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Toyota Brand Coming Back in Latest Surveys

Recalls have hurt, but majority of owners remain loyal.

by on Feb.15, 2010

A new look for the badge debuted on the now recalled 2010 model Toyota Prius.

Media reports of the death of Toyota are greatly exaggerated, according to the latest research from CNW, the National Automobile Dealer’s Association and

Among the so-called Toyota “Intenders,” 7% now say they will not buy a new Toyota product. Sounds bad, right?


Immediately after its latest unintended acceleration recall last month, the intender number was down 18% — so potential buyers are already drifting back.

CNW interprets its survey this way:  long-time Toyota owners consider this a major issue, but the faith in the brand is still strong. The vast majority will not abandon Toyota models  because of the recalls.

While Ford, Honda and Hyundai have become stronger on Toyota-product shopping lists, none of them displaced the Toyota product in question from its number one position as the preferred choice. So maybe in short term, Toyota will have to work harder to retain these customers and close sales to prevent inroads by competitors.

Looking at another data source, Toyota’s recall problems also did not impact car shoppers’ searches for Toyota vehicles in January when compared to activity on in December of 2009 or the previous January.

Compared to December 2009, most new and used Toyota models on maintained their rankings or moved down only one spot. The used Toyota Camry actually saw an increase in searches on in January 2010 compared to December 2009, moving the car up from No. 23 in December 2009 to No. 19 in January.

On January 26, Toyota Motor Sales suspended sales of the eight Toyota models involved in the accelerator pedal recall, negatively affecting Toyota’s January sales. The eight models represented more than 60% of Toyota’s inventory at the time.


It’s true that the stop sale of Toyota products in January allowed Ford to displace it as the Number Two automaker in the U.S., but it won’t be clear how wounded the brand is until February sales or first quarter sales are reported.   (more…)

Recession Driving Buyers to Hold Cars for Longer Times, Shift From New to Used

However, a growing number of Americans are now considering "Big Three" options.

by on Mar.24, 2009


There's growing demand as people realize they need to replace current vehicles.

The nation’s deep recession and uncertain economic future is having a significant impact on what – and how – American motorists are buying. For one thing, consumers are holding on to their vehicles a fair bit longer than they used to. And a large share of buyers would now consider going for a used, rather than new vehicle. If the downsizing trend continues it will have increasingly negative implications for car makers.

While such attitudes reflect the rampant pessimism about the economy, there are some potentially bright spots in the latest survey of vehicle buying decisions by Detroit-based R.L. Polk & Co. For one thing, 72% of consumers say they’d consider buying a product from the Big Three. 

The latest results are grounded in the fact that nearly half of those surveyed expect the economy is going to worsen in the coming year. Less than a third are optimistic, predicting things will improve. Yet in terms of the auto industry, “a state of optimism” can also be found in the results, according to Polk’s director of industry analysis, Lonnie Miller. 

For the industry, as a whole, the study shows there’s growing pent-up demand, the result of buyers realizing they need to replace their current vehicles. A full third of those surveyed said they plan to purchase a car, truck or crossover within the next year, while 26% expect to buy one within two years.  (more…)