AD #1684 – UAW Cost Cutting Plan, OEM Ranks by Stock Worth, Off-Roading With a Twist

August 20th, 2015 at 11:50am

Runtime: 7:52

- UAW Cost Cutting Plan
- Vipers Are Like Snowflakes
- Focus ST Performance Kit
- What it Would Cost to Buy an OEM
- Why Japan’s Imports Aren’t Growing
- Toyota Wants Tacoma’s Frame to Twist

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39 Comments to “AD #1684 – UAW Cost Cutting Plan, OEM Ranks by Stock Worth, Off-Roading With a Twist”

  1. Vic Says:

    Every car is one of a kind. Each car has a unique VIN.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    When all the Vipers become unique, they will no longer be unique.

    I think I’d rather have the ‘full-boxed’ frame….. and let the suspension do the bending.

  3. Marshall Says:

    I have to strongly disagree with your comments about the Viper, and that ‘No two built alike’ will help to increase sales. With limited colors and options available it will be ‘First come, or no sale.’ What if a prospective customer wants his Viper in red, w/ black interior, and options ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ , but someone has already ordered that. Do you really think the new guy is going to buy the Viper if he can’t spec it out how he wants. No, he will instead make the much wiser choice and buy a GTR, Corvette, or Challenger instead!

  4. dcars Says:

    Apple’s market cap is about 640B. witch is close to the value of all the OEM’s.

  5. jack Says:

    Toyota makes it sound like a plus with the Tacoma frame twist, but the way I see it, it’s not. A frame is not made to act like a spring. In time it will sag and cause problems. Put such a design in to the suspension instead to accomplish the same results.

  6. Lisk Says:

    Toyota, you just blew my mind. Here I was thinking the stiffer the structure, the better the overall product. #2 Chuck is correct, the suspension does the work. Serious off roaders work with suspension travel rather than frame twist.

  7. HtG Says:

    Dodge is saying there are 50 million possible configurations for the Viper. 16K color options, 8K matte finish options, 48K unique stripe options, etc.

    I guess I need to appreciate how some people need their car to be unique. Maybe it’s like when two women show up at a party wearing the same dress: the mascara will be running. (what am I trying to say here, anyway)

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks, Sean, for saying what I’ve been saying for years. Import restrictions are not the reason American vehicles are rare in Japan. The reason is that not many people in Japan want left hand drive pickup trucks with V8 engines, or other uniquely American vehicles. I’m surprised that they even allow LHD vehicles to be registered in Japan, but the last I knew, they did allow them.

  9. Buzzerd Says:

    it’s been the trend in motorcycle racing, mainly MotoGP, to design in some flex to the frame.
    Your suspension can’t help you much if it isn’t on the ground and other side is bottomed.

  10. Drew Says:

    Toyota use think the media and its customers are gullible. If a frame flexed so much as to keep the wheels on the trail, the composite box inner will crack. Speaking of crack, someone at Toyota is smoking it!

  11. JWH Says:

    #8 – Designed in frame flex in motorcycles, exemplified by MotoGP is that the tire sidewall flex & the suspension linkage is greatly reduced when the bikes are at the lean angles they see (up to 60 degrees). Some flex is required due to the bumps in the pavement.

  12. John McElroy Says:

    #7. LHD vehicles can be something of a status symbol in Japan, because they are clearly imported. But try paying road tolls or parking lot attendants when you’re sitting on the “wrong” side of the car. Status symbol or not, LHD vehicles will never sell well in Japan. OEMs need to spend the money to do a RHD version, just as Ford has done with the Mustang.

  13. Buzzerd Says:

    Drew- I would think they are talking about a small amount of flex, we aren’t talking about banana shapes here.

  14. Sean McElroy Says:

    Chart for OEM market capitalization is now in the transcript. Forgot to add it before show went up, my bad.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @10 Thanks, John.

    It will be interesting to see how Mustang sells in Japan, with the RHD version. I suppose Australia will be the biggest market for the RHD ‘Stang.

    I guess they sell a few Corvettes in Japan and the UK, but that is a “special,” uniquely American car.

  16. MJB Says:


    I would imagine it’d be just a small amount, but in order to keep all 4 tires planted in extreme conditions, there’d have to be considerable flex.

    Either way I would hope that the engineers are bright enough to come up with a workable solution.

    After all, I’m sure similar doubts were bantered about when front-wheel drive first introduced CV joints, in sharp contrast to the tried and true fixed position of RWD…

  17. Drew Says:

    Buzzerd – Have you ever seen a VW Rabbit GTI on a gymkhana? It does a 3-legged salute despite being on level ground. Why? It did not have an independent rear suspension. Well, neither does the Taco.

    So, for the Taco to keep all 4 wheels on the trail and still have its solid log rear axle, the frame would have to flex in the magnitude of many inches (not millimeters).

    The only way to keep all 4 tires on the trail is a Hummer-like 4-wheel independent suspension. Jeep Wranglers have a different off-road strategy that favors the ground clearing traits of solid axles for Rock Crawlers.

  18. Buzzerd Says:

    Drew-who says they are talking about that much, I would think they are talking about a little bit of flex to allow the tire to make enough contact in order to help the vehicle. Of course the thing isn’t going to flex 6 inches.

  19. Rob Says:

    Toyota Frame Flex; I find it hard to believe they would design in frame flex for what, 5% of the folks that do the extreem off-roading. I’ll pass.

    Proformance parts; I hope we are not left to buying enhancement parts exclusively through the dealers. That Focus upgrade you showed which basically is a larger innercooler and software changes retails for @$2000. Compared to other aftermarket vendors @ $800. All it takes is one automaker to leave access for upgrades with sales increase and others will follow.

    Japan imports; I wonder how expensive a new Toyota would be here in the states if we limited automotive imports to 5%. Imagine GM with 50% domestic market share again.

  20. Drew Says:

    It shouldn’t flex more than a cm or two, or else they’ll have problems with the composite box (cracks and structural failure). Thus the frame flex has little influence on tire contact while off-reading. I’ll admit it will contribute to compliance/suspension travel in full jounce conditions.

    Let’s just call it what it is. Toyota did not want to spend the money or incur the weight penalty for a fully boxed frame.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 The Rabbit lifts the wheel because it has a twist beam rear suspension, which acts like a rear anti-roll bar. If you have other types of rear suspension, but with lots of roll stiffness, a nose heavy front drive car will lift the inside rear wheel.

  22. BobD Says:

    Tacoma frame flex: Sounds like the marketing department trying to justify a cheaper design, sort of like GM’s counter-advertising against Ford’s F-150 aluminum body.

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The one thing I never had in my trucks/jeeps was a flexing frame.The suspension articulation should take car of most off road traveling.Even the ‘pro’ off roaders don’t use flexing frames.Imho,this will get interesting in the near future,especially when some of the frames don’t return to normal after flexing.

  24. Buzzerd Says:

    Drew- yes, I’m sure it was the extra 2 pounds that Toyota didn’t want or the $4. That must be it.

  25. Mack Daddy Says:

    If you add Nissan 39.4B plus Renault 27B then you are at #4….correct?

  26. Bradley Says:


    I am sure in history GM has had 50% market share. Look where it got us.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    GM had 50% US market share in 1961. They had 40% as recently as the early 80′s.

  28. Bradley Says:

    Based on a quick Google GM achieved 48% in the 60s. With 6.8% imported cars.

  29. Rob Says:

    25 Yea it got us a huge middle class where people could support a family on one income.
    Not saying that the imports havent helped the US auto industry. It forced huge changes in quality which is a pretty level standard today.

  30. JDay Says:

    I’ll pass on toyotas twisting frame. As an off-road enthusiast myself I could easily see myself twisting that frame one day and it not twisting back. Might be good for slow speed rock walking on baby trails but jump that thing one good time and it will be steering like a skateboard all the way home.

    I think that Japan as way to into efficiency to desire auto models from almost any of the other markets in the world and especially the U.S.

    the focus factory upgrade is pretty weak, if your going to try and get any real power out of these newer type of cars its still going to require a trip to a tuning shop and either a full re-map or stand alone system that will void your warranty instantly and If u live in Cali I hope u got a cool smog guy. New stuff is virtually mod proof if u plan on passing emissions.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like Ford also has a “twisting frame” philosophy.


    The first video was for the earlier trucks, but still…

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like Ford also has a “twisting frame” philosophy.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:


    The first video was for the earlier trucks, but still…

  34. XA351GT Says:

    Maybe Toyota designed the Tacoma that way so you can’t tell if it’s chassis flex or the frame rotted out like all the trucks they had to recall a couple years back.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Time will tell if Toyota have fixed the rust problem.

    From the Ford/Ram video, it looked like Ford did what Toyota is doing, make the front of the frame under the cab stiff, but the back part frexible. The doors worked, but the bed was twisted.

  36. Stu Says:

    #10, 12

    Vechicles in Japan are taxed based on engine size, which is why 50% of the market is the kei. John is right that foreign makes, especially LHD and large (more than 2L)displacement vehicles, will only ever be a small percentage of sales here.

    That said, I am amazed how many large SUVs I have seen here. There are several Navigators and Suburbans running around in this area, and I have no idea where the guy with the H1 finds any place to park.

    FYI, the only new Mustangs I have seen have been the ecoboost version, although the older ones (all 2 of them)have been V8s.

  37. Don B. Says:

    Frame flex? Sounds like Toyota is just making an excuse. This is not a articulated frame that can twist between cab and bed like an old Power Wagon. Twisting will cause metal fatigue.
    I have seen pictures of a bed of a pickup flopping down and killing an auto tech.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Mustang is sold in the UK only with the 2.3 turbo and the V8, no V6. I suspect the 4 will be the big seller, for tax and fuel economy reasons. At one time, there was a sizable break on road tax for engines under 2 liter. If that is still the case, they might want to offer the 2.0 turbo in the UK, and maybe some international markets, like Japan.

  39. Duke Says:

    Do you mean like this:

    Just a few . . . of many