmental stewardship, whether an
                        individual, political leader, or business. Rather than set unrealistic
                        goals for ourselves, if we would all just consider the environment in all
                        of our decision making, whether we always do the most environmentally sound
                        thing or not, I honestly think that will get us further toward
                        sustainability. We all make compromises in all aspects of our lives.
                        While I grow and harvest much of my own food, I had to move farther from
                        work to have the room to do so. If I could find a way to work from home I
                        would, but I haven't worked out how yet.

                        An excellent book to help us all through the complex environmental
                        purchasing maze is "How to be an environmentally conscious consumer". They
                        cover everything from cloth vs. disposable diapers, paper vs. plastic
                        shopping bags, to cars, homes, and appliances. There's plenty of detail
                        and some of the insights may surprise you (like about the diapers). The
                        very general conclusion at the end of the book is that the more mass an
                        item has, the more important that your purchasing decision is. You can use
                        a lot of styrofoam cups before you'll ever come close to the impact a poor
                        car or home buying decision has. Which adds more weight to our choice of a
                        Prius, which helps offset a lot of lesser impacts.

                        Dave Bassage
                      • Lee Hart
                        ... I think corporations behave a lot like atheletes. They both want to win very badly, and will work very hard to beat the competition! Ideally, they will
                        Message 11 of 16 , May 2, 2005
                          Larry said:
                          > One difference I see is GM seems to cater only to a segment of the
                          > market (gas wasters)!

                          bhamilt wrote:
                          > Or is it bowing down to oil companies? Do corporations lobby
                          > corporations?

                          I think corporations behave a lot like atheletes. They both want to
                          "win" very badly, and will work very hard to beat the competition!

                          Ideally, they will compete honestly and fairly. However, some atheletes
                          want to win so badly that they will lie, cheat, or take illegal drugs to
                          win. It's the same with corporations; they will use false advertising,
                          phony bookkeeping, monopolies, bribes, etc. to get what they want.

                          I think that US corporations are simply in a better position to cheat.
                          They can lobby congress, and even write their own rules, and pay
                          congress with campaign donations to pass them into law. They can wrap
                          themselves in "buy American" flags, and claim it is "patriotic" to buy
                          inferior products at higher prices from them. They are in a better
                          position to create monopolies and use other techniques to restrain
                          trade.

                          In contrast, foreign carmakers like Toyota have to compete in a global
                          market. They can't rig the rules so 22.5 mpg is all they have to meet,
                          or get huge R&D grants from the US government for imaginary hydrogen
                          cars, or big tax breaks to sell bloated SUVs.

                          So, they *have* to do better. They have to actually *be* a better
                          athelete to win, and not depend on drugs or bribes or changing the rules
                          to win.

                          I don't doubt for a moment that if they could, that Toyota wouldn't use
                          every trick in the book that GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Lucky for us they
                          can't -- they have to succeed the old-fashioned way.
                          --
                          Ring the bells that you can ring
                          Forget your perfect offering
                          There is a crack in everything
                          That's how the light gets in
                          -- Leonard Cohen, from "Anthem"
                          --
                          Lee A. Hart 814 8th Ave N Sartell MN 56377 leeahart_at_earthlink.net
                        • Paul Lawler
                          Perhaps you haven t noticed that most Toyotas sold in the U.S. (Prius being a notable exception) are made in the U.S. In terms of lobbying, they are for all
                          Message 12 of 16 , May 3, 2005
                            Perhaps you haven't noticed that most Toyotas sold in the U.S. (Prius
                            being a notable exception) are made in the U.S. In terms of lobbying,
                            they are for all practical purposes a U.S. carmaker.

                            On May 3, 2005, at 12:11 AM, Lee Hart wrote:

                            > In contrast, foreign carmakers like Toyota have to compete in a global
                            > market. They can't rig the rules so 22.5 mpg is all they have to meet,
                            > or get huge R&D grants from the US government for imaginary hydrogen
                            > cars, or big tax breaks to sell bloated SUVs.
                          • Akhare0419@aol.com
                            Allow people to plan for a gradual transition ? This will only help consolidate profit making in Oil Business. That will create a host of multiple problems.
                            Message 13 of 16 , May 3, 2005
                              Allow people to plan for a gradual transition ? This will only help consolidate profit making in Oil Business. That will create a host of multiple problems.

                              Anil Khare


                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Sam Williams <s.c.williams@...>
                              To: toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Tue, 03 May 2005 01:38:52 -0000
                              Subject: [toyota-prius] Toyota


                              Toyota is a large and profitable car company. Who else but a large
                              and profitable (and forward looking) car company would take the risk
                              on a hybrid? (Years of R&D, billions of yen.....). They are large
                              and profitable because they have consistently delivered a product that
                              people want to buy, not just today, but for the past 30 years.
                              Americans want big cars; Japanese want small cars, ergo, concomitant
                              Sequoia and Prius from the same manufacturer is no surprise.

                              I favor an increase in the gas tax - gradually. 10 cents per quarter
                              for the next 10 years. $4 on top of today's gas price would be
                              comparable to what much of the rest of the world is paying, and would
                              certainly force a lot of Americans to think twice about buying 4000+
                              lbs. of metal to haul around their 200 lb. carcass. (Carcass
                              estimate reflects increasing median American body-mass.)

                              I think it has to be gradual to allow people to plan. A car is a
                              major expense for most people and they should have time to plan.

                              -Sam






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                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Gina-n@snet.net
                              Don t forget the psychological factors TV advertising aimed at peoples insecurities the big is safer thought encouraged by advertisers. The governments fear
                              Message 14 of 16 , May 3, 2005
                                Don't forget the psychological factors TV advertising aimed at peoples
                                insecurities the big is safer thought encouraged by advertisers. The
                                governments fear mongering doesn't help a bit




                                <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

                                Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are
                                putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

                                <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                              • Lawrence Murray
                                Paul, Your point is correct!! However, the task masters of Toyota are in Japan!! Their direction, managemnt style and corprate culture is Japaness!! Ford is
                                Message 15 of 16 , May 3, 2005
                                  Paul,

                                  Your point is correct!! However, the task masters of Toyota are in Japan!!
                                  Their direction, managemnt style and corprate culture is Japaness!! Ford is
                                  made in several other countries as well. No one thinks of Ford as nothing
                                  more than an American Auto Maker!


                                  Larry
                                  04 Salsa Red #6


                                  >From: Paul Lawler <paul@...>
                                  >To: toyota-prius@yahoogroups.com
                                  >Subject: Re: [toyota-prius] Autoweek Article - good perspective on Toyota
                                  >Date: Tue, 3 May 2005 09:26:02 -0500
                                  >
                                  >Perhaps you haven't noticed that most Toyotas sold in the U.S. (Prius
                                  >being a notable exception) are made in the U.S. In terms of lobbying,
                                  >they are for all practical purposes a U.S. carmaker.
                                  >
                                  >On May 3, 2005, at 12:11 AM, Lee Hart wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > In contrast, foreign carmakers like Toyota have to compete in a global
                                  > > market. They can't rig the rules so 22.5 mpg is all they have to meet,
                                  > > or get huge R&D grants from the US government for imaginary hydrogen
                                  > > cars, or big tax breaks to sell bloated SUVs.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >To access group's website features such as Files, Photos, Links, Database
                                  >and Polls, go to
                                  >http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius
                                  >, Photos, Links, Database and Polls, go to
                                  >http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toyota-prius
                                  >
                                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
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