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Toyota To Dealers: Don’t Hire Your Own PR Firm

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Just last week, many media outlets — PRNewser included — reported that Southern California Toyota dealers took their image into their own hands, hiring powerhouse local PR agency Sitrick and Co. Now, it appears the deal never went through.

At the last minute, Toyota told dealers they preferred to handle the PR campaign.

“I was told Toyota and the dealers felt since they would essentially be delivering the same message, that Toyota Corp. should handle all communications,” Michael Sitrick told the Canadian Press.

Meanwhile, Quinn Gillespie & Associates dropped Toyota as a client this past Friday. QG&A president J. David Hoppe said the agency “was in a position adverse to Toyota.”

This all comes amidst news that Toyota executives highlighted $100 million in company savings for not issuing a recall this past summer, as well as the recall expanding into potential criminal and securities investigations.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. President James Lentz will testify in front of the House Energy Committee tomorrow. Toyota Motor Company CEO Akio Toyoda [pictured] will testify in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on February 24.

“We’re going to hold Toyota’s feet to the fire and make sure they do what’s necessary,” said Olivia Alair, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Department in a statement sent to The New York Times.

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