Due to the fact that Toyota’s image was affected by driver complaints about unintended acceleration, it appears that the Japanese manufacturer decided to revamp its marketing message and shift the focus to safety in a big way. These words came from Toyota’s top executives, who also added that the manufacturer is currently dealing with a perception issue, and brand perceptions are not brand realities.
"If a customer has removed us from their consideration list, it was because of a perception of Toyota safety." said Bob Carter, Toyota Division general manager. For those who don’t know, Toyota recalled more than 12 million vehicles worldwide and 10.5 million in the United States, and most of the complaints were related to unintended acceleration.
Toyota plans to introduce creative elements in the new campaign but details were not offered to the press.
Toyota execs did say that the ads will feature the Star Safety System, which includes enhanced vehicle stability control and traction control, antilock brakes, electronic brake force distribution as well as brake assist.
Despite this, Toyota remained the No. 1 brand in retail sales in August and we had to highlight the fact that fleet sales were just 6 percent of volume.
"We need to make an emotional connection with people who own or are considering our product. We need to address the concerns of the customer, based on what we've been through this year." said Bill Fay, who took over in May as Toyota group vice president of marketing. [via autonews - sub. required]