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Toyota Faces 'Long Tail' Recovery, Analyst Says

Toyota’s recent quality woes may have a “longer tail” than recalls that have hit the industry previously, such as the Ford Explorer and Firestone recalls, said John Giamalvo, auto analyst for Edmunds.com, on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this morning.

Giamalvo said buyer consideration for Toyota models is holding “relatively steady,” though he believes other factors may be influencing that traffic.

“A good portion of that might be people who were considering buying a Camry…and may be visiting those sites just from a reference standpoint, to say ‘Hey, I need to buy something else,’” Giamalvo said.

Giamalvo added that Ford and General Motors appear to be gaining buyers for their Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu models, respectively, as Toyota Camry buyers look elsewhere. Aggressive discounts and incentives to win Toyota buyers appear to be driving this trend.

A public apology from Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda this morning came on the heels of recent announcements that the company may recall its popular Prius hybrid model because of brake issues. Giamalvo said he is waiting for “clarity” on what this will mean for the Prius market share.

“Every factory has its episodes of recalls, but this has turned into a miniseries,” Giamalvo said.

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