Leonie Bulman's recent articles
Internet users identify with Toyota’s green credentials
Last week Toyota announced a collaboration with EDF to deliver infrastructure for the new Prius. The new model features the capability to run as a pure electric vehicle.
Analysis of brand discussion in the last week showed that Toyota’s deal with EDF was successful in promoting the brand’s green credentials. Last week’s discussion showed that people online identified with the “green” brand value more than any other.
Our research also shows that whilst reliability was the main concern of people online, most now think it is “safe to buy a Toyota”.
EDF is to provide infrastructure for the new Prius
- The new Prius is able to operate as a true electric car: Toyota’s new Prius uses plug in technology for the first time. The vehicle is capable of running as an electric car on shorter journeys, and as a traditional hybrid on longer journeys. Toyota claim that the vehicle “enhances the benefits of a traditional hybrid, whilst avoiding the constraints traditionally linked with electric vehicles”
- EDF is providing the infrastructure for the vehicle: EDF plan to install 40 electrical charging stations in the UK, predominantly around London. The Prius has a 12 mile operating range on a 1.5 hour battery charge. When using the battery, the vehicle produces zero emissions
Our analysis shows that Toyota’s efforts to promote themselves as a green manufacturer have been successful. Analysis of internet user’s brand discussion in the last week shows that the outstanding brand value of the company is its green credentials:
- Much of the brand’s green image comes from the Prius: Users associate the eco-friendly Prius with the Toyota brand. They comment that Toyota’s development of the new Prius has made hybrid motoring a “real option” for many people and that it has the “best emissions standards” of all the hybrids on the market . They also comment that Toyota is eco-friendly in its manufacturing process by “reducing waste” and “using recyclable materials”. Users particularly like the deal with EDF. They say that such co-operation between car manufacturers and energy companies is “vital” if low carbon vehicles are to “proliferate on Britain’s roads”
- Toyota is seen as a functional brand: Internet users talk about the brand’s products in logical, rather than emotive language. They talk about the performance, fuel consumption and functionality of Toyota vehicles rather than the feel or design. Users say that Toyota vehicles have “good fuel efficiency”. Buzz in the last week focuses on the new Prius, which is seen as having “surprisingly good acceleration” and being “fantastic for driving in slow moving traffic”. However, people say the range of the Prius is “poor” compared to “dedicated electric cars”
Analysis of reliability discussion shows that although reliability is the biggest concern of online users, sentiment is positive overall:
- Most people think it is now safe to buy a Toyota: the majority of internet users now think the brand is safe following the product recall in January. They comment positively on “Toyota’s reputation for reliability and durability”. They say it is “safe to buy a Toyota now” and that the problems have been “fixed”. One comments that “statistically speaking, Toyota doesn’t have any more problems than any other car company”
- However, reliability remains the biggest user concern: Reliability is the biggest driver of negative buzz around Toyota. Some people remain sceptical about the brand’s safety record. People comment that “I think it is too soon for Toyota to be boasting about safety awards”. Others think that “it is difficult to believe Toyota’s are safe now”