I called a cab yesterday, Flash Cab, in Chicago. I was a little surprised, they picked me up in a Scion.
The Scion looks like a car for kids into the Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift. The Fast and the Furious franchise is one hell of an indication that we are a different world. It’s not Rocky, or Die Hard or Lethal Weapon.
This post isn’t about bashing Toyota. I know the recall has people who own Toyota’s annoyed. It also has people who don’t own Toyotas acting like they are smarter then people who do. The American made gene in me gets weaker every year, and every year I become more practical. Buy a Toyota if you like it. Millions of people have owned them, and have liked them.
Surprisingly, the Scion seems to be a very practical, utilitarian automobile. I was shocked at how much leg room was in the back. I own a Mercedes ML350, and there in NO leg room in the rear seat if you slide the front seat all the way back. I’m 6′3″ tall, so my seat is pretty close to maxed out. The Scion was roomy for 4 full size adults.
This also made me think about fuel efficiency. I consider myself to be pro environment, so fuel efficiency is very important to me. I am certain the Scion gets great gas mileage compared to my Mercedes.
This practical approach to building and buying vehicles is refreshing. This car is much more practical then an SUV. I hope this continues as we develop as a culture. In Europe cars that have smaller engines are coveted. A big block muscle car would be laughed at in Ireland.
I’m impressed by the Scion XB, so maybe I’m pro Toyota. I’m definitely not furios that they have done a major recall. The reality of manufacturing complex equipment things go wrong. I’ve owned enough Chevy’s to be able to one up anyone on a broken car story.
Toyota may have a marketing challenge in front of them. They will have to change a public perception that becomes negative quickly. The Internet has opinions shifting quickly. One day Toyota is a solid car, the next day they are death traps. To control the social media and perception of your brand is a challenge. Toyota be working hard to win back it’s reputation. Toyota competitors, like GM, Ford, Honda and Hyundai will be using the Internet and public relations to try and gain market share in auto sales.
I think if Toyota keeps making practical cars that are environmentally friendly, like the Scion XB that Flash Cab picked me up in, Toyota will recover quickly. They are ahead of most automakers when it comes to Hybrid engineering, and when the media shifts away from the recall, Toyota will use the Internet to market this message.