Even in a sub-par state, however, I could see Toyota's leadership in Japan was slow to recognize -- and respond to -- the growing PR demo-derby in America due to recalls and tons of bad publicity related to unintended acceleration.
It made me remember how well Johnson & Johnson handled the Tylenol scare back in the early 1980s. By all business rights, that brand should have died . . . but was saved by a smart, in-tune management and aggressively candid PR.
It's amazing that, almost 30 years later, huge corporations haven't read their case studies.
I received an E the other day from Avis, which included this: ". . . if you are uncomfortable driving a Toyota vehicle, we will make every effort to offer you an alternative vehicle if one is available."
I respectfully refer you back to my first blog of 2010: In the non-Tiger category, no one/no thing has taken a bigger image hit than Toyota. And no corporation has more to prove in the next 11 months.
A Daytona 500 win would be a good start.
Upcoming The Race Reporters guests:
(Show is live Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ET, downloadable, and available on-demand at no cost. Click on TRR page logo in upper right-hand column.)
February 3 -- Newsmaker: Bob Tasca III. Panelists: Jim Pedley, Jeff Burk. Plus, Dave Rodman.
February 10 -- Newsmaker: Jamie McMurray. Panelists: Lee Spencer, Reid Spencer. Plus, Phil Burgess.
February 17 -- Newsmaker: Larry Dixon. Panelists: Alan Reinhart, Stan Creekmore.
February 24 -- Newsmaker: Brad Keselowski. Panelists: Mark Armijo, John Sturbin.
[ Bob Tasca III news notes Thursday . . . ]