• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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The problems of GM and Toyota, and the entire automotive industry

I wrote about GM’s recalls last week and, wouldn’t you know it, Toyota is now in the news for settling a suit for stuck accelerator pedals for almost $1.2 billion. Toyota said it was wrong to withhold information.

Well, this sounds strangely similar to GM now doesn’t it? It appears that GM also withheld information concerning its faulty ignitions. I wonder if it will suffer a similar fate as Toyota?

Toyota was not bailed out by the government as GM was. Remember, GM was gladly taking bailout money while it was allegedly lying to the government about the faulty ignitions. I guess if the US eventually fines GM for this mess, we can just bail them out again, right?

Toyota settles suitThis is what is fundamentally wrong with the automotive industry. And no, it is not that the government will bail the automakers out. It isn’t even the problems of GM and Toyota themselves. It is the fear that something can go wrong if a manufacturer sticks its neck out. This fear must be so pervasive in the hallowed halls of the manufacturers that none of them are willing to actually promise something meaningful to the consumer or tell the truth.

As history has demonstrated, as long as they fly just below the radar and look like all of their competitors then no matter what happens, they may get a little black eye for only a little while.

That attitude even reaches into their brands. A manufacturer would steal market share if it had some real stones and unequivocally promised something that was truly different and unique and actually lived up to it proactively. As it is now, the manufacturers are just comfortable to let the normal churn of the market go on. It’s time that a manufacturer makes them all uncomfortable.

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