Toyota's Reputation Persists Despite Lower Quality and More Recalls

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Perception Is Reality

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    Toyota recalled more than 9,400 early-model 2007 FJ Cruisers for potential tire defects. GM's Pontiac Grand Prix rated first for best full-size car in J. D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Survey this year.

    Date posted: 09-07-2006

    Perception is reality in the car business. And it takes a long time to change perceptions.

    Witness the tale of two companies — Toyota and General Motors. Despite recalls and public relations woes, Toyota's image of bulletproof quality persists, and sales and market share rise. Despite concrete evidence to the contrary, GM's reputation for inferior quality remains, while sales and market share decline.

    In recent months, Toyota has recalled nearly 3 million vehicles in the U.S. alone, and has millions of other recalls worldwide. The list of recalled vehicles is growing to include its highly touted Prius hybrid and its spanking-new FJ Cruiser. Several of these recalls aren't for minor kinks, but serious issues that could be dangerous to consumers. Investigations by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on older Tundras and Sienna minivans have been upgraded as well.

    In addition to massive recalls outside the U.S., Japanese prosecutors are looking into an alleged delay by Toyota executives in recalling a vehicle in Japan that is sold as the 4Runner in the U.S. The investigation, which is reminiscent of one that led to major problems for Mitsubishi, centers around Toyota executives' failure to recall the vehicle although the company knew as early as 1996 that it was defective.

    In New York, Toyota has just settled another public relations nightmare — a sexual harassment suit filed by one of its female employees, who has publicly detailed her allegations. The terms of the settlement have not been revealed, but the suit will inevitably cost Toyota millions of dollars.

    Toyota's recalls and public relations woes have many Detroit auto executives secretly smirking — or, at the very least, wondering if its once-sterling reputation will be tarnished. One pondered out loud if Toyota might lose female buyers, who flock to the brand for its quality, but might be turned away by news of the sexual harassment suit.

    Indeed, some experts think Toyota's image is in danger. In late July, Fitch Ratings said the increasing number of recalls could mar the company's brand image. But Toyota's ever-increasing sales and market share suggest the public perception persists that the Japanese automaker produces bulletproof quality. Why? Perhaps it is because Toyota has built years of goodwill.

    And it takes a long time to change the perception and for perceptions to reflect reality.

    Just ask General Motors. Shifting perception is its most formidable challenge.

    Evidence is mounting that GM quality is improving. A University of Michigan analysis of customer attitudes found that General Motors has been doing a better job of impressing buyers. Quality surveys, such as J. D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Survey (quality in the first 30 days of ownership) and Dependability Survey (over years of ownership) show GM improving, especially with the Buick and Cadillac brands.

    Nevertheless, the perception that GM's quality lags behind Toyota's by quantum amounts persists. Indeed, Toyota and its Lexus luxury division, in particular, outrank even GM's best in the same surveys, though not by as massive amounts as the public apparently thinks. And the University of Michigan analysis of customer attitudes showed Toyota outdoing GM.

    The disconnects are that Toyota has built years of goodwill while GM has collected decades of ill will. Just read the letters to the editors in newspapers and magazines, the mailbag of any automotive journalist or the chat rooms on the Internet. Until its recent spate of recalls, Toyota had consistent quality across the board of products and plants for many years running, whereas GM had bright spots with some models and plants and quite the opposite with others.

    In the end, the only score that matters is sales. That's where the public votes with its cash. And that's where the evidence of public perception is clear. In July, Toyota's three brands — Toyota, Lexus and Scion — surpassed those of the Ford group, moving Toyota into 2nd place and closing in on GM. Industry journal Automotive News reported GM sales dropped 22.5 percent in July while Toyota set a new record. (Ford was down 34.3 percent.)

    For August, both Toyota and GM sales were up, by 17 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. Now let's see what perceptions do over the next 12 months.

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  2. hondaluva

    hondaluva likes free hugs...

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    well duh, with the 10 or so SUV's that they had i am suprised that they don't have more

    and btw, the Grand Prix is the best cars in the GM lineup. I almost bought one. :o
     
  3. dmora

    dmora Guest

    made in the USA... what'd you expect?
     
  4. XPX

    XPX New Member

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    the japanese ones suck too
     
  5. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    lolz
     
  6. Short Bus

    Short Bus Beep beep!

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    That's what happens when you build shitty vehicles for roughly 30 years.
     
  7. OneTwo

    OneTwo me>you OT Supporter

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    id rather have 1,000,000 Toyotas recalled because the left blinker stops working, then 100 GM's that implode apon themselves at 27k miles.
     
  8. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    That's not the case with Toyota. Serious transmission issues affect the new Camry. Serious front suspension issues affect the old Tundra and Sequoia SUVs. When was the last time GM had a recall for problems that serious? None immediately come to mind.
     
  9. OneTwo

    OneTwo me>you OT Supporter

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    your hardtop z06 becoming a convertible without your consent ;)
     
  10. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Doesn't adversely affect the operation of the vehicle, and didn't affect many cars. And they were uncommon cars to boot.
     
  11. bosozoku

    bosozoku Banned

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    pontiac is the ugliest piece of shit car ever!
     
  12. Short Bus

    Short Bus Beep beep!

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    I'm still rooting for GM... I'm going to need a truck sometime in the next few years. I'm leaning towards the Tacoma, and GM doesn't really have anything that competes with it.
     
  13. StylishDOHC

    StylishDOHC New Member

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  14. wiseman

    wiseman Active Member

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    They're still a boring company to me. No current sports or high performance models in their stable.

    Build a new Supra and MR2 and I'll be impressed.
     
  15. StylishDOHC

    StylishDOHC New Member

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    mine too:love:
     
  16. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    toyota makes piece of shit cars. i'll neer vuy another one
     
  17. StylishDOHC

    StylishDOHC New Member

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    I'm just saying honda cars have always been far more appealing to me than toyota's, they are every bit as reliable...easier to work on, and usually sportier and better looking.
     
  18. StylishDOHC

    StylishDOHC New Member

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    I agree, but not one of the cars you compare is in the same category.what I meant is

    Civic>Corolla
    Accord>Camry
    CR-V> Rav-4


    you know the cars most normal people buy.:dunno:
     
  19. wiseman

    wiseman Active Member

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    Wrong. Skyline is the ultimate Riceboy car.
     
  20. threeclaws

    threeclaws R.I.P.

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    So 12mos. of problems vs. 30yrs? I'll take the company that has had past proven relibility and will not sit around for the next 29yrs to do something about their current problems.
     
  21. Diesel66

    Diesel66 My standards for women is like rent-a-centers stan OT Supporter

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    :ugh: Did you read the article or listen to any of the news for the last 10 years ?


    Toyota has been declining for a decade and basically covered up the 4 runner's problems since 1996.
     
  22. threeclaws

    threeclaws R.I.P.

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    Did you?

     
  23. MrBonus

    MrBonus Et Tu, Brute?

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    My parents will hardly buy anything but Toyotas. They have a Landcruiser, Tundra, and an FJ Cruiser along with the Benz. :rofl:

    I should show them this article.
     
  24. Diesel66

    Diesel66 My standards for women is like rent-a-centers stan OT Supporter

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    And that spate of recalls goes back ~10 years
     
  25. coronet

    coronet Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep?

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    The FJ Crusier sold 9,400 models? Fuckin' a! :barf:
     

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