Multilingual Business Communication

April 5, 2009

Toyota begs employees to return Blackberries

Filed under: crisis communication, Karen Decabooter, Uncategorized — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:44 am


Asking employees to return their Blackberries is one of the economy measures that Toyota Motor Europe has taken to fight against the economic crisis.

Three months ago, Katsuaki Watanabe, senior executive of the Japanese car producer Toyota , announced that it is difficult for Toyota to keep its head above water during the current economic crisis. He announced an expected operational loss of € 1.19 billion for the financial year that ended on March 21, 2009. To make up for these historical losses, Toyota decided to introduce heavy productions cuts and to reduce working-hours in 75% of its production plants. Moreover, general managers will receive smaller bonuses and they will lose a lot of their fringe benefits. 

Two weeks ago, some sixty Belgian managers of Toyota Motor Europe were asked to return their Blackberries immediately. Although Blackberries are useful devices with a lot of e-mail and agenda applications for travelling managers, the communication costs of these devices are relatively high. According to Frederique Verbiest, spokeswoman of Belgacom, telecom expenses are often revised in times of crisis. However, Toyota is one of the first companies that interferes in the use of Blackberries.

It is a question whether this is the most efficient and paying measure to handle the economic crisis. The majority of managers are already addicted to this business toy. “For most of us, it will be difficult to return our Blackberry”, says one of the employees of Toyota Motor Europe. Don’t you think that this will stir strong feelings among managers who will be less motivated to fight against the crisis? Wouldn’t it be a better idea to let them keep their Blackberries and merely economize on future perks? 

(Karen Decabooter)


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