So What Happens When A Brand Can’t Live Up To Its Most Noted Attribute?

Some of Toyota’s cars took it on the chin in the newest Consumer Reports ratings. From The Baltimore Sun:

In a blow to the company that is poised to be the largest automaker in the world, Toyota Motor Corp. fell so far in Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey that the magazine will no longer automatically recommend the company’s new cars and trucks to readers.
The Toyota brand slid from first place last year to fifth place in the 2007 rankings, which were released yesterday, and Honda replaced Toyota in the No. 1 spot.
What’s more, “below average” ratings were given to two of Toyota’s vehicles: the six-cylinder Camry sedan and four-wheel-drive Tundra pickup truck.
The Lexus brand, which is owned by Toyota, dropped from fifth place to sixth, and the all-wheel-drive Lexus GS also received a “below average” rating.

For almost 30 years, Toyota meant reliability. Period. And Consumer Reports was the publication who validated that. The advertising never mattered much because the products sold themselves. If you’re Toyota, what do you do now? If this trend continues, how are they going to market their products?

About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.