Toyota: About Those New Stories You've Been Hearing…

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

If there’s one certainty in the car business, it’s that you know a company is in trouble when their ads forgo showing off their latest models in favor of gauzy images of beloved products past. It’s a trick that the Detroit firms have played to death over their 30 years of decline, and now Toyota is dipping a toe in the soothing waters of nostalgia. For contrast, check out Hyundai’s “more-Toyota-than-Toyota” Super Bowl spot after the jump.

Incidentally, Toyota is credited with first introducing the then-innovative practice of allowing any line worker to identify defects, stop the line and formulate fixes. The model has since been adopted across the industry, and has gone a long way towards reducing the quality gap between Toyota and its competitors. By keeping a Toyota-like laser-focus on product while the big T is mired in feel-good attempts at restoring lost credibility, Hyundai shows that it has stolen more than one page from Toyota’s Detroit-killer strategy.

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  • Dwford Dwford on Feb 08, 2010

    These Toyota mea culpa commercials reminded me of the very similar commercials from GM a year ago. Can we get a side by side comparion?

  • Crash sled Crash sled on Feb 08, 2010

    I thought it was a great commercial when I saw it last night. They jumped right into the Super Bowl, and paid the appropriate premium, so you know there are some necks and reputations on the line. They HAVE to follow up, now. That's commitment, baby. Will they? I'm betting they do. For certain, I'm betting they continue to outperform Government Motors. Any takers on that bet?

  • Brian E Brian E on Feb 08, 2010

    This is probably a bit late for this comment thread, but I'll chime in anyway. The problem with that Toyota commercial is that it told me how they aren't living up to my expectations and how my confidence in Toyota has (evidently) been shattered such that it needs restoring. Well, OK then. Toyota, you haven't been living up to my expectations and my confidence is shattered. Thanks for telling me that; now I know better than to buy one.

  • Blue adidas Blue adidas on Feb 08, 2010

    They got caught. It's that simple. Their cars are ugly and now everyone knows they are junk.