Back in February 2010 I wrote a blog post about Toyota (link here) and their corporate reputation which at the time was suffering from large amounts of adverse publicity due to alleged problems with many cars sold. Since then Toyota have suffered from other issues which were not at all related to their own actions – the Japanese earthquake and severe flooding in Thailand – which affected their ability to manufacture and sell cars. They have also carried out a number of recalls to rectify some potential faults with quite large numbers of cars they sold.
However, despite all of that, figures recently released show that in 2012 Toyota were once again the largest car manufacturer in the world, with a 22% increase in sales over 2011. Whilst undoubtedly there were a number of factors involved in this success one element contributing to it must be the way Toyota have been absolutely honest in their communication about the technical issues, however small they may have been, and the reassurance to owners and others that as an organisation, Toyota will do all it can to ensure there is no compromise in the safety of their products. The have managed their corporate reputation very well on a global scale and the issues which generated such negative publicity have been overcome.
Details of the sales figures are available on the BBC website here
As an aside, one thing which didn’t generate as much publicity as the original issue was the investigation in the US which found that there was no problem with the components of Toyota cars, details here