Is it the end of Toyota? Well, it might not be yet, but it is right around the corner. Those who drank the cool aid for the past number of years, buying into all the hype Toyota had to offer, those people I have a feeling are split into two groups. There are those that are scared to death of their Toyota vehicle. Who are parking it in the yard to rust away and purchasing a new vehicle within hours of the latest recall. Or there are those who are going to hang onto their Toyota, hoping that the company will pull through and their reputation will be revived by their loyalty.
Sorry to say, I believe the latter are going to be a rare breed heading into this new decade. Especially in the time where Toyota no longer has the hottest new hybrid on the market, or cheapest econo car available. Also, if I might add, these other options are much more pleasing in appearance than anything Toyota has to offer.
In today’s world, it is becoming all too often that number one falls hard. Like Tiger Woods, Toyota is feeling the heat of the United States media. While this is a public relations nightmare, it is proving that free enterprise is needed to make the world go round. Unfortunately we need to get gm out of government control in order for me to feel more stable about free enterprise in the car market. The sad part is that gm is producing world class vehicles. Why couldn’t they have done that while they were independent of the government control? That will be another blog for another time.
Right now Toyota is limping on the shoulder of the road, playing devil’s advocate with itself as to whether or not it should give up or keep moving.
My assignment in class last week was to come up with a way to solve Toyotas P.R. fiasco and to get future Toyota owners to feel confident in purchasing a Toyota and to get current owners to keep their vehicle. Being the most car passionate person in the class, I thought long and hard. If my career depended on it, could I save the company? Well, my team and I thought of a way we could.
When a person buys a new Toyota, and within 6 months finds a problem with it, they can take it to the dealer to receive a 25 dollar gas card and get the problem fixed for free. One problem per vehicle.
In order to keep current owners, we provide them with a guarantee to fix all the cars problems for the next 5 years, for free. That does not include basic tune ups. Also, we begin to disperse confidence to owners through the mouths of the dealers. While cars salesman have a bad reputation, at least at the dealer level, there is human interaction. Everyone knows that no matter what a president of a company says, the people don’t feel properly represented. Therefore if a dealer is working one on one with people face to face, securing that confidence no matter what the cost, even if it means going against normal company policy, than that’s what it’s going to take.
That might seem absurd, be we are living in extreme days. At this point, what does Toyota have to lose? Nothing. And if you can’t lose anything, you have everything to gain. In Toyotas case it’s even harder because they have to gain it back. Do I think they can? Give them 7 years, and they will be back up in the ranks.