Recalls have left Toyota battered and bruised with a very damaged image that now needs rebuilding. Consumer trust is not easily earned. Toyota knows it, too. The automaker worked for decades to build an image that equated quality and reliability with the company name itself. Now under heavy fire over its handling of the problems that led to the floor mat and gas pedal recalls involving its most popular and important models, Toyota has embarked upon a PR blitz intended to convince frustrated customers and a skeptical media that everything's going to be all right.
Whether that's indeed the case will become evident over time. Sales numbers speak for themselves, and if the public isn't buying Toyota's explanation, they won't be buying its vehicles, either. In any case, it'll probably be years before the recall story's epilogue can honestly be written.
For now, Toyota's primary focus is on re-establishing itself as a business that's deserving of consumers' trust. That starts with saying "I'm sorry" as frequently and in as many different venues as possible. The latest part of Toyota's apology blitz comes in the form of a new TV spot called "Commitment." It's embedded after the jump for you to watch. The message is simple and delivered well: Toyota messed up big time, it knows it, and it's fully aware that the onus is on itself to win back customers' confidence.
If Toyota's smart, it'll air during the Super Bowl later this evening. But seeing it also leaves us wondering if Toyota had spent a fraction of its PR resources on getting out in front of these recall problems months ago instead of the damage control its writing checks for now, would it even be in this position today? Unfortunately for Toyota, we'll never know.
[Source: Toyota via Gaywheels]
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