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December | 2007 | Japan Auto Auctions

Toyota recall coverups

In the last two years the number of recalls on Toyota vehicles has risen dramatically. In the US the numbers were up ten fold over the previous year and in Japan the numbers were up 100 times, mostly because Toyota never had recalls. So what’s the problem? Is Toyota quality dropping in their quest to become the world’s dominant manufacturer, slashing supplier costs and raising retail prices, cashing in on their reputation to build up a huge pot of money to further their expansion plans? Yes that certainly has something to do with it but there is more to the story.

In 1990 Toyota declared a profit in Japan of about $500 Million on a huge sales volumn pushed along by the late 80s bubble economy. In 2000 they reported a profit of $1 Billion on less sales volumn. How do you do that? No big secret, make your cars for less and sell them [...]

This is taken from the Nissan blurb that they handed out to the press.

The new Nissan GT-R may well be the most accomplished and technologically advanced high performance car ever made. One of the world’s fastest vehicles (including a production car lap record at the famous Nürburgring in Germany), it is also probably the world’s easiest and most secure high-speed car to drive fast. The multi-performance supercar Nissan GT-R raced through the Nürburgring circuit – where the condition of the most feared high-speed corner, “Kesselchen” was wet – with a record time of 7m38s. It can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds. The new Nissan GT-R is also striking value, offering much better performance – in acceleration, cornering power and braking – than all equivalently priced sports coupes.

Like previous versions of the legendary race-winning GT-R, the latest model is a showcase for Nissan’s engineering talents. Features include an advanced full-time four-wheel drive system [...]

I traveled up to Tokyo on October 23rd and met up with Jeff Ash of C-Red Tuning for the Tokyo Motor Show 2007. Jeff had organized some press passes so we got the royal treatment with plenty of handouts and CDs including an excellent, fact packed, picture loaded and video filled one on the new GTR.

Because of the amount of information collected and interesting new releases, not just supercars but also Japanese makers are finally entering back into the domestic market with common rail diesels of their own, I’m going to spread the show over several entries so come back from time to time to get the Auto Insider’s take on the new releases at TMS 2007.

Well of course I’m going to lead off with the star of the show. Yes we saw the unveiling by Carlos of what will be without doubt not just another Japanese icon to follow the previous GTRs [...]

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