You've heard the conventional wisdom about Toyota's disastrous few months--the brand is totaled, it's a risky time to buy stock, and the company's profits are bound to fall after a strong fourth quarter. What's the distinctly unconventional wisdom?
- Keanu Reeves Can Help Toyota, writes Alistair Osborne, "alerted the world to the crisis by wheeling out an anonymous executive to face the television cameras - wearing a surgical mask. What kind of message was that meant to convey? That driving full pelt is less dangerous than swine flu?" Keanu Reeves in Speed handled the driving problem much better--by addressing it head-on with jokes.
- Toyota Is Like Every Greek Myth The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson thinks the Toyota is suffering from a superfluity of Greek myth similarities. The company's boundless ambition and quick expansion "is more than a retelling of the story of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun." It's also about Prometheus,the Titan in Greek mythology who stole fire from the gods to give to humans, and as punishment was chained to a rock while a bird ate his liver ever day. The fire in Toyota's story? Technology--the company replaced old-fashioned car parts with computers. Robinson's point appears to be that, while this approach has advantages, it also has its dangers.
- Buy a Toyota Now "I think there has never been a better time to get down to the Toyota showroom," writes the Financial Times' Philip Stephens. "the company makes sgreat cars," prices will fall with the safety news, and the chances of actually having pedal problems is vanishingly slim, according to his calculations.