Toyota Business Research Essay

2095 words - 9 pages

FINAL RESEARCH REPORT: TOYOTA July 30, 2010

MKTG 634 – Marketing Research

Has Toyota Successfully Regained Consumer Confidence after the Safety Issues and Recalls of 2009/2010?

Table of Contents Page(s)

1. Executive Summary ………………………………..………………….………… 3

2. Introduction …………………………………………………………………….…4-6

3. Research Methods and Procedures ………………………………….……………7-8

4. Data Analysis and Findings ………………………………………………….….. 9-13

5. Conclusions and Recommendations ……………………………………….….… 14

6. Limitations .……………………………………………………………………… 15

7. References ……………………………………………………………………..… 16

8. Appendixes …………………………………………………………………….… 17-18

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Findings
After analyzing and collecting the data, we have the following recommendations:
* Install new brake override system.
* Additional Testing for new models.
* Collect and analyze complaints that they received from customers.
* Additional training for all employees.

Introduction

For the first time in 77 years, Toyota Motor Company passed GM to become the world’s largest automobile manufacturer, selling 8.972 cars worldwide in 2008. (Washington Post, 2010) In late 2009, safety issues forced worldwide recalls and eventually the President and CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda was called before congress to address safety concerns about his company’s vehicles. This was a rough time for the mighty car company that built its reputation on safety and quality, a reputation that was almost ruined by a series of recalls that would eventually total more than eight million cars worldwide, as many as they sold the year they became the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. These problems for Toyota have almost ruined its brand image and it severely needs to improve consumer confidence in the Toyota Motor Company.

Toyota’s problems became public on August 28th 2009 when an off duty California Highway Patrolman and three passengers in a Lexus were killed when a floor mat trapped the gas pedal in the depressed position. (WSJ, 2010) In September of 2009, after more reports of unintended acceleration, Toyota issued a recall of floor mats in 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles. (Motortrend, 2010) In November of 2009, an article in the Los Angeles Times claims Toyota had ignored more than 1,200 complaints of unintended acceleration that were reported over the past eight years. This led to a Federal probe of the company (Motortrend 2010) and in February of 2010, Federal prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into Toyota's safety troubles related to the related to unintended acceleration of some Toyota vehicles and the braking system of its popular Prius hybrid. (McClatchydc, 2010)

In April 2010, Consumer Reports gave Toyota a rare "don't buy" warning. This was a severe blow to the automaker and the same month they agreed to a fine in excess of $16 million for concealing information related to the acceleration pedal recall. This was one of the largest fines ever imposed on a car manufacturer in the United States. (NY Times, 2010)

Toyota is currently waging an aggressive marketing campaign that stresses a return to safety and quality that we associated with the company before the current image crisis. It is also apologizing to the American public including an announcer stating “Recently, our company hasn’t been living up to the standards that you’ve come to expect from us or that we expect from ourselves,” and promising to “to restore your faith in our company.” (NY Times, 2010)

The problem statement of this study is to determine if Toyota has regained consumer confidence after the...

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