All smiles at Toyota as consumers continue to keep faith in the brand
Toyota’s handling of the crisis of confidence caused by component failure in the accelerator mechanism on several models, may prove to be almost textbook perfect.
As it prepares to launch its second hybrid model from Burnaston – the Auris – comes news that the “furore” over the safety of its cars has had “no discernible impact” on the value of its used cars.
Toyota has been working flat out to minimise a drop in confidence, but another reason for the retained values is a shortage of supply. Owners like to keep their Toyotas.
This script could have been penned by Toyota’s publicity team but, actually, comes from the independent Glass’s used-car guide.
“Many Toyota models still boast some of the strongest residuals in the UK used-car market, and there are no signs that this has changed as a result of the media furore surrounding the recalls,” comments Johnathan Brown, Car Editor at Glass’s.
“The Yaris supermini and Aygo city car retain their status as top-three residual value performers in their respective segments. Also, the RAV-4 compact SUV has benefited from the general resurgence of interest in the 4x4 sector that resulted from the recent severe winter weather.
“Since the end of last year, RAV-4 values have matched the increases for the sector, with rises of between five and seven per cent.
“Meanwhile, the iQ is still enjoying a honeymoon period in the used-car market following its launch last year, with second-hand examples being snapped up quickly and enthusiastically as soon as they become available.”
There is also praise for the way Toyota and its dealers handled the crisis over the mechanical problems. Many of Toyota’s famously loyal customers have actually had their faith in the marque reinforced by the effective management of the recalls programme, says Brown.
“Toyota dealers have responded very well to the recall issue, processing bookings and completing the necessary modifications promptly and efficiently. Senior dealership managers have also been making time to speak to individual customers to provide reassurance and tackle any remaining concerns. Faithful customers that have been treated well will continue to be evangelists for the brand.”
As regards those consumers without any allegiance to Toyota, Brown is sceptical that the recall issue will cause long-term damage.
“There have clearly been some prospective new or used-car buyers that are not including Toyotas on their shortlists because of safety concerns.
“However, motor trade sentiment – from within and from outside the Toyota network – suggests that consumer confidence in the brand should regain any lost ground during the next few months.”
POPULAR: Toyota’s Auris hybrid, above, is all set to be launched, while the Yaris, left, is in demand as a used car.