NEW YORK (
fans -- and that seems to be most of
readers these days -- are more than 84% certain that Ford has passed
in regards to trustworthiness and quality.
That, at least, is according to a
conducted this past by
Indeed, as Toyota scrambles to contain all the harm caused by its sudden acceleration troubles -- and subsequent recall -- one reader, commenting on
, predicts that "Ford will outsell Toyota easily in 2010." Meanwhile,
The Wall Street Journal
says that Toyota is currently assembling a D.C. crisis team consisting of lobbyists, lawyers and public relations experts to defuse a mounting political and regulatory firestorm.
This crisis team even consists of former Clinton aides (who presumably know a thing or two about attempting to contain a public relations nightmare) and those who helped
cope with its own corporate crisis, according to the paper.
Indeed, the problems for Toyota have been grave enough to lure the company's media-shy president Akio Toyoda into a
last-minute press conference Friday.
There, Toyoda apologized for the company's massive vehicle recalls, and tried to
mollify Toyota customers
with assurances of better quality control.
But while Toyota is marshaling its resources into remedying its sudden-acceleration troubles -- and its public image -- only time will tell whether the carmaker will be able to set things right again for its customers. But one thing's for sure: it's a windfall for Toyota's competitors, such as Ford.
Indeed, only some 16% of those who took our poll agreed with the notion that Toyota would quickly remedy its problems. One such Toyota-supporter wondered what suddenly made Ford so special, adding, "I also don't understand the logic of people that say we should buy Ford because it didn't take bailout money."
But, again, that was clearly the minority view, with the other 84% declaring that Ford has already claimed the high road from Toyota.
As for the market's opinion, on Friday, Toyota stock settled at $74.70, up 4.1% -- but still ended the week down 3%. Ford, for its part, lost 1.4% to $10.91 on Friday, and lost 23 cents, or 2.1%, on the week.
Other automaker stocks also lost ground Friday.
fell 1.5% to $34.50, while
slid 0.6% to $44.90.
-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York
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>>Toyota's Bad Week Gets Worse
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