Toyota CEO Makes Plea to U.S. Consumer as Firm Recalls the Prius
Toyoda's comments fall into three categories: 1) "I have launched a top-to-bottom review of our global operations to ensure that problems of this magnitude do not happen again", 2) "To ensure that our quality-control operations are in line with best industry practices, we will ask a blue-ribbon safety advisory group composed of respected outside experts in quality management to independently review our operations" and 3) "We fully understand that we need to more aggressively investigate complaints we hear directly from consumers and move more quickly to address any safety issues we identify."
Toyoda completed his statement by writing that "great companies learn from their mistakes." Toyota's problem is that it may have already lost its image as a great company. It took the world's No.1 car firm over three decades to establish itself as the highest quality manufacturer marketing cars in the U.S., routinely scoring at the top of JDPower and Consumer Reports surveys. Toyota had nearly 18% of the American car and light truck market last year, about the same amount as Ford (F). But its quality image has evaporated now, and it may take years and hundreds of thousands of lost sales before its gets that image back, if it ever does.