Toyota employer brand could be damaged after recall crisis

Toyota’s HR department could have a mammoth task on its hands in repairing the damage caused to its employer brand in the wake of the recall scandal, leading brand experts have warned.

Last week, the car giant began another recall of certain Prius models after reports of brake problems. It came just days after the manufacturers recalled another set of models over problems with accelerators.

Consultancy Brand Finance, which publishes a rank of leading brands, warned that if the aftermath of the recall was not handled well, as much as 20% could be wiped off the brand’s value, leading to a negative impact on Toyota’s reputation.

A spokesman said: “Clearly, a recall on this scale will have a detrimental impact on the employer brand. Potential employees will be less attracted to an automotive company that produces faulty cars, particularly when the technical faults can have potentially fatal consequences.

“Toyota’s employees have an emotional investment in the company’s products and, given Toyota’s impressive track record in management and product quality, staff are likely to be disappointed with the way this situation has unfolded.”

Tsz Wu, director of digital creative agency Pink Squid, said, in situations like this, HR could take a higher profile. “HR could see it as an opportunity to break out and take on the people agenda on a commercial level. After all, people [staff] are consumers too.”

Toyota was unavailable for comment.

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