Toyota to offer incentives and warranties in customer fightback

Toyota’s new marketing approach will involve offering heavy incentives and warranties in an effort to combat mounting consumer concerns about the car manufacturer amid its recall crisis.

Toyota plant

The company is desperately trying to restore customer confidence after a global recall of over 8 million Toyota-brand vehicles because of acceleration and brake complaints.

The Prius hybrid and Tacoma pickup have also been called back for separate problems.

In the US, Toyota’ sales fell 19% in January, and has led to Congressional hearings on the recalls. In the UK, Toyota’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire is considering cutting 750 jobs in response to falling demand for cars. It may have to slash the headcount further if concerns over potentially dangerous accelerator pedals translate into significantly lower sales.

Orders from UK customers have already fallen 7%, the company says.

In the UK, Toyota has taken out a press campaign to reassure customers over its product recalls as it is hit with fresh safety concerns and repair work has begun. Deliveries of new models have been halted until the issue is cleared.

Toyota has also used YouTube to deliver a message by Jim Lentz, president of Toyota’s US marketing, to reassure consumers over concerns surrounding the safety of its cars.

Toyota says its massive vehicle recall could cost it up to $2bn (£1.25bn) in lost output and sales.

Meanwhile, BMW is changing the focus of its ads to concentrate on the cars being safe for mothers and children. One print ad in the US uses the tagline “Joy is Maternal” instead of the “Joy of Driving”.

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