Reinventing Toyota

Just when you thought they were down, Toyota became different.  The big Japanese automaker seems to have won over disillusioned buyers due to a combination of disasters:
• Safety and quality problems
• Drastic leadership changes
• Terrible publicity and public image (remember the “Can’t stop my Toyota” jokes?)
• Flooding in Thailand (supplier of many auto electronic systems)
• The resurgence of American car company Ford
• Government bailout assistance of GM
• A worldwide recession (crippling and run many in the automobile business out of business)

In an article from USA Today earlier this year, “Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com says Toyota scored No. 1 in brand loyalty among shoppers who used the kbb.com site in the fourth quarter last year. That’s the first time since third quarter 2010 that Toyota was tops.
Brand loyalty is defined by Kelley Blue Book as, “owners of the brand who are currently shopping the same brand for their next vehicle.”

The completely reinvented 2012 Camry (Toyota’s description, despite a significant amount of the same material) has helped.

Meanwhile the bailed-out General Motors has struggled with CEOs lagging sales to Ford (and Toyota) and bad press. Could they have survived the crises faced by Toyota?  One wonders…

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional, executive coach and Best Selling author of Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his free monthly newsletter by sending a message to:  subscribe@jimmathis.com.

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