The answer to the question regarding consumer perception is a tricky one and can be answered with both a yes and a no. New car sales were flat compared to the rest of the automotive industry, which saw sales improve in the aftermath of the economic meltdown of 2008 and 2009. However, the values on used Toyota vehicles has held strong.
New car shoppers are reportedly very aware of Toyota's recent recall woes and feel the brand has been tarnished as a result. Yet 40 percent of those polled also believe the automaker has responded properly and fixed its various issues.
KBB has broken down Toyota's trying 2010 with valuable data garnered from its in-market shopping site and used car valuation analysis. Consumers have also been surveyed and all the information has been packaged into a report that's definitely worth a read, especially if you're considering buying a Toyota.
Click here (Warning: PDF link) to read it yourself.
Toyota Values Perform In Line with Competitors; Company Fails to Sway Many New-Car Shoppers
IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today announces the release of its special report Toyota: One Year Later, providing an in-depth look at Toyota one year after its major recall crisis began in January 2010.
The comprehensive report from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com includes a detailed look at Toyota's new- and used-car values over the past year; up-to-date shopper data providing consumer opinions, vehicle consideration and safety perceptions of Toyota since the recall crisis began; expert industry analysis from kbb.com's executive market analysts; and more.
Despite Toyota's recall woes of 2010, the brand's used-car values held strong throughout the year. Among the best-performing used Toyotas were 2007-2009 model-years Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Sienna and Yaris, primarily due to their offering of solid fuel economy in an affordable package. Meanwhile, used vehicles from Toyota's luxury sister brand Lexus underperformed the market throughout 2010 along with all luxury brands, primarily due to the economic concerns of used-car shoppers.
Toyota's 2010 new-car sales were flat while the industry improved, and the company relied upon heavy incentive spending to spur new-car demand. While Toyota launched aggressive incentives in March 2010 during the midst of the recall crisis, overall the company's incentive spending for 2010 was in line with its competitors. However, despite relatively flat sales for the year, Toyota's loss of new-car market share in 2010 was very pronounced, as consumers seemed hesitant to purchase new Toyota vehicles.
With regard to new-car residual values, Kelley Blue Book analysts predict that any long-term negative affects to Toyota's residuals will not be due to recall stigma, but rather because of other factors in the marketplace affecting Toyota's residual values, such as softening in the fuel-efficient vehicle segments, aging fleet designs and the aforementioned spurts of heavy incentives spending throughout 2010. Even with all of its recall troubles, Toyota managed to maintain its second-place brand residual standing behind top brand Subaru for 2011.
While Kelley Blue Book's valuation analysis shows that Toyota fared well overall during the past year considering all that the brand endured, data from Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence reveals that the Toyota recall crisis of 2010 heavily impacted the opinions, considerations and perceptions of new-car shoppers. Nearly three-quarters of surveyed shoppers were aware of Toyota's 2010 recall problems, and more than half of respondents said they believe that Toyota's brand reputation has been tarnished by the recalls. However, 40 percent indicated they believe Toyota has adequately resolved its problems related to the recalls.
Toyota's overall purchase consideration was depressed throughout 2010, with data from the latest quarter (Q4 2010) showing purchase consideration at an all-time low in the last four years. In addition, consumer perception of Toyota safety ratings also experienced an all-time low throughout 2010, and it continues to remain significantly lower than previous years.
As for Toyota's new-car traffic on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, which can be a leading indicator of new-car sales patterns, the brand's overall traffic is down six percent in the last year.
However, specific model performance remains mixed, with the Corolla, Camry and RAV4 experiencing declines in traffic on kbb.com over the past year, while the Sienna, Prius, Highlander and Tacoma experienced increased traffic on kbb.com throughout 2010.
Kelley Blue Book's Full 'Toyota: One Year Later' Special Report
Includes charts, data and analysis providing an in-depth look at the following:
Brand and model-specific analysis of Toyota and Lexus' used-car values
Detailed examination of Toyota's new-car sales, incentive spending and market share
Changes in market share relative to Toyota's primary competitors
Residual value forecast for Toyota
Survey data providing car shoppers' opinions of Toyota since the recall began
Brand and segment-specific Toyota consideration data from new-car shoppers
Brand and segment-specific Toyota safety perception data from new-car shoppers
Brand and model-specific Toyota new-car traffic data from kbb.com
Expert industry analysis from Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com
Expert industry analysis from James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com
To view the entire Toyota: One Year Later special report, please visit http://mediaroom.kbb.com/special-reports.