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Stakeholders for Toyota Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 23rd, 2021

Introduction

Toyota is the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. The main target market of the company is the middle class. The company has several brands that are popular due to their prices and quality. However, due to quality concerns, recalls of automobiles threaten to tarnish the image and reputation of the company.

This necessitated the company to develop an efficient crisis public relations strategy to prevent the tarnishing of its image. Crisis PR addresses the needs of the stakeholders and averts the looming problem.

The success of crisis PR was highly dependent on the ability of the company to address the needs of the stakeholders using proper communication channels. Failure to use efficient crisis PR would make other automobile manufacturers take advantage of the crisis in Toyota to develop strategies that would improve their competitiveness.

Stakeholder Needs

For an organization to respond effectively to a crisis, it should understand its image and reputation. In addition, the company must know the impact the crisis will have on its activities. Efficient crisis PR necessitates a company to address the specific needs of each stakeholder.

Efficient response to the crisis will enable the stakeholders to uphold the positive image, identity and reputation of the company (Seitel, 2011). In Toyota’s case, the company had to address the needs of their customers and employees to prevent future occurrence of the problem.

Safety and comfort were the major quality concerns of the customers. Therefore, it was vital for the crisis PR to address these issues. Toyota developed the Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC). CSRC helped in improving the safety of cars and reducing the number of fatalities on North American roads.

CSRC pays special attention to certain vulnerable populations. These include children, teens and seniors (Toyota, 2012). CSRC has partnerships with various leading academic and research institutions. These partnerships help in developing projects that can improve the safety of Toyota’s customers.

Partnerships and collaborations with leading academic and research institutions ensure customers that the company is seeking help from the best available sources. This would greatly improve the confidence that customers have in Toyota’s products.

Currently, there are more than seven projects with the academic and research institutions that strive to improve automotive safety. CSRC has improved the customers’ perception of the company. It assured the customers that the company puts their interests at heart.

Social media is one of the most recent technological advances that companies striving to be market leaders should embrace. Companies may use social media for a variety of purposes. These include marketing and survey. Social media is a critical PR tool that companies may use to repair their image and reputation.

Toyota used social media as a PR tool for repairing its image and reputation. Toyota’s customers in the US have direct access to the US CEO via Digg. This allowed the customers to pose questions to the CEO, which the CEO answered promptly (Buley & Elliott, 2010). Direct access to the US CEO showed that the company cared about the issues of the customers.

The crisis appeared due to the recall of millions of vehicles necessitated Toyota to address the concerns of their employees. The company incorporated all employees in addressing issues of quality regardless of their rank. The employees helped in addressing quality concerns of the company’s products.

Toyota ensures that it trains employees on its production system. The Toyota production system leads to the production of high quality vehicles at a rapid rate. Toyota retrains employees who cannot complete their scheduled work in the production cycle.

The company had to address the quality concerns with employees since they were the source of the errors. Therefore, employees are the only people who may help in correcting the faults (Spears & Bowen, 1999). Employees have a clear understanding of the production system.

Therefore, Toyota addressed the concerns of its employees to ensure that it solved the crisis effectively and prevented future occurrences of the problem. Toyota employees provided clarification on the quality concerns regarding various automobiles.

This led to the development of a fast response to address the quality concerns. Toyota responded quickly to the quality concerns of its automobiles by recalling millions of automobiles.

Shortcomings and Recommendations

During the recall, Toyota requested its customers to return their vehicles. The company collaborated with dealers in collecting the vehicles. The company returned the vehicles to the manufacturing plants. This enabled the company to repair the defects in the vehicles.

However, the company delayed returning the vehicles to its customers by several weeks. This led to further complaints from the customers. Failure to return the vehicles in time exacerbated the problem that the company faced. It led to further damage of the image and reputation of the company.

Delays led to great losses to customers who depended on the vehicles for their daily operations. This necessitated the company to formulate strategies that would help in dealing with the problem created due to the delays. Therefore, the company should have handled this situation in a better manner.

Returning the vehicles to the customers promptly after the repairs would have reduced the damage of the image and reputation of the company.

Toyota had to repair its image due to the recalls. If Toyota produced high quality vehicles, it would have recalled the vehicles. Therefore, this case shows that Toyota should have ensured that its products are of high quality. This would have guaranteed the market leadership of the company.

Concept Plan

The concept plan provides an illustration of how Toyota handled the crisis due to the massive recall of vehicles using PR. The company targeted customers and employees to repair its image and reputation.

Toyota Concept Plan

Conclusion

The massive recall of vehicles due to quality concerns threatened to damage the image and reputation of Toyota. This necessitated the company to use efficient crisis PR strategies to repair its image and reputation. The company had to address the needs of its major stakeholders.

These stakeholders included employees and customers. The company collaborated with employees in identifying how to address the quality concerns. In addition, the company provided support to customers to ensure that they maintain their trust in the company’s vehicles.

Toyota used social media to address concerns of the customers. Customers could pose questions to the US CEO directly via Digg (Buley & Elliott, 2010). Direct access to the most senior executive of the company made customers feel that the company had their issues at heart.

One of the major shortcomings of the company is the fact that it delayed in returning the vehicles to its customers. This aggravated customers’ discontent. Toyota’s case is a clear illustration of how companies may use PR to repair their damaged image and reputation.

References

Buley, T. & Elliott, H. (2010, Feb 5). . Forbes. Web.

Seitel, F.P. (2011). The practice of public relations (11th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Spear, S. & Bowen, H.K. (1999). Decoding the DNA of Toyota production system. Harvard Business Review, 77(5), 97-106.

Toyota. (2012). . Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Stakeholders for Toyota." July 23, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/stakeholders-for-toyota/.

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