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Old 11-12-2014, 11:04 PM
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Default What has Toyota done for us?

This is just me playing devil's advocate for a second.

I hope I don't need to say that I'm a pretty loyal fan of most things Toyota.... especially the greatest overland vehicle ever produced (100 Series)

However.... the great debacle that Toyota created in 2008 by donating $20 million to the Audubon Society, which in turn used other funds to attempt to close the Outer Banks of North Carolina to vehicular traffic (many of which were Toyota 4x4's). Toyota recently donated another $3.5 million to the same organization which caused another stir.

I did some searching via the www tonight to look for places where Toyota donated money to off road or off-highway vehicle organizations, efforts, clubs, trail preservations etc. I couldn't find any, but maybe I'm missing it?

Toyota Land Cruiser Association is on the verge of going belly up. The amount of money spent over the last nearly 40 years by TLCA members on Toyota products, parts and vehicles is pretty significant. The amount of Toyota offroad vehicles in the US alone is pretty significant. Where's the give back? Where's the help in keeping our trails open?

This isn't a shot at Toyota, but a legitimate question. I found a few instances where Toyota area dealers donated 4Runners to wildlife organizations in California for them to travel offorad to study life in the backcountry. But, that's all. It's all about conservation..... and while that's great... conservation usually doesn't mean "keep trails open".
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Last edited by Fishy; 11-13-2014 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:11 AM
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Im guessing the volume of their vehicle sales is so massively skewed towards the Camry and Prius markets (vs frame on 4x4's), that they are simply aligning their philanthropic dollars with the majority of their customer base.

Its funny how Land Rover spends so much PR funds selling their customers on the outdoor lifestyle, the vehicles ruggedness, and actively supports groups like Tread Lightly, where as Toyota doesn't seem to need to do any of that simply because their 4x4s reputation is so solid.

I have read that Akio Toyoda has truly challenged his engineers to start designing better and more exciting vehicles. I wonder if this new direction could eventually spill over to getting Toyota more involved with its enthusiast base, vs the masses who are simply buying appliances.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:08 AM
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They gave us the FJ Trail Teams and all the marketing surrounding that effort, and they sponsor the races in Baja. I know that's not the same as what you're looking at.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:13 AM
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Ivan Stewart has been helped for a long time by Toyota.

I've always sort of assumed the TLCA relationship dysfunction was due to the TLCA itself. Sometimes it has it's stuff together, sometimes it's a charlie foxtrot. I don't know that Toyota has ever been hostile to the TLCA but it's a big company that likes dealing with stable and professional organizations and TLCA has never really been that, I think it's never really defined itself IMHO. Is it a collectors club, technical rockcrawling, etc. Not that it can't be an umbrella but being focused on one thing and dedicated to one core thing is what promotes stability.

To be honest it's people like me who I think the TLCA needs to decide to either ignore or attract. Focus on Land Cruisers, restoration, driving, owning, then do that. But if it wants to be a Toyota 4x4 group, then be that and be truly inclusive (and probably change the name, most people are going to surf right past if they don't own or are looking for a 40 or 60). But that will never happen because whether it's in fun or not, mini trucks and Taco/4Runner/FJC have an ingrained inferior status. The magazine is about the only compelling reason I was a member after selling my 40 and after a while even that just wasn't worth the money anymore. Just too myopic compared to an Overland Journal or whatever.

Since Toyota itself doesn't care to push the Cruiser and rather focuses on their other models, there's just not much reason for it to substantially support TLCA. Companies like Land Rover or Jaguar support their collectors clubs because that is exactly what they are, collector's clubs. People are restoring their vehicles and not doing tube frames and small block conversions. Toyota I think would love to point to 50+ year old Cruisers but very few are that way anymore. It would strike me as kind of embarrassing to show up at Cruise Moab and see Chevy engines and New Process drivetrains with Big 3 tow vehicles everywhere. What is there for them to sell new Rav4s and Camrys with that?
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:36 PM
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I think Matt hits on it with sales volumes, we're just not much of a blip to the shareholders especially when compared to the ever growing feel-gooders market for the Prius.

From my perspective I've long admired the marketing machine that is Toyota which is able to very successfully market and sell the Prius models to the sierra clubbers alongside ever larger Tundra/Sequoia v8 models that are more and more marketed to the NASCAR demographic. These seem like two distinct brands but Toyota makes it work and keeps both selling like crazy under the same brand.

I think it's a simple as following the sales potential of the individual models and customer demographics for those models.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for the feedback so far.....

I came across some stuff both TLCA and non-TLCA related where folks said that because of Toyota's huge donation to the Audubon Society, they would never own another Toyota, subscribe to a magazine that promotes Toyota, or be a member of a Toyota club.

I looked for some instances where Toyota gave back to OHV access, usage or clubs/groups. I couldn't find a single one.

Unfortunately, the examples above don't do very much. Sponsoring Ivan Stewart is a far cry from donating money to BRC or Stay the Trail, or Rubicon Foundation.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:47 PM
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It's about the dollar most every time

Same thing happened in the moto world
Closing down areas and no support and now they wonder why bike sales are down
No area to ride = no new bikes
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:51 PM
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Does Jeep donate to said organizations? I did not look. But as a company who markets only "off road" iron they should.

We just have to face the fact we are a very small demographic who buy off road Toyota vehicles. Most of us buy used with intention to highly modify and abuse them. If we bought more new cruisers in this country maybe things would be different. But let's face it even only a small percentage of new FJC's even get wheeled. New LC is probably like 1% on the trail and the other 99% is parked at the mall, Starbucks, and the country club.

You have to market to your buyer and we are not new Cruiser buyers. Soccer mom's are.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:39 PM
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I am confused why Toyota needs to do anything for us to be happy?

The TLCA is another matter, years ago I tried as many before and you since to get the TLCA to accept new ideas, to grow. I provided a hole lot of examples of what BMWCCA does.

I and others suggested a more inclusive name, nope we like it the way it is

Until that changes, the TLCA will be a behind the times dying organization

Our club bylaws have always said you have to join the TLCA, but in the 11 years I have been a member, we have never forced anyone. Anyone who wanted to join the club and not the TLCA was still welcome because we are a Toyota club, not just Land Cruisers. What would a mini truck owner who never goes to CM want or need to join the TLCA?

If you want to make a case to Toyota, it needs to be for a Toyota organization that is growing with fresh ideas

Toyota provided my vehicles and they provide most of the parts I buy. I buy the rigs for the engineering, quality and capability. That's what Toyota did for me.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romer View Post
I am confused why Toyota needs to do anything for us to be happy?

The TLCA is another matter, years ago I tried as many before and you since to get the TLCA to accept new ideas, to grow. I provided a hole lot of examples of what BMWCCA does.

I and others suggested a more inclusive name, nope we like it the way it is

Until that changes, the TLCA will be a behind the times dying organization

Our club bylaws have always said you have to join the TLCA, but in the 11 years I have been a member, we have never forced anyone. Anyone who wanted to join the club and not the TLCA was still welcome because we are a Toyota club, not just Land Cruisers. What would a mini truck owner who never goes to CM want or need to join the TLCA?

If you want to make a case to Toyota, it needs to be for a Toyota organization that is growing with fresh ideas

Toyota provided my vehicles and they provide most of the parts I buy. I buy the rigs for the engineering, quality and capability. That's what Toyota did for me.
Settle down......You're missing the point by a long shot. This isn't for Toyota to do anything for me, or us, or even TLCA. I'm not asking Toyota to do anything, I dont think they need to do anything and I certainly don't expect them to do anything.

I received an email through TLCA a while ago and again recently through OutdoorX4 Magazine with 2 different people saying they would not subscribe to OutdoorX4 Magazine (or be a TLCA member) because we sometimes feature Toyota vehicles. And never again would they be a TLCA member because they'll never own another Toyota. All because of Toyota's $20 million dollar donation that helped restrict vehicle access in North Carolina. It generated so much press and pressure on Toyota that they released a statement about it in 2008.

TLCA has long lost its appeal to most. I gave a long update at the last meeting explaining all that's happening. I'm pretty sure I'm doing my part to keep TLCA alive and unlike most, I won't give up out of frustration. We're making headway right now. Changes are coming and a lot of hard work and long conversations are taking place that you may not be privy to just yet, but changes are happening. It's not just phone calls and meeting reports. We're all responsible for keeping TLCA alive. Have you given your latest copy of Toyota Trails to some Toyota owner that you've seen at King Soopers? You never know, they might join...and the cycle continues. It's more than just a sticker on your Land Cruiser.

This is ME asking if anyone has any knowledge of Toyota ever doing anything to support the offroad community, to help keep access open to OHV traffic, to help keep trails clean...... Anything.

When I say "us", I don't mean you and me, or even TLCA. I mean our community of Toyota owners who enjoy the freedom of the outdoors, clean trails and public access.
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Last edited by Fishy; 11-14-2014 at 01:49 AM.
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