Why Toyota Makes the Most Reliable Cars, Japanese vs American Culture

Why Toyota Makes the Most Reliable Cars, Japanese vs American Culture


rev up your engines, today I’m gonna talk
about why Toyota makes such reliable cars, what’s the reasoning behind that,
and I’ll start out by telling you the truth
nobody’s sponsoring this, Toyota isn’t sponsoring this, I’ve been a mechanic for
51 years look at my driveway, I’ve got a 1994
Celica, a 2007 Toyota Matrix, and a 2002 Lexus, and I bought all these vehicles
used, now why did i buy toyota products Lexus is a toyota product,
let’s not mash names there, well precisely because I am a mechanic, Monday
through Friday I spend all my time fixing other people’s cars, do you really
think Saturday and Sunday I want to have to fix my own cars, I want the most
reliable cars so I don’t have to work on the things, even though I buy them used I
hardly ever have to do anything to them anyway, now why are the Toyota line
reliable, well you have to understand it’s a different culture, I got a
master’s degree from the University of Illinois and some of the stuff I studied
was Asian business, being a Japanese company Toyota was always thinking
towards the future, they’re thinking sometimes even decades ahead, where
American manufacturers hey, like most American corporations, especially ones
that are publicly traded, they’re worried about the stock price, so they’re
thinking about the quarterly reports sometimes they’re only thinking three
months ahead, not three decades ahead there’s a real difference there between
short term and long term profits too, take Toyota in the 70s and 80s, people accused
them of dumping their small pickup trucks on the United States, they certainly
didn’t cost much back then, they do today but they didn’t used to, they built
themselves up a market of people who like their little trucks, wanted a
dependable little truck, so they sold a whole bunch of them, yeah they certainly
didn’t make that much money in the beginning selling those trucks, but they
sure as heck do now, they built up a market by just improving their vehicles
little bits at a time, I remember when I was a young mechanic in the 60’s
everybody laughed at the Japanese stuff and said, oh those little rice burners,
those little puddle jumpers what good are they, well sometimes being
conservative pays off in a business world, Toyota
never really made a v8 pickup truck until the tundra, they were originally
gonna call it the t-150 but ford threatened to sue them so they dropped
off on that and decided to call it the tundra, they were worried that they
weren’t gonna be able to sell them in large enough volume, they started making
them in Indiana where they used to make their forklift trucks, so they came in
very conservative, they ended up selling all the ones they made, and they just
started making more and more as people saw, Wow a reliable Japanese large pickup
truck with a v8 engine, that’s not their main market you know they’re not gonna
be beating Ford and selling v8 pickup trucks like the f-150, that’s a real
American thing and they’ve been building those f-150s for decades to perfecting
them as time goes on, but the tundra shows one basic thing about Toyota, they
were conservative they started with, okay we’ll try v8 trucks now and a small
amount, then as they got popular they started making more and selling more, even
though big trucks weren’t really in their market, their more into cars to get people
around in, that’s where they were making most of their profit, look at the camrys and
Corollas they sold millions and millions of those things, and really when you look
at them they weren’t particularly good-looking, and they didn’t ride all
that well in the beginning, but they just didn’t break down, and a lot of it has to
do with their entire manufacturing setup in Japan they don’t have the big labor
versus management fight like in the United States where they’re going at it
tooth and nail, in Japan a good factory job was seen as a lifetime thing, the
people would go on summer vacations together and they would all be treated
fine, and there wasn’t this, oh we’re the workers and the management is
screwing us over, it’s a completely different scenario than it is in the
United States, and let’s face it if you have a happy labor force and you keep
incrementally making your vehicles better and
better and perfecting them and then trying new things every once in a while
but doing it conservatively, your vehicles are probably going to come off
the line put together better than they are in a different scenario, where the
management and the workers are at each other all the time,
hey I’ve even had private conversations with businessmen in the United States
working for large corporations, and they said Scotty we can’t compete with the
Japanese on the same level, because they just have a different Society, they’d say
the pressure for short-term profit was really high in the United States, and
there are always trying to maximize that whether it be lowering the quality of
parts in cars to save money, or paying the guys who built them less money, and if
you think about it both of those are not such a hot idea,
you don’t want lower quality parts and you don’t want people who are building getting
paid less and less as time goes on, so if your main focus is not, how can we make
more profit by either cutting the quality of our products, paying the
workers less, you’re gonna make better quality vehicles that’s just common
sense, now me I admit it I’m a cheapskate, all these Toyota’s and Lexus’s
I bought, I bought them used but since the Toyotas are so well made, you can buy
one it’s got some mileage on it and still drive it for years, I mean I’ve had
my own customers sometimes arguing with me in saying, oh I’m happy with my Chrysler
I haven’t had any problems with it and then I say, well how many miles do you
have on it and they’ll say well we’ve got 30,000
miles on it, and I just laugh and say, hey call me up when you got a hundred
thousand or if it makes it to 150,000 and you spend
a ton of money fixing it, and over the last three decades, really I haven’t
personally found anything that’s more reliable for the money then the Toyota
products are, and I just hope that they don’t start following the Americans, but
sadly I see a little bit of that in the newer Toyotas, I see things breaking long
before they used too, I’ve seen power door locks break on cars there were only two
three years old, I see water pumps go bad on vehicles that had maybe 40,000 miles
on them, but let’s hope that that’s just a fluke and they don’t follow down
the line of planned obsolescence and start making cars that break down before their
time, so if you never want to miss another one of my new car repair videos,
remember to ring that Bell!

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

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  2. Life-long employment is no longer a part of Japanese culture, sadly.
    It's a worldwide trend, more and more workers work on temporally contract handled by job agencies(to avoid work benefit and job security).
    Toyota may not be one of those companies but who knows.

    The wave of neo-liberalism is penetrating everywhere.
    Economy can't be sustained in this way.

  3. I have had 3 Hondas and 2 Toyotas. I haven't owned any other brands. My current Honda has 269,000 miles on it. I am now looking to get another Toyota to make it an even 3 on 3 😁

  4. Which Toyota models are made in Japan?
    Are the Toyota cars that are made in the United States as reliable as the ones made in Japan?
    Are any Toyota's made in Mexico?

  5. Scotty. What you're illuding to is imminent. The market for the buyer has changed in the last 20 years. Most people don't keep their cars more than 4 years like the good old days when the grandparents kept their Lincoln Town car for 25 years. The manufacturers know this. Unfortunately cars today are built to last for a hundred fifty thousand miles and be replaced/traded.

  6. My 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser has 312.000 miles still runs great with 0 issues .. my sisters 2013 Range Rover Evoque is only 70.000 miles and full of problems and faults although its well taken care of

  7. “Monday to Friday I fix people’s cars”
    “Do you think on Saturday and Sunday I will fix my ownn caarrr”
    😂😂😂

  8. I just had to junk out my dad's impala. 350,000 miles. The US went to the moon and won WW2. I will concede that in the 80s US cars were junk.

  9. If you want a good, reliable car, buy a Toyota. If you want a car for any other reason then buy something else. Of course you will have issues, your reasons should
    outweigh the annoyances. Scotty is right on the money.

  10. My mom used to drive a toyota aygo, it was a fine car and she loved to drive it but then my dad sold it for an Beamer E46😂

  11. Ford should have been flattered that Toyota wanted to name their full size pickup after the F-150. The Japanese probably saw that as more of a compliment/tribute but Ford responded the American way "That's trademark infringement! do that and we'll sue you!"

  12. Scotty is right. Look at how all the American companies are continually creating unreliable garbage cars, from old companies like Chrysler and Chevrolet, to new Teslas fresh off the factory. How the heck do you design a brand new car that loses power steering in the middle of an intersection? Ask Tesla.

  13. The reason the tacoma still had drum rear brakes!! Best vehicle ever made!! My 02 Tacoma has over 600,000 miles on it and is just like when it had 100,000

  14. I used to drive a 91 Toyota Camry. I'm pretty sure we put 300,000 km on it and it still kept going and had another 10 years of life left in it. unfortunately it got wrecked, the last couple of owners were very rough on it.

  15. Love my F150 but I will never buy another car or SUV again that’s not a Toyota. My escape has been out of service for months. Needs a new tranny. I will fix it, sell it and get a 4Runner

  16. Scotty is really telling a sad story of the declining US manufacturing and the greed of Wall Street…

    What the Japanese did isn't totally new… it's what the US used to have before the 1960s…..

  17. Don't believe the hype no such thing as a reliable car every Toyota doesn't to 300,000 miles Toyota just settle a lawsuit engine problems Lexus brand had a problem with rolling over injuring people now this happened a few years ago don't believe the hype lots of cars can go 300,000 miles it depends on the owner

  18. It costs more to make a defective part than to make it right the first time. So a better cars cost less to make than a car with problems. Most or almost most Japanese cars are made here.

  19. Toyotas are great if they are built in japan. Toyotas for the european market aren`t build there. That`s why the rep in the eu isn't as good as in the usa.

  20. Japanese culture is honor above anything else. They also put that concept behind their cars. They need to make their cars reliable to preserve their brand. American brand, meh. Y’all know how unreliable those cars get once they hit the 6 year mark. American cars are designed for the consumer market. Break and buy, break and buy.

  21. Toyota should relaunch the Celica, and have a bare-bones, no technology, no features, just AM/FM radio with a CD player and AC, but no power windows, naturally aspirated 4 cylinder, no power seats, no rear view cameras or any of that fancy stuff. They should call it "The Scotty." And, of course, The Scotty should only be offered with standard transmission. I think you would be a great hit.

  22. Bought a 1999 Camry a few years ago with 150k on it. Three years later, I have 180k and it runs like a champ. I had to replace an oil pump and that was it (besides some routine stuff like a tune-up, a brake pad change, and oil changes. It is actually an incredibly fun car to drive.

  23. Perfect reason why we should never go to war with China. We only beat japan with a nuclear bomb. They are very disciplined and think ahead. We are too short sighted and everything is about making a quick buck.

  24. Im getting my uncles 1995 toyota camry, 81k miles and its very comfy, rides great, a little loud but rides pretty well for its age. Im pretty excited to have this car as they were built VERY VERY well!

  25. Have you seen new Toyota's lately ? Plastic intake & exhaust manifolds, wobbly loose parts in engine bay, poor interior refinishing, body mold clips popping off, calipers seizing at 50,000 kms, piston slap on 4L Tacoma's at only 70,000kms. And much much more. N. America Toyota quality is no where near their offerings in Europe or Asia. N.A. gets outdated inefficient motors. N.A. Prius ~50mpg, yet Toyota's petrol engines in Europe yield 60mpg, and hybrids north of 70mpg !

  26. Have a 2015 Toyota Camry ( 90,000 miles )& 2015 Toyota Highlander (75,000 miles). Almost too easy to maintain. Haven’t had a single problem since we got them.

  27. Japan's geography is actually tougher than you think, cars have to be tough enough to endure steep hills, cold and hot weather, bumpy road from earthquakes, and storms

  28. When you look at the used car market in Norway, a country witch roads and climate demand a lot of the cars, Mercedes has by far the most high mileage cars, also; when wrecked Toyota and Japanese cars in general don't have particularly high mileage.

    My work contain a lot of driving, in difficult conditions, my employer lease new cars for two years at the time. In the morning the Suzuki's (in particular the Suzuki) and the Toyota's are always the last to be picked, you have to come in early to get a Wolkswagen , because people rather want to spend the day in them. To me, that says a lot..

  29. I drive an 89 Toyota v6 4×4. It has about 400k miles on it. All I’ve had to do is change out the starter and replace the head gasket seal. I’ve had newer cars when far less mileage that has so many more problems(my Chrysler Sebring was the worst). Ill always stick with Toyota.

  30. Have 2009 Corolla 1.8 with blown head gasket between cylinders 3 and 4.

    Can I put a used Japan made engine vs the American made engine it has now?

  31. Things are not made to endure in our money-driven, capitalist consumer society. Rather than manufacture high quality goods that are meant to last, the policy these days is to manufacture cheap, inexpensive, low-quality goods that wear out quickly — and need to be replaced by newer models.

    We ride around in disposable cars and trucks, and wear disposable clothes and shoes. Disposable houses and apartment buildings are constructed, filled with disposable furniture and disposable appliances. If something is broken, just throw it out! Do not bother to fix it or to find a replacement part for a worn-out component. When was the last time you saw a television repair shop?

    And it is not just our material goods that have become disposable junk: We have junk food, junk music, junk paintings, junk sculpture, junk politicians, junk television, junk films, junk religion, junk education, and junk values. Truly, we live in a disposable, junk culture!

    One result has been a great increase in people who live low-quality lives. They engage in disposable relationships, which on occasion result in disposable children.

    We can trace the immediate source of this lamentable trend back to the post-World War II era in the United States. Automobile manufacturers were faced with a choice: They could make high quality vehicles that would last for 30 years, and charge a huge amount for them; or they could make inexpensive vehicles of inferior quality that would last five or six years, and then need replacement. Their business model projected maximum profits for vehicles that could be produced cheaply and wear out fast. How many 30-year-old cars do you see driving around today? It is unlikely that the capitalist overlords gave any thought to what long-term effects this policy would have on the environment. Nor did the relative safety of high-quality vs. low-quality automobiles factor into their dollars-and-cents calculations.

    Previously, the idea of quality workmanship was the standard to which every manufacturer aspired, to one degree or another. But in the post-World War II era, this ideal was rendered obsolete. Goods were designed to wear out after a given period of time. The capitalists even came up with a snazzy term for this policy: “planned obsolescence.” Cheaply made ticky-tack quickly replaced quality workmanship in all facets of manufacturing. And in time, not just material goods, but every segment of society became infected. The ideal of classic quality was replaced by the desire to have things that were new, shiny, and novel.

    This way of thinking quickly permeated all of American society, and from America it spread to Europe, like a contagious virus.

    The origins of the value system that resulted in our disposable society go back to before the Second World War. Indeed, it is embedded in and integral to the basic values of an ideology sometimes called “Americanism,” that values quantity over quality in all things. The social-political manifestation of this notion is a fallacy that claims “all men are created equal.” Certainly, that was the most pernicious lie that was ever told! For if the attitude is adopted that all men are equal, then the very notion of “quality” itself becomes obsolete. Even the basic concept of racial quality, upon which our civilization is built, no longer has meaning under this mad scheme.

    There was a society once that was the polar opposite of our disposable, junk society. A whole nation was built on the idea of placing quality before quantity in all things. The goal was not “more and newer,” but “better and higher.” This attitude was reflected not only in the manufacturing of material goods, but also in the realms of art and architecture, as well as in the social fabric of everyday life. Its ultimate expression was found in conceiving and rearing the next racial generation. The goal was for each new cohort of children to stand on a higher level than the preceding cohort: they were to be healthier, stronger, more intelligent, and more vibrant in every way.

  32. I have a 2008 Corolla with over 400K on it, still running fine. Also a 1995 Suzuki Swift also standing its ground serving the family when in need several occasions with out any problems.

  33. It's simple Jspanese culture is not about profits it is about honor, America is all about quarterly profits and Ameeicans have no honor ! Me Myself and I does not good car make!!

  34. sir which is the best car for commercial vehicle Hyundai xcent swift dzire… Toyota etos Honda amaze…
    Including build quality…
    Please tell me sir…

  35. My 2007 es 350 lexus has 290××× miles on it with no engine light but my 2007 gmc Sierra has 179××× Miles on it but has a code for throttle sensor and 02 sensor 🤦🏿‍♂️🤦🏿‍♂️🤦🏿‍♂️🤦🏿‍♂️

  36. My 2001 Toyota Solara is about to reach 270,000 miles on it. It got passed down to me from my mom. I remember getting picked up in it in 1st grade. I’m 26 now and I’m the one in the driver seat. It’s been good to me for the most part. Very dependable cars.

  37. My Old Neighbor use to have an old Volvo 240 25 years old not a speck of rust on it ! Volvo made great cars back in the 60's and 70's they made they cars too good. Back in the days you buy a Datsun 5 years later it was a datsall because the car was all rusted. Those car were crap. So now car company, ask themself what is the sweetspot for car longetivity so people continue to buy they cars and B) they make the most profit. and the answer is 7 years.

    That's why today cars look for a 7 years however all my car have reach 12 years in age before i got them. So i bought them cheap < 2500$

  38. I recently picked an 83 Chevy Caprice with a Toyota 2LT engine. Yes I'll be putting in an original V8 motor but this thing still drives crazy with amazing gas mileage

  39. I drive an Aveo diesel,and a TOYOTA Auris.Both are excellent bread winners.But Toyota is like a hyppo.Yes its dependable but i dont like it.

  40. Scotty I'm considering buying a 08 Toyota Avalon touring with 385,000 miles in it. For 2998 dollars. Is it going to be worth it?

  41. Toyota got to be best by taking Dr. Deming(quality control) advice to heart and checking everything. It helped to have a great workforce in Japan, but they extended the good practices to the US when they came here. Heck, they were so efficient that GM actually bought a factory(Fremont) and co-produced cars just so they could watch…

  42. My 08 corolla has only had the following issues….
    1:none
    2:none
    3:none
    Thats all.
    I have changed oil, tires and added gas. Thats it. Its an 08 and I think I'll change the stock battery this year…. Maybe.

  43. My Toyota Avanza is not a good looking MPV.
    But it takes me and my family from point A to point B.
    Been using it for 10 years and it did not let us down even once.
    Reliable. Durable. Cheap to maintain. Less expensive spare parts.

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