The automotive world is beset with recent issues of recalls by Toyota. It must be appreciated that until now all the Japanese manufacturers have had a smooth running with all their products so far and issuing a recall notice for millions of cars in itself signifies a solid commitment to the consumer cause. And we all have to agree that a recall is not really pleasant for the automotive manufacturers, be it Toyota or any other automotive manufacturer.
The bad thing though is that this is a time of Recession. We are definitely not out of the depression as far as automotive segment is concerned. On top of this, customer expectation for a perfect product that is not plagued by small or miniscule faults is also at an all time high. This has made the recall a very painful issue for Toyota. Automotive majors have been trying hard to cling on to last year's numbers and revenues and during these challenging times the problems and recalls have compounded Toyota's woes.
This could actually be a very important time for all automotive companies, especially for Toyota because Volkswagen is catching up on the numbers very strongly. The troubled times could actually become a watershed period for both Toyota as a brand and as a manufacturer.
Toyota has more reasons than one to worry. In January it issued a recall notice for a couple of million vehicles in the US to fix a problem with accelerator pedals. While the dust had not settled on this recall, we got new glitch information that impacts Toyota's Prius hybrid cars due to problems with brake system. In a matter of 2 weeks, Toyota became a subject of intense discussions all across the automotive world. And all this for the wrong reasons!!!Some analysts pondered on what happened to a company that has stood for quality and perfection so far.
The immediate impact for Toyota has been a loss of customer confidence and this is more or less apparent with a steady decline in the sales of Toyota cars in the 2 weeks that followed the first recall notice. Such is the intensity and magnitude of loss of faith in customer mind that the Senior Management of Toyota has been totally at a loss of words on how to address these self-inflicted disasters Autel MaxiSys MS906BT. There has been pressure from Japan and the US alike. There has been an even more pressure from the Government and regulatory authorities because these glitches have the potential to cause a loss to the brand users, and also has a potential to jeopardize their safety.
This happening has pushed Toyota in a corner when you look at it against major competitors. Volkswagen is already smarting an opportunity to attain the Numero-Uno position in the automotive manufacturing. Ford senses an opportunity as well. General Motors does not want to be left behind in this scramble to topple the erstwhile leader of automotive world. On the regulatory side, Japan is exerting pressure because Toyota is a Japanese firm and Japan is known for quality. There is too much pressure all along, with no end in sight anytime soon.
Many analysts have written an obituary of Toyota as far as the US market is concerned. But, it may be too soon to write-off an automotive major of the ranks of Toyota because of a couple of glitches. Yes, they have been mercilessly beaten, questioned and pushed to a side. However, smart strategy to win customer confidence can help recover a part of dented image.
Bear in mind that the recall notice does signify a very strong commitment from Toyota. A good branding exercise and explanation to the users of brand Toyota will further recover a part of dented reputation. Smart management and re-assurance to the regulatory authorities in the US and Japan will apply a healing touch to the bruised image as well.
So, in essence it is all about damage control at this point of time. There is no doubt that the damage to customer-confidence and company-reputation has been un-paralleled. However, there is no denying the fact that this allows Toyota an opportunity to fix its own systems once and for all and come back clean to the world Autel Maxisys MS908CV. And with a concerted effort to stem the damage and to recover the lost ground, things will turn over. Yes, Toyota needs to understand that this will take time and commitment. And one more glitch can actually spell doom for the brand. Given this background and understanding, we are sure that Toyota will embark on a path to win over its customer base and enjoy customer confidence as it has done in the past.
Automotive world cannot allow a company like Toyota to disappear with a few glitches. Surely, the team at Toyota knows how to cross-over this bump!!!
Rob May is an automotive expert who writes on varied automotive subjects. He suggests using fuel cards to control fuel expenses.