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Consumers keep buying Toyotas during hearing

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Consumers keep buying Toyotas during hearing



As a congressional committee grilled Toyota's top U.S. sales officer, the automaker's dealers said they are still selling cars.

"The good news is customers are in the shop. ... We've sold a few cars today," said Bob Page, owner of Page Toyota in Southfield, who watched the hearings on-and-off in his office today.

Two surveys released today show that Toyota customers aren't fleeing the brand, despite the company's troubles. According to a Zogby Interntional poll, 59% of the 2,068 people the firm surveyed last week said the automaker's recalls haven't impacted their likelihood of buying a Toyota vehicle. Of those surveyed, 35% of those polled said they are less likely to buy a Toyota.

In the same survey, 85% of Toyota owners said they feel their Toyotas are as safe or safer than other vehicles, while 22% said they felt their Toyota is not as safe as other brands.

Meanwhile, a study by Bandon, Ore.-based CNW Research shows that in mid-February, only 9.5% of new car shoppers, who had primarily considered a Toyota, have cut the brand from their shopping lists. While that figure is up from about 7% in late January, CNW points out, the majority of car buyers interested in a Toyota, "are still considering one of the brand's models."

By afternoon, Bob Page sold three vehicles and he sold five the day before.

Page said his store is mostly selling Corollas and Camrys, including vehicles that have been fixed for the recall.

"I think, for the most, part customers are still comfortable with the product," Page said.

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