All smiles at Toy­ota as con­sumers con­tinue to keep faith in the brand

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

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.

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