Toyota is in serious trouble. The Japanese juggernaut should be celebrating its recent ascension to the top spot among global automakers. Instead, it is slogging though a multistage recall of millions of its most popular vehicles, a situation that wasn’t much improved by Friday’s awkward, contentious press conference with Akio Toyoda, the company’s president (and the founder’s grandson). Managing spin, as is becoming glaringly apparent, is not something that Toyota does very well.
Recalls never look good, but this one, which involves faulty floor mats and balky gas pedals, is particularly ugly. It has morphed into a fast-moving disease, an engineering infection that has not only forced Toyota to suspend sales of eight models and hammered down the company’s stock price by 20 percent, but also blackened the company’s fastidiously tended reputation for quality.… Seguir leyendo »