Parent company Daimler is recalling 840,000 vehicles, including 705,000 Mercedes-Benz cars. The statement title downplays the issue and blames Takata:
"Daimler recalls approximately 840,000 vehicles in the United States as a precautionary measure due to potentially defective airbag models from manufacturer Takata"
In its statement, the company gives expenses data and assures us that the financial impact is minimal:
"Daimler AG points out that both the dividend proposal and the employees' profit participation for the successful year 2015 as well as the earnings expected for financial year 2016 remain unchanged."
Daimler's positioning works well for the audience, and blaming Takata is a good move. The supplier is already in big trouble, with testimony from an engineer that the company hid airbag problems by changing test data and hiding parts, all while executives assured safety. During the deposition, the employee said, "'I had the data, but I wanted to go look for those parts. But when I went to look for the parts, because some of the parts had come apart, they were no longer available. They had been discarded.''
Ten deaths have been reported because of failing Takata airbags. In addition to Daimler, Honda, GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, and other vehicles have been recalled totaling about 24 million-so far.
- Assess Daimler's statement about the recalls. Who are the primary and secondary audiences, and how well does the company address each?
- Research Takata and look for current news. What's your prediction for the company and its executive team?