Toyota is losing money and credibility as of late. After dealing with recalls for faulty accelerator pedals for the past few months, the car manufacturer is still reeling. Things aren’t looking to get better any time soon. Reports of Toyota losing 60% of its revenue from having to halt sales has left Toyota financially and emotionally drained. Now Toyota has to rebuild its reputation, and find a way to instill trust and loyalty from consumers once again.
It’s been a humbling experience for Toyota, as the car company has enjoyed years of bragging rights for winning awards and having set various standards for its model ranges. Now that Toyota has had to recall so many of its vehicles, there are several groups, organizations, authorities and consumers that are digging around for more issues that Toyotas may have. The result looks a little like a witch hunt, with everything Toyota does being a matter to be questioned.
Given the current car show season that launches in Detroit and makes its way across various states, Toyota has found itself on the defensive on more than one occasion. One way in which Toyota is looking to deal with the ongoing backlash is to redevelop its relationship with the customers. Finding a way to regain their trust will be a long and toilsome road, but it’s quite necessary for the car manufacturer as it hopes to move forward.
Finding the right formula for regaining customer trust can be very tricky, especially in an era where cars are expected to be innovative and safer than ever. From a branding standpoint, Toyota is taking a proactive stance on addressing any issues people may find with its cars, letting people know of the issues and working on them to relieve any concern consumers may have.
People are going to be sticklers about Toyota’s cars for a little while now, and it’s going to take a great deal of resources and attention for Toyota to invest in anticipating consumer issues while still seeing declining revenue. Yet it’s something Toyota has to do in order to begin to rebuild its relationship with its customers. As Toyota was also one of the first brands to largely commercialize more eco-friendly vehicles, the technology behind our future’s cars is something that should be addressed early on.
Despite the physical damage Toyota’s shortcomings have caused, the resulting attention to issues that may not even lead to a recall may be a good process for any car company. As several safety aspects of a car become more integrated with the vehicle’s electric system, a lot more attention will have to be focused on those related safety issues.
For Toyota, however, the process of rebuilding its brand has just begun. Even as Toyota looks for issues that may later be discovered by consumers and special interest groups, the open and upfront method of alerting customers to these issues still has its own downfall. The process overall leaves Toyota open to criticism from other car manufacturers, especially now that companies are able to more directly address other brands in their marketing campaigns. When it comes to a quick bounce back from Toyota, don’t hold your breath.
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