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January 14, 2007

Toyota's brand bait and switch

Hey Toyota - I Want My MPG in EVERYTHING YOU MAKE! What's up with the brand bait and switch?

Tundra_1 Car companies wonder why we don't trust them. We're facing global warming everywhere and Toyota, our icon of corporate sanity, decides to undo it's good will by joining Detroit in the mud with their 15/18 mpg Tundra truck. It's BIG, about 7,200 pounds, and based on "the wants and needs of American consumers."

Guess what? They're right on the "wants" part.

Put something big and shiny in front of children and they'll pick it up and play with it every time. Make no mistake about it, we're children in our buying habits, with very little self restraint. We were SO hoping that Toyota was going to be the one to establish parental control. Alas...

When did making a living turn into making a killing - and the sad part is, it's killing all of us as the planet gets warmer and warmer. One monster truck was one truck too many. The message that Toyota sent was, "We were just kidding about caring."

Ultimately it's up to the consumer. The thing is, we're just not very good at making decisions while under the influence of millions of dollars in marketing. Cigarettes may kill us off, but they won't kill off the planet, we have time to fix that faux pas. When it comes to CO2 emissions, however, time is short. We have maybe a decade at most to set a corrective course of action that will have global impact for generations to come.

We don't "needs" them.

Cars last for 10 years. What Toyota and Detroit put out this year, will be with us for a long time. It's obscene when you think about it. I'm hoping that Toyota and the rest of the automakers will put restrictions on how many of the monster trucks they'll make, maybe restrict them further to only those who can prove their business need for that kind of muscle power.

Xebra_pk_home_1 Until they do, we'll have to restrict ourselves. Consumers are left to make the hard decisions. Please make it on the side of good sense. Buy a high MPG car or go really wild and be the first to get an electric vehicle. At $10,000 you'll save cash buying it and save about $1000 a year driving it and more insuring it.

You'll be the coolest kid on the block.


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