AD #1153 – Toyota Not Expanding in U.S., Nissan Truck Sales Struggle, Packard Plant For Sale

June 12th, 2013 at 11:48am

Runtime: 7:32

Toyota doesn’t expect to regain the peak market share it once held in the U.S. Even though Nissan’s full-size pickups have the options Americans want, they seem to be bolted to showroom floors. Detroit’s iconic Packard plant is up for auction this September. All that and more, plus a look how Chevy’s all-new Cruze Diesel is different from its gasoline counterparts.

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: BorgWarner, Bridgestone and Dow Automotive Systems

»Subscribe to Podcast | iTunes | Zune | RSS | Listen on Phone Stitcher | YouTube

Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist filling in for John today. In the second half of the show we’ll take a look at the new Chevy Cruze Diesel. But first… the news.

Toyota doesn’t expect to regain the peak market share it held in the U.S. in the near future. The company’s market share hit a high of 17 percent back in 2009 but it tumbled below 13 percent by 2011 because of the recession, its massive recall over unintended acceleration and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which crippled production. Last year the company jumped back to over 14 percent and it expects its U.S. market share to remain between 14 and 17 percent in the future. Toyota says it’s focusing on quality and not expanding sales.

Earlier in the year, General Motors announced it is investing over $7 billion in Korea over the next five years but a number of announcements recently has workers in the country worried about the company’s commitment to the market. According to WardsAuto, the next-generation Sonic and Cruze will not be built in Korea and reports from Europe say the company could move production of its small crossovers from Korea to Spain. The union is also worried because GM is offering early-retirement buyouts and it’s not replacing workers who do retire. GM has future production commitments in Korea but it does seem like the company is looking to rely on other markets for production.

A decade ago Nissan attacked the Detroit Three in the most profitable part of their business, the full-size truck segment. But even though the Nissan Titan pickup, the Armada SUV and NV van were designed, developed and manufactured in the USA, and are V-8 powered body-on-frame vehicles, they seem to be nailed to the showroom floor. So far this year their combined sales are less than 19,000 units. That’s about what the Ford- F-Series sells in one week! Nissan has invested too heavily to give up on them now, but it’s unclear to us how they’re going to turn this around.

Detroit’s iconic Packard plant is up for auction this September. It was originally constructed in 1903 and spans across 43 parcels of land. While the Packard auto brand closed its doors in 1958, portions of the facility were used by other businesses but the plant has been vacant for years. The price of the entire facility is said to start just shy of $1 million but if it does not sell, it will go back up for auction in October at $500 per parcel.

Between 2006 and 2012, tire prices for passenger cars jumped almost 60 percent. That’s why more people are renting tires, yes apparently you can rent tires. The Los Angeles Times reports that customers can pay as little as $14 per week to rent a set of tires. But customers who rent, can end up paying double or triple what it costs to buy tires. And you have to make sure to make payments on time because they skyrocket if you miss the deadline and some states may view it as theft and could repo your vehicle. But due to declining incomes and increasing new tire prices, more and more people are renting tires. I don’t know, folks, sounds like some of you should be rethinking that.

Coming up next, a look at the all-new Chevy Cruze Diesel.

The Chevy Cruze Diesel is one of the most anticipated releases in the U.S. this year because if it sells well, we could see more automakers introduce diesels. But there’s more to the car than just the engine, here’s Sean McElroy with all the details.

(Video and interview for the Chevy Cruze Diesel can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

If you would like to learn almost every detail about the diesel engine going in the Cruze, check out our recent Autoline After Hours with Mike Siegrist, the Assistant Chief Engineer of the car.

And be sure to check out this week’s After Hours when I take over hosting duties while John is in Germany. My guests for the evening are two of the top interior designers at Lincoln, Susan Lampinen and Janet Seymour. So tune in this Thursday at 6PM for some of the best insider discussion in the industry.

And that’s it for today’s show. I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, thanks for watching and I will see you again tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and

35 Comments to “AD #1153 – Toyota Not Expanding in U.S., Nissan Truck Sales Struggle, Packard Plant For Sale”

  1. Chuck @ GM Says:

    A lot of locals explore the tunnels under the packard plant. Looks like they’re going to be out of luck. It’s the most worthwhile thing about the place, unfortunately.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I think, maybe, a more lively discussion on AAH (Autoline After Hours) would have been to have the designers for the Lincoln’s exterior there instead of or at least in additon to. While I’m sure the interior designer show will be good/great, it’s the exterior designers that have some explaining to do. IMO

  3. Chuck @ GM Says:

    In my alleged mind, and I’ve never really looked at either and between the two of them, I think I’d be inclined to favor the Titan over the Tundra. Probably because Nissan has some kind of truck history. If Toyota has a similar history, I am not aware of it.

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    Rent-a-tire? Why not rent a wife? they both wear out unevenly, lose their value and it’s not like you need them all the time.

  5. Brett Says:


    YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary


  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    Rent a tire? what a dumb ass idea, I can just see on G4 TV, Operation Repo Tire, whereby those same low lifes who go around stealing wheels can make money legally by doing the same for these tire repo companies. Seriously and dangerously, what I have seen is a lot of cash-deprived folk buying used tires w/o any idea if they’re safe or not and no one is checking these things.

  7. Jim Bielecki Says:

    I’m surprised Carlos Ghosn still has a job. His track record isn’t good. He wasted billions developing the Titan pickup and wasted even more money (5 billion dollars+) on the Leaf. Both have been colossal failures.

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    Both Toyota and Nissan (Honda to a lesser extent) figured if they could dominate the sedan and cross over market in the US, how could they miss the mark with pickups? Well. they did not count on the fact that the heartland is not too keen on imports, specially the truck type.

  9. Jon M Says:

    Tire rentals!?! That has bad idea written all over it, unless of course you’re the proprietor of such a business. Imagine trying to trade-in or sell a car with rental tires. “Oh no, I’m sorry, the tires have to go back before you can take possession of the vehicle.” What are next, rental organs? Can’t afford a kidney transplant? No problem, we can rent a kidney to you for the low, low price of only 9.95/month. But wait, there’s more. If you’re rental kidney fails for any reason, we’ll throw in dialysis for only 199.95 per treatment!

  10. ColoradoKid Says:

    Obamanomics Fails Again !

    And yet another manufacture ( Cooper Tire ) gets sold overseas . To India this time


    And on the subject of the BRIC’s … we’re now 3 out of 4 in economic decline … Brazil following in India and Russia’s footsteps .

    So who’s gonna revive the flagging auto industry worldwide now that 3 of the 4 great hopes have petered out ?

    And any bets China will be next ?


    Cruze Diesel – Note to GM .. drop the pretentious VOLT and go with this one full bore . This …. makes sense … and who knows … it might even sell … unlike the VOLT that is ;-)


    #3 Seriously ? You don’t know about Toyota’s truck history ? What planet you been living on for the last 40 years or so ?


    Rent a Tire – One more sure fire sign that the economy is in fact …..despite all the Government/Wall St rhetoric … stalled at best .. and/or on the verge of another recession following the EU’s footsteps at worst

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    You know what? I’d rather keep the old car and BUY safe, new tires, rather than rent them or worse still, buy used ones of questionable safety or quality!

  12. Ed Says:

    I live in truck country in the south, the three people who I know who bought either a Titan or an armada got rid of them mighty quick, terrible mpg, no dealer support, and poor quality, also heard electrical problems and rear end failure, unless Nissan fixes the quality and slashes the price for about 5 years they will languish forever, for the same price you can Get a tundra or Tacoma with better reliability, not to mention ford GM and dodge with the “hometown advantage” tundra is making inroads with local companies, and as the years go by are making headway, but again Toyota asked in 2008 for suppliers to cut price 30 %, so that is now coming into long term quality for Toyota, you reap what you sow!

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    Toyota truck history – The early years

  14. Jesse Says:

    I think that the rent a tire business will be flat…:).

  15. Jesse Says:

    Unless they inflate the numbers… -*

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Had a conversation today with a MB tech manager at a local dealer, who was unaware that the CLA was gonna be built by Nissan in Mexico and said that these cars were simply built to satisfy the govt cafe standards and that MB does not really care about it, only their core products and if the company was going to be able to make them cheaper, then it’s ok by him.

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    #10, better grab some US made tires before they become extinct as well as so many other American products have.

  18. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Both Nissan and Toyota need to up the quality and lower the price of their full size truck to compete. With the big margins for the manufactures this could be done with “dumping”. After you get market share then you can raise prices.

    GM have you fixed the brick hard seats in the Chevy Cruze diesel?

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Titan has always had a reputation for poor quality, especially for a Japanese nameplate vehicle, and it is still sub-par in CR’s reliability surveys. Also, they don’t offer a full line. They don’t have a “standard cab” version, and they have fewer drive train choices than the others.

    I’d heard of rental wheels, intended for those who want to change the blinged-out look of their ’86 Caprice every few weeks, but I hadn’t heard of renting tires. The idea of renting tires is sad, very sad. The people getting screwed with this are the ones who can least afford it.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Tires from China are probably something fairly new, but I was kind of shocked when I bought Michelin tires many years ago for my ’74 Duster, and found that they were from, I think, Romania. That would have been in about 1976.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    I find it ridiculous that you have to check the sidewall to see where the freaking tire is made, I have had bad experiences with Chinese made tires, including tread separation and I will not buy them again, the last set I got were made in Taiwan and have been pretty good still using them after 2 yrs of heavy duty use.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My Michelins worked well, but I didn’t expect to pay a premium price, and find that they were from behind the “iron curtain.”

  23. BobZ Says:

    #18: According to Consumer Reports Reliability History of comparable models:

    Silverado 1500: Average
    F150: Average
    Ram 1500: Average
    Titan: Worse than average
    Tundra: Much better than average

    The Tundra is assembled in Texas and has 75% domestic parts content which is the same as the F-150.

  24. W L Simpson Says:

    Speaking of packard——–

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    #24 It’s all good, that it the small price we pay to become a service/consumer instead of an industrial society, just look how much cleaner our air is now! And those folks work for much less money at retail places like Wal Mart selling Chinese made stuff that we used to make in such now-dilapidated cities, but it’s all good; the rich keep getting richer and that is good for all of us, isn’t it?

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    no one has mentioned that it’s not so much the fact that tires have gone up in price, it’s that even economy cars now come with huge wheels and those tires cost a lot more, my Vibrolla’s 175 65 14 in are now special order

  27. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ W.L.Simpson: Don’t worry,OCP will fix it,they can fix anything,lol.

  28. Chuck @ GM Says:

    @22 While the story is not inaccurate, it’s incomplete. Downtown ie the Woodward and Jefferson area, Mexican town, Greektown, Pole town (Hamtramack actually) and other areas are a great place to be, especially during games (the only team not down there is the Pistons, and they are working hard to get them there) or other events, Freedom Festival (independence celebration held jointly with Canada for a truely spectacular fireworks show over the Detroit River, BTW bet you didn’t know Detroit is the only place in CONUS where you go south into Canada), The Belle Isle Grand Prix, Gold Cup Unlimited Hydroplane races, brings hundreds of thousands, I’d say 500k anyway for each event, but google it for yourself, Winterfest, and other things Thanksgiving parade, all attract a lot of people. Where you can get into to trouble is the neighborhoods, if you don’t know where you are. Some few neighborhoods are great and no different than your own. The story talks about 350 murders a year, when I was growing up in the 60′s 700 a year was a good year. We richly deserve the title of The Murder Capital of the US.

    The way to fix it, is what’s going on now. Find a way to get the budget under control, an Emergency Manager is working on that. See if you can convince the majority of the residents it’s not normal that the Mayor’s job, city council, school board, water board, you name it, doesn’t pay idk 150k to 350k a year plus all the money you can steal or extort, that you prosecute people like that, then we’re back on track.

  29. Chuck @ GM Says:

    Because it’s been that way since forever.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’m sure the residents of Camden, NJ thought their city would never succumb to where it is today, a place where even the police fear the streets.

  31. Steve Says:

    From what I’ve heard the Titan is a disaster. Rear end and gas economy problems.

    If anyone has any fixes for the rear end problems I would like to hear about it.

  32. cwolf Says:

    The sale off Cooper Tire was nothing more than a business transaction. It has nothing to do with Obamanomics and, as TTAC claims, the sale is not outsourcing. Some of the writers for this site have to be wacko or desperate to get attension.

  33. cwolf Says:

    Chuck @ GM, Detroit does have alot to offer. Many of the attractions are fairly close to one another if you know how to navigate. The farmers market is a good way to kill a few hours and doesn’t cost a dime.

  34. Brett Says:



  35. Stuart Somers Says:

    The Nissan Titan uses Dana axles. I tow a 7,000 lb+ trailer with my 2011. Truck works well. I like it better than my old F-150,and it gets 2 mpg better while making 100 more horsepower. Titans are made in Canton Mississippi.