The Rise and Fall of Toyota
I am a proud owner of a 1997 Toyota Corolla. It is cheap to fill up and runs so smooth. My car has never seen the inside of a shop except when I got into an accident. So I might be a little bias when I say this but the Toyota recall came as a surprise to me. They built their image on trust and reliability. Toyota sat at the top of the auto throne for years and just last year they fell hard off that pedestal.
Worldwide, millions of vehicles were recalled from the Camry to the Prius Hybrid. Toyota’s image right now is tarnished but can it be salvaged?
I think Toyota’s public relations campaign has all the components to really turn their image back around. However like Tiger Woods’ apology and Rihanna’s 20/20 interview, it might be too late. There are rumors floating that Toyota knew about this issue since 2008 but didn’t think it was a “big deal”. Whether the statement is true or not, it is hurting their efforts to fix the crisis. Some say that Toyota’s effort to fix the issue is delayed and inadequate, which are not qualities Americans look for in a car company.
So do I still think that the company’s reputation can be salvaged YES! Here’s why:
1. The car company launched a special TV and radio ads about the crisis acknowledging that they’ve let their customers down when it comes to safety but has sold vehicles for over half a century.
2. They’ve bought full-page ads in about 20 different newspapers stating that they have been sending letters to owners and fixing the issue around the clock.
3. The sales chief Jim Lentz held a live chat on Digg, a website that attracts young customers
TRANSPARENCY is key to solving a crisis. Admitting the mistake and promising to fix it is the best policy. However, a company campaign efforts do not mean anything unless there is action behind it. If the company addresses the changes in a more efficient and rapid rate they can salvage their reputation as most the respected auto company.
Despite the crisis I still respect and trust Toyota. They have been a very philanthropic and green company. They have created over 34,000 jobs in the U.S and are accountable for about 164,000 other jobs. If they were to tank it could be devastating to our already weak economy. Do you think Toyota has what it takes to restore their image?
– Marise Montrose, Junior, Account Executive of Recruitment