It seems that although Toyota left no stone unturned in their pursuit of saving their reputation (spending a £3bn marketing budget in the process) not everyone is convinced that they have totally succeeded.
According to some of our sources in the world of Toyota things have somewhat stagnated and many people are seemingly just not convinced at present and as a result are reluctant to go back to the world’s biggest selling car brand.
Volumes are down and order banks are not at the levels of the same time last year even when taking scrappage into consideration. In July Toyota UK were 24% down on the same month in 2009 (Car Makers Premier League July 2010).
Toyota was already faced with the financial crisis that hit worldwide demand for vehicles, when it was forced to issue a string of recalls because of safety problems.
The Japanese manufacturer has recalled about 10 million vehicles worldwide in the past year for a variety of problems including faulty floor mats, sticky accelerator pedals, braking software glitches and steering malfunctions.
Its reputation has taken a beating, principally in the US where it is now facing hundreds of lawsuits.
It just goes to show in the business that good news travels like and asthmatic tortoise carrying some heavy shopping whereas bad news is Usain bolt.
We are sure that the blip remains temporary and our colleagues are certainly not giving up the ghost, just riding out the storm.
Indeed Toyota as a whole recently swung back into profit thanks to its massive marketing efforts and cost reduction exercises but this good news has been tempered somewhat by hints of another recall in the US this time affecting more than 1.1 million Corolla and Corolla Matrix models from 2005 to 2007, which have been reported to suffer from engine problems.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 1,101 consumer complaints have been received but there have been no reported deaths or injuries related to the defect.
“The engine can stall at any speed without warning and not restart,” NHTSA said in a statement on its website
As Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda told a Tokyo news conference earlier this year “There’s no change in the fact that we are in stormy waters. But now I feel that even in the storm, we can see a ray of sunlight in the distance.”
Almost like a piece of Haiku poetry.