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Would you buy a Toyota?
Surprisingly, 34 percent of respondents to an online poll say the recall of 8.5 million vehicles will not affect their decision when next buying a car.
February 28, 2010 3:20 by Ben Flanagan
In the US, the recall issue has hit brand loyalty. Research by Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence, a US-based automobile information service company, found that owners of other car brands were less likely to consider buying a new Toyota now. The research found that 51 percent of Toyota owners are looking at a new Toyota purchase, down by 6.5 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2009 to the period of January 27 – February 10 of this year. Kelley Blue Book added that owners of other brands also were less likely to consider buying a new Toyota. The decrease was by 5 to 8 percentage points, depending on the other brand.
But Kipp readers, who predominately reside in the Middle East, do not seem to have been as affected by the recall issue. A reader poll found that only 15 percent of respondents said that they would not be buying a Toyota because “its reputation is tarnished”. Surprisingly, 34 percent of respondents said “the recall won’t affect my decision”, and 21 percent said “I will consider buying a Toyota, as it has handled the recall swiftly”. The remaining 30 percent of respondents said “I wouldn’t consider buying a Toyota anyway.”
Toyota has taken some steps to resolve its PR crisis. Earlier this year, the company said that all future models will include a brake-override system that will cut the engine when the accelerator and brake pedals are pressed at the same time. New vehicles will also have an enhanced on-board event data recorder, a kind of “black box” for the vehicles, the company said.
But whether such initiatives can help restore the automaker’s brand status, in the US market at least, remains to be seen.
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