Safety is the focus of Toyota Motor Corp.’s new national advertising campaign. As the Toyota brand has yet to fully recover from a recall crisis, its new ad spots will highlight quality, reliability, dependability and safety. According to Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota's US sales arm, the new ads are also targeted at consumers who don't own a Toyota.
These ad spots will debut at the end of the year. Toyota has prepared several measures to rebound from the damage its image took due to the millions of unintended acceleration cases.
All of Toyota’s models are now offered with a package of five computer-controlled braking and vehicle stability technologies as standard. In addition, a brake override system will be available as standard on all new models by the end of the year.
Toyota has created teams of 200 engineers to spot and probe reports of unintended acceleration. Toyota also appointed a chief quality officer and chief safety executive in North America. Since several months ago, Toyota has been heavily advertising its star safety system, which includes standard antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control and other equipment.
Before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, Esmond said that its sales are “solid” even with the economy being in its current state as well as the events during the past year.
Esmond said that there’s still a lot of work to be done but that “things are improving, and we are moving forward.” This year, industry light-vehicle sales rose by 10%; however, Toyota has had to increase incentives to bring in the customers in the wake of the recall.
In addition, Toyota has to contend with stiffer competition from Hyundai, Ford and Nissan. [via autonews - sub. required]