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Sympathy to Toyota, recall not good though, say rivals

Global carmakers, including GM, Ford and Honda, said on Thursday that they are not going to take advantage from the crisis faced by Japanese auto giant Toyota, which is recalling over eight million vehicles worldwide but agreed it is not a good sign for the industry.

autos Updated: Feb 11, 2010 15:18 IST

Global carmakers, including GM, Ford and Honda, said on Thursday that they are not going to take advantage from the crisis faced by Japanese auto giant Toyota, which is recalling over eight million vehicles worldwide but agreed it is not a good sign for the industry.

Toyota is recalling the vehicles worldwide to fix faulty accelerator pedals and brakes.

"Toyota's problems are not good for the industry. The industry perspective on the Toyota recall is that no one likes to see another competitor being put through that," General Motors Co's North American President Mark Reuss told reporters on the sidelines of the Chicago Auto Show here.

"We like to have a healthy industry and we would like to be able to compete on a level playing field," he added.

Echoing GM's thoughts, Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields said the company does not see Toyota's troubles as an opportunity to steal customers.

"We have a lot of compassion for what Toyota is going through. We do not take a lot of joy in it," Fields said.

Honda, which is also facing vehicle troubles as it recalls some of its Accords and Civics due to faulty airbags, said companies have to deal with such situations in the best possible way they can.

"We are not taking advantage of Toyota's situation at all. We have our own business to do, our own vehicles to sell. Toyota is a tough competitor and we will continue to compete with them in the marketplace," Honda's Assistant Vice -President Public Relations for America, Kurt Antonius said.

A Suzuki official also said the company was "sympathetic" with what is happening with Toyota.

General Motors' Reuss however admitted Toyota's vehicle recall "may be an opportunity for us to get some consideration from folks that we did not get before".

"... (but) our products stand for themselves and may the best car win," he added.

Ruess said sales gains made by GM in January were not due to Toyota's recalls but the company had earned it on its merit.