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Why the vicious brand loyalty? Any validity to it?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by MGH-PA, May 1, 2009.

  1. May 1, 2009 at 11:42 AM
    #1
    MGH-PA

    MGH-PA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    NOTE: This discussion is pertaining to manufacturer's truck
    lines. Cars are a whole other discussion
    [​IMG]


    I'm going to be posting this on multiple auto related forums I'm a member of, because it's going to serve as a survey of sorts for my own personal curiosity.

    Let me start off by saying, I'm only 24, I've only owned two trucks in my life (96 Toyota Tacoma and now my 05 Tacoma). I've driven (regularly) an 84 F150, 2001 F150, 2003 F250, 98 Subaru Outback, 2008 Outback (all my parents). So, I don't have a LOT of vehicle experience, I'm just an observer here asking questions.

    It seems vehicle choice can be as touchy of a subject as politics and religion. What starts out as a friendly debate can turn into vicious personal insults over vehicles we drive. I go to Ford sites, and they all hate Toyota (more than GM, Nissan, and Dodge). Go to a Toyota site, and they all hate the big three. Go to any "third party" site with an auto forum and you will quickly find threads bashing each others vehicle choices.

    My observations from most of these situations is that MOST (not always), but MOST of the conversation (or lack thereof) is based off of hearsay. One guy hates another brand, because well "it just sucks." I've very rarely found too many people in these threads across multiple forums ever come up with legitimate evidence-backed, first hand experience as to WHY they feel the way they do about one vehicle over another. Most of us don't have the financial means to purchase multiple vehicles to test and compare, so it's probably safe to assume most of the bad things people have to say about other brands are from word of mouth.

    So, being a Toyota owner most of my vehicle life, I've been a member of Toyota forums for quite some time. As a rule, most are adamantly against any "domestic" auto manufacturer. Most claim longevity to be the biggest complaint, yet I do wonder how many have never owned any of them to make such a justification.

    On the same side of the fence, you go to a Big Three forum, and you mention Toyota and you're branded an anti-american driving an overpriced girlie truck. Yet, again, I would venture most have little to no first hand experience to back that up.

    I've researched vehicles and owner experiences a LOT on the internet and across a wide variety of forums, and I've come to the conclusion that I THINK (emphasis on think here) that MANY of the problems people bash brands about are blown out of proportion. Now, I do think some brands (or actually I should say models) are worse than others...that's simply a matter of QC and engineering, but still.

    I've found many happy consumers of all vehicle manufacturers (yes even those who have owned them for a long period of time). Plenty of Ford guys seem to love their trucks (many of which are well into 6 figure mileages), We Toyota guys certainly have a cult-like following, but seem to be overall pretty pleased with our vehicles (especially the 1st gen Tacomas and 79-85 trucks). Chevy guys love their trucks and the mileage they get, etc. You get the point.

    So, what is it that makes people hate other people's trucks so much? Is there truly ONE dominant manufacturer out there (not sales, I mean quality and performance)? Or are they all really pretty solid vehicles with the occasional problems that all manufacturers (of any consumer good) are plagued with (some being blown out of proportion more than others)?

    I say drive what you like, but at the same time, don't be so critical of others choices, while keeping an open mind to all manufacturer's out there.

    Personally, I'm very happy with Toyota for what I've owned. Do I think they're superior to all brands? No. Are there positives and negatives to their vehicles? Sure are. But I feel this is the case for all manufacturer's.

    So, I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this. I hope it doesn't turn to a brand bashing thread, but more a rational discussion amongst fellow truck owners.
     
  2. May 1, 2009 at 11:53 AM
    #2
    colinb17

    colinb17 If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    as i am not as extreme about not liking domestic vehicles, i still highly prefer my tacoma to american trucks. one of my best friends has an 06 f-150, i have an 07 tacoma. we go out wheeling fairly often, and while his f-150 performs pretty well off road, out of the last 5 times we have gone, 3 of those times, something had broken or failed to the point where my truck end up pulling him through the rest of the trail, or making a run to the autoparts store to get a new part. that is the hard evidence i have that causes me to believe that toyota trucks are built better.

    this is not performance oriented, but multiple parts of his interior have also broken, like the cover to his 9v outlet, a stereo button broke off. (he is not rough with his truck)

    so while i believe that a lot of the bashing on american cars and trucks is over exagerated, it is justified and backed up to a certain point.....i always say that all stereotypes originated from some amount of truth...so f.o.r.d. meaning Fix Or Repair Daily, came frome somewhere, i have just happened to experience it firsthand with my buddys f-150
     
  3. May 1, 2009 at 11:57 AM
    #3
    DanGer

    DanGer Avatar approved by 98tacomav6

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    Personally, I have had poor experiences with dodge and ford. My father has a 1996 dodge ram, and around 60K, the transmission needed replacing. At about 65K, we were driving to our favorite fishing spot when the driveshaft fell out from under the truck.

    At work our turdo diesel ford truck has to be the worst fleet vehicle I have ever used. It is by far the noisiest truck on the road ever. It is the basic package so it gets the job done, but it has absolutely no power. Those are my experiances and Why I am a toyota owner
     
  4. May 1, 2009 at 12:01 PM
    #4
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Personally, I have never owned a truck that wasn't a toyota. That is where my loyalty stems from. I have had excellent customer service, excellent price offers on trade in's, and just a down right wonderfull buying experience. My thought is "Why go with anything else?" I have never had any major issue with any of the trucks (minus the buyback) that wasn't my own doing. They are strong vehicles with excellent track records.

    Now, my bro-in-law has a 97 F150 with over 200K on it. It is a strong truck also for it's age and mileage. He has also never had any major issues (minus you general wear and tear items). He is a devout Ford man. Do I blame him? No. Do I make fun of him? Hell yeah, but it goes both ways.

    I think brand loyalty comes from two things; family preferences and personality. One will be more likely to purchase the brand his/her father owned because they have driven it or rode in it and know the vehicle. Second, I am sure not going to buy a vehicle that "doesn't fit right"

    Asking what brand truck some one likes is like asking which do you prefer: Coke or Pepsi.
     
  5. May 1, 2009 at 12:12 PM
    #5
    MGH-PA

    MGH-PA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Good points, guys.

    I suppose I should also weigh in here. Both of my dad's F150's he owned (the 84 and 01) were GREAT trucks. Reliable, goof sized, took a beating and kept going. His 03...eh...it's not TERRIBLE by any means, but it's not a shining star either. He's had issues with the 4wd actuator, trouble holding alignment, and now a mysterious clunk from the front end that can't be cured to this point (or pinpointed).

    My 05 has little rattles that annoy me, ridiculous windshield noise on the highway, toy-like leaf springs that don't belong a trailer let along a truck. So, there's always positives and negatives of vehicles (both Ford and Toyota in my case).
     
  6. May 1, 2009 at 12:28 PM
    #6
    DanGer

    DanGer Avatar approved by 98tacomav6

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    My dad still LOVES his truck, but sure enough, when he retired and lost his bureau car, he bought a Toyota car for his commuting needs.

    I just hated to see things go wrong with it. Although it is old, it onll just now broke 100k. He babied it. In fact the only cosmetic damage was from the cows on our farm nudging it.
     
  7. May 1, 2009 at 12:35 PM
    #7
    DanGer

    DanGer Avatar approved by 98tacomav6

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    and I will admit I do think that for the most part domestic cars hugely lack quality. Chris4x2 put it best:

     
  8. May 1, 2009 at 12:38 PM
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    Jester243

    Jester243 mod status????

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    I owned a '73 Chevy that was a beast. Well that is after we replaced the motor, rear end, tranny and most of the front steering components. It was a blast and I miss it, but it would let rain leak in the cab, was just too big to go park easily and sucked gas like there was no tomorrow. I miss is still but it was just not a practicle daily driver.

    then I bought a previously enjoyed '00 Tacoma reg cab and fell in love. It drove well made pretty good power and did not leak water in the cab. :D After a while my wife and I decided to upgrade the truck to fit our son and we went eventually purchased a Toyota. I never test drove the Nissan, and based on my Dad's old Dakota you couldn't have paid me to look at one. This is now the third Toyota my wife and I have owned, no problems (knock on wood), that is were my loyalty comes from.
     
  9. May 1, 2009 at 12:50 PM
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    Snipe

    Snipe Well-Known Member

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    I have been driving Toyota Trucks since 1979, have owned International and Ford, the Ford was a piece of Shit and the Toyota's have always done me good.

    That being said I will probably not be buying another Toyota Truck, this will most likely be my last because of the direction Toyota seems to be going which for the last several years is bigger and fancier.
    I don't need bigger and I don't need Bells and Whistles, I need a dependable small off road worthy vehicle.
     
  10. May 1, 2009 at 1:33 PM
    #10
    Kenobe

    Kenobe Well-Known Member

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    My Dad owned a small fleet of F150's and F250's when he owned his own business. He regularly put 200k miles on them, and took them up several mountains. They were work trucks and did their job. They consistently got poor mileage and whimpy motors that couldn't hold hills on the interstate. 460CI even! Low speed they were great, just not at highway speeds.
    He bought a Chevy pickup and GMC Jimmy when he first started his business. Both had serious transmission problems from the get-go. He had a Dodge at the end and it started falling apart after the warranty was done.

    I got a toyota because I know they're bullet-proof and worth what you pay for them.

    It was always interesting to go to a family reunion and hear all my uncles and Dad debate which truck was best of the big-3. No common ground was ever reached, it seemed.
     
  11. May 1, 2009 at 1:59 PM
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    OU812

    OU812 ban the term murdered out

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    I have owned both Chevy and Ford in the past. My father owns a Dodge 5.9 diesel. My Fords gave me all they had. Drove them into the ground literally. The last Ranger the radius arms fell off in the driveway. But it never let me down. My other Ranger was by far my favorite truck. Had the german made 2.9 V6 and it too never left me stranded. My dads Dodge is an absolute beast of a workhorse! It has well over 200k on the engine and has lived on the farm constantly pulling 10,000lb trailers.

    I bought the Toyota because of resale value and reliability. Mainly resale. I don't have anything against domestic trucks. When left to their devices American built trucks get the job done. I just want my money back when I'm done with the Tacoma. Oh and they look good IMO.
     
  12. May 1, 2009 at 2:08 PM
    #12
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    I'm not loyal to anything. I have my likes & dislikes. I own what I wanna own.

    You'll rarely (if at all) see me bitch about manufacturers or flame anyone for owning any vehicle.

    I visit a lot of forums and I see the bashing that goes on ... and I'll be the first one to jump in and DEFEND whatever vehicle people are bashing.

    In the Toyota forums, if anyone bashes Jeeps - I'll jump in and defend. On the Jeep forums when they bash Toyotas, I'll jump in and defend.

    Owning a vehicle is a personal preference. Anyone who bashes others is just plain ignorant.
     
  13. May 1, 2009 at 2:09 PM
    #13
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    I like the Tacoma because of the size. It's a good in-between choice. The Frontier is too small for my tastses and the American truck are big enough that I'd have a hard time getting them into my parking spot. As for the American compacts, I don't care for the look of them. They look cheap (Canyon) or dated (Ranger). Plus, the Toyota received high marks from the research I had done. I prefer sites that are independent like Consumer Reports. When asking an individual what they like, you're likely to run into confirmation bias (overlook the bad with my expensive purchase but point out similar problems with other vehicles). I was prepared to buy an American truck. I had a GM visa that had accumulated points toward a rebate on those trucks. But when I went to look, there wasn't much that interested me.

    If I bought an American truck, it would have been a Dodge with the Cummins diesel engine. However, at the time I was looking, it was just too much money.

    I've seen the same attitude with motorcycles. In the Harley circles, I've seen it even within their own brand (e.g. Sporters are for girls, v-rods aren't real Harleys).
     
  14. May 1, 2009 at 11:06 PM
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    Chris-R

    Chris-R Member

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    I've owned Toyotas, Fords, GMCs, Jeeps, etc. I buy what works best for the situation. I have no brand loyalty whatsoever. The Toyotas have always been somewhat spartan including my 2009 Tacoma off road model. I like a truck that can work super hard but still be comfortable inside since I have to plow snow with my trucks and sometimes we're in our trucks for 16 hours straight or more. Of all the brands I've owned, I would say Ford has been my favorite. I never had any problems with my Fords and they were much more comfortable than my Toyota trucks. Toyota makes a good truck and it has quite a bit of staying power but Toyota trucks, or at least the Taco, lack good seats and other creature comforts needed when you're plowing for 16 hours straight. Ford has the best setup for those who really work their trucks long and hard.
     
  15. May 2, 2009 at 12:38 AM
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    Burgman

    Burgman I KEEEEEL YOU

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    My mom is a general contractor and has always owned a Ford, never had any problems but she usually swaps them out every 5 years or so. She bought a 01 tundra found it didnt have the payload that she needed so that became my first vehicle and i fell in love, the ride was smooth had all the options excellent accleration all around fun to drive. I now own a tacoma for gas mileage, size, looks i do think that most american vehicles are inferior to japanese. My last vehicle was an integra at 120k all i changed was oil and the clutch.
     
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