Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How Not To Do: Brand-strengthening and Corporate PR

Volkswagen is losing friends and infuriating owners rapidly with ongoing quality and safety issues. Unlike Toyota and Lexus however, which seem to move heaven and earth to keep their owners happy when things inevitably go wrong, VW Australia seems to be intent on crashing and burning the brand loyalty and corporate reputation they've fought so hard for. One particular 'rapid deceleration issue' (or "Car suddenly no-go-go on freeway" in layman's terms) has allegedly led to one death already but VW's US arm are taking much bigger steps towards damage control than their colleagues in Oz.

Read on here about the latest in the saga where VW Australia have threatened a Melbourne man's job over his persistent requests to have his car fixed. To make matters even worse...VW has gone all 'Dear Leader' and punished the Publisher who reported on the issues in Australia by removing all VW media/advertising from all Fairfax's publications. Wow... if a PR disaster had four wheels, what would it look like?

Update: The Australian Government is now being urged to intervene after allegations of a VW Australia cover up. Read on here. If this latest update is anything to go by, VW's German HQ isn't dealing with this problem too well either.

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