$7500 On F150, Toyota Leads Reliability Survey, and Tragic Off-Road Racing Accident

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Racing Accident Kills 8

First, my heart goes out to the friends and family of dozens of people today that were either killed, injured, or witness to a really awful racing accident. The video below tells the story:

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The driver, according to a few opinions I trust, was doing what he was supposed to be doing (racing) and his truck got away from him. There are people trying to find someone to blame right now – the BLM, for example, has said that their use permit required drivers to slow to 15mph when they were within 50′ of spectators – but anyone who watches these races will tell you that’s a rule that is not followed. The fans were too close, and there are no easy answers as to how to solve this problem. Frankly, it’s a little surprising something like this hasn’t happened before.

By the way, I don’t want to show it, but there’s a CBS news video of the accident taken about 100 yards away from the scene here – it’s not gruesome, but it’s not easy to see.

Donations to the victims are being accepted here.

Clearly, off-road race organizers are going to have to figure out how to keep crowds safe from this point forward. The tough part is going to be able to do that cost effectively. Off-road courses are vast, and fencing off miles and miles of road to keep spectators back isn’t financially feasible. Wes Kibble, someone I follow on Twitter, has said that racers are afraid insurance costs will become so prohibitive as a result of this accident that the sport may suffer significant harm.

Off-Road.com has written an interesting article about this event and it’s potential impact on the future of the sport – let’s hope that someone can come up with a way to take keep crowds safe without hurting the sport.

Ford Gets Aggressive Closing Out 2010 F150s

7500 cash rebate 2010 F150

Ford offers as much as $7500 in cash rebates on the 2010 F150

Any hard-core Ford fan will tell you that the F150 is the best truck on the road, and they’ll often point to Ford’s tremendous sales figures as “proof.” Unfortunately, this perspective is a little simplistic:

  1. Ford sells a lot of F-series to fleet customers who are, more often than not, simply looking for the best price
  2. Ford has a great dealer network that reaches every customer in the USA
  3. Ford is willing to put big cash up to sell trucks every year – $7500 on some 2010 XLTs, for example

Don’t get me wrong here – Ford makes one hell of a truck and I’m a big fan. However, don’t let the sales figures fool you – it’s pretty easy to “win” a sale when you’re offering a massive cash incentive to people to buy your truck. Sales figures are part of the puzzle, and definitely an indicator of a solid product, but they should always come with an asterisk and a disclaimer that reads *A lot of these trucks were heavily discounted and/or sold to fleets.

Toyota Leads TrueDelta Reliability Survey

Yesterday I wrote that no one really knows how Toyota’s reputation for quality and reliability has faired since the unintended acceleration scandal. However, according to a reliability survey from the website TrueDelta, Toyota’s reputation is fine. The Truth About Cars writes:

Despite the recent media circus, Toyotas continue to be most consistently better than average

Is this scientific, exact proof that Toyota’s reputation is intact? No.

Is this interesting data that supports study results from JD Power and Consumer Reports about Toyota quality and consumer perceptions? Yes.

Toyota may or may not be number one in the public’s, but by all accounts their products are excellent. Of course, if you’re reading this, you probably already knew that.

Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. Deznutjob says:

    Member “TacoMEDIC” of TundraGEEKS.com was a paramedic at the event the evening of this tragedy and he describes a horrific scene.
    Quote: “It is officially the deadliest sanctioned motorsports accident in United States history. 4 died within the first 5 mins. Another 2 died before I could get them on helicopters. 2 more died at the hospital. We flew 17 people on 15 different helicopters from all over Southern California. 4 were taken by ground. Countless went in personal vehicles.”

    Matt you are a true hero brother!

  2. Jason says:

    Dez – Good to know. Thanks for the comment.

  3. mk says:

    I bet if Toyota offered 7500 in rebates along with buying at invoice (another 3 grand almost off), people would be in the showrooms selling out of every tundra out there. Ford is #1 since they don’t share like chevy and GMC trucks do and their rebates are a lot over even GM’s. Hard to compete with rebates like that except when it comes time to resell a Ford, they are even worse than GM’s lineup I think since a dime a dozen. GM is a close 2nd though. I do wish however the tundra offers more rebates say 2500 to 3 grand to at least be competive somewhat with rebates vs. 0% financing.

  4. Danny says:

    My heart goes out to those people at the road race. It is truely tragic and heartbreaking.
    My heart also goes out to Deznutjob’s medic friend. I know what it’s like to have someone die in front of you and feeling helpless to change the outcome.
    Peace and Love…

  5. Jason says:

    mk – Just like you say, a big Tundra rebate would help sales but at the same time it would kill resale value for existing Tundra owners. The actual cash value of zero for 60 on a new Tundra is pretty hefty – about $3500 – but low financing doesn’t hurt resale like big hunks of cash.

    Truth be told, Toyota is running big incentives on the Tundra too…but no bigger than Nissan, GM, or Chrysler. Ford is getting aggressive right now b/c no one wants the 5.4 with the new 5.0 coming out in a few weeks.

  6. Jason says:

    Danny – For sure.

  7. Deznutjob says:

    Here’s a thread at SoCalTundras.com where a bunch of members were at the location of the accident when it happened. If you read through this thread you will see they are reporting from the scene just after it happened.

  8. Justin says:

    Wow, the fluff in this article.

    Fleet sales do impact F-Series sales, true. But at the same time, rental car fleets are buying up the Camry and Corolla too. A ton of Silverado sales are to fleet. So it should be no surprise that the top 3 vehicles sold in America are high fleet vehicles. Still though, even if you remove the fleet sales figures from the F-Series, the Tundra’s sales still do not come close to matching the F-Series sales figures. And there are other reasons than just cost for fleets to purchase select vehicles. They have the repair knowledge, tools, etc, of certain brands that they would lose if they switched brands. Also a lot of fleet loyalty based on performance. So don’t play off that all fleet sales are simply due to reduced price, even though I do admit that cost reasoning does account for a good portion.

    Okay, so what if there are more Ford dealers to reach rural communities. Toyota has had the last 20-30yrs to make a move in these markets, but haven’t. Consider it a good strategy that Toyota hasn’t adopted yet.

    And um, Toyota has been putting a ton of cash on the hoods of the Tundra too. Sure Ford is putting incentives out to move the outgoing model F150, to make room for the upcoming model, but the largest incentive I’ve seen is $5500, not $7500. I’ve seen some Tundras getting nearly as much off in rebates from $3500-$4500. So they all play the game, don’t try to discount the F150 when the Tundra is doing the same.

    And I’ll say it. The F-Series is the best “overall” truck on the road. May not complete every task the best, but completes all admirably. Factoring in all aspects of a truck, from price to power, from room to towing capacity, etc, the F-Series offers the best “overall” package, in my opinion. And the sales figures just back this statement up.

  9. Justin says:

    Okay, I have spoken to a few of my Ford dealer salesman friends, and this is what I’ve found on the rebate.

    Yes, you could “potentially” receive $7500 in rebates, but that high of an amount is only available in select markets. Most markets are only offering a max of $5500. Either way to receive either of the max rebates, you really have to be special and jump through hoops. The average person will only receive $3500 worth of rebates ($2500 customer cash + $1000 Bonus cash).

    Here’s a couple examples of rebates offered within the $7500/$5500 amounts, but rarely does a customer receive any let alone all:

    1) $1000 if you finance at regular rates through Ford (think 8% and up)
    2) $500 Owner loyalty (with stipulations)
    3) Quarter horse member rebate
    4) $500 Military appreciation
    5) $500 Upfit
    6) Etc

    However this doesn’t stop dealers from advertising $7500 in rebates (try to spot the word “potential” before the $7500 ). This particular deal was intended only for the XLT model with the Chrome Synch Tow package and a million other hoops. They give you an extra thousand off for XLT SCT, but the package will cost you an extra $1060 so you aren’t saving anything in the end. End result? $3500 for an average Joe.

  10. Jason says:

    Justin – You and I have long argued about the importance of sales figures in the past, so I’ll keep my response short. Sales figures aren’t proof of anything other than sales. Resale value, quality awards, cost of ownership, safety ratings, etc. – these are the things that determine the overall value/quality of a vehicle.

    I agree that the F150 is excellent in most respects, but I don’t feel that way because Ford sells lots of them. Sales figures are meaningless. If sales figures were proof that something was good, the McDonalds cheeseburger would have to be the best food in the world.

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