Toyota named New Zealand’s top corporate in Kantar Corporate Reputation Index for the first time

Toyota New Zealand has been named as the business with “the best reputation in the country” after being awarded the top placing on the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index (CRI) for the first time ever.

Established by Kantar and Wright Communications in 2015, the CRI is celebrating its 10th anniversary and uses Kantar’s RepZ framework to assess standardised reputation attributes of a business across trust, leadership, fairness, and responsibility. For the last decade, Toyota has been recognised as New Zealand’s most reputable car brand, however this is the first time it has been awarded the overall top spot.

Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive, Neeraj Lala, says the accolade reflects Toyota’s privilege―to have loyal, vocal advocates whose trust it builds through the quality and value of its vehicles, excellent customer service, addressing issues important to New Zealanders, and supporting local and national initiatives.

“We’ve had this goal for a long time because we feel it’s the ultimate measure of how you are perceived by your customers. There is no higher honour. We have been market leaders in the motoring sector for 36 years now, and our privilege is about upholding the Toyota legacy here in New Zealand. It is a legacy of people and place. We talk about how our 60 Toyota Stores around the country are deeply rooted in local communities through their focus on building trust and growing relationships, and this is a recognition of how deep these networks run,” he says.

“Not only do Toyota Stores invest heavily into their own businesses, but they also invest in their communities. Our Stores support a range of initiatives that promote physical and mental health, local conservation causes, and more. We recognise this work through our Citizenship award every year. We act locally, but we also strive to broaden our impact through national initiatives like teaching young drivers to drive safely.”

Neeraj Lala believes Toyota’s commitment to its customers and local communities is further reinforced by its strong footprint in regional New Zealand, with the Toyota New Zealand headquarters based in Palmerston North, and its Toyota Signature Class refurbishing centre based in Thames. The National Customer Centre in Palmerston North holds an extensive inventory of parts and allows Toyota to uphold its 24-hour service promise to Toyota Stores, ensuring they have what they need, when they need it. 

“We have close to 350 people located in our National Customer Centre. This award means an enormous amount to everyone there, and to all of us that represent the Toyota brand in Aotearoa. We have a dedicated contact centre in Palmy and they are an award-winning customer service team, boasting extensive product knowledge. Every day, what we strive to do, day in and out, is earn the trust of everyday Kiwis in every interaction.  

“Ultimately we’re a mobility business, but our success as a business relies on our relationship with our customers.  The relationship doesn’t start and stop on the day you buy a Toyota or Lexus from one of our stores. We take a proactive approach to anticipate and address customer needs before they arise. It is no easy task. Things inevitably go wrong. But being customer focused means we put things right. I can truly say that Toyota puts the customer at the centre of everything we do,” says Neeraj Lala.

“We want to support communities in ways that help them to prosper. This includes evolving our fleet to support greater electrification and reduce CO2 emissions, which is underpinned by our commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Neeraj Lala says that Toyota is working towards a re-think of mobility in New Zealand that will see it offer more than just transport, with how kiwis get from A to B becoming greener, more affordable, more reliable, and more personal. 

“At Toyota, we follow a Japanese idea called kaizen, which means always trying to do better. This simple principle helps us improve every day so we can give our customers the best experience possible,” he says.

This recognition follows Toyota being awarded the Reader’s Digest ‘Most Trusted Car Brand’ in New Zealand for the 19th consecutive year.

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