CNW: Toyota Needs Long-Term Plan to Regain Market Share
BANDON, Ore. — Based on its ongoing daily survey of shoppers, CNW Research discovered used Toyota sales plummeted by more than 39 percent in the first three days after the recall.
Taking the hardest hit were private party sales and independent dealer sales. The reason? No access to repair parts, according to Art Spinella, of CNW.
However, as of Feb. 11, used Toyota sales were down only 11 percent and it appears that percentage continues to decline, he noted.
"Used-car intenders who opt to buy a vehicle other than a Toyota are selecting a Honda (27 percent), Ford (18 percent), Hyundai (7 percent) and Chevrolet (6 percent) with other brands less than 5 percent," Spinella said.
On the new-car side, looking at Toyota intenders, CNW said that 7 percent now claim they will not purchase a Toyota. This is down from 18 percent immediately just after the news of the recall broke.
"Translation: The long-time Toyota owner considers this a pretty major issue, but the faith in the brand is still strong. The vast majority will not abandon Toyotas because of the recalls," Spinella suggested.
But he also went on to say, "Ford, Honda and Hyundai have become stronger on Toyota-product shopping lists, but did not displace the Toyota product from its No. 1 slot."
CNW also found that among new-car intenders who don't plan to buy for at least a year, Toyota cars have slipped on their consideration list from 19 percent as of February 2009 to 11 percent as of Feb. 10 of this year.
"Toyota will have to work at regaining market share in the longer term, if not the short term. Most telling is the decline in long-term intenders' consideration," Spinella claimed.
"All-in-all, while this is a major dent in Toyota's reputation, it is not a death knell. Damage will be done to sales, but the reaction to the recall was slow, but has become aggressive. Unlike the Audi or Suzuki Samurai, Toyota is a broad-based brand with literally millions of loyal owners and a variety of products that can keep the brand afloat even if Camry is damaged," he continued.
This analysis, however, came just prior to Toyota naming a new unit to its recall list: the Tacoma. This latest recall was announced on Friday and involves an inspection of the front drive shaft on certain 2010 Tacoma 4WD trucks.
"The front shaft in approximately 8,000 vehicles may include a component that contains cracks that developed during the manufacturing process. As those vehicles are used, the cracks may eventually lead to the separation of the drive shaft at the joint," the automaker explained in a statement.
Toyota said this latest recall will only require replacement of the front drive shaft in a limited number of cases.
And, according to reports, Toyota Corp.'s president will hold a briefing on Wednesday, to discuss the status of the recalls.