A match made in heaven, between research firm J.D. Power and Associates and Toyota, started out by going to the dogs.
J.D. Power founder Dave Power recalled that the first time he called Toyota's U.S. headquarters in California, he couldn't even get an appointment. But later he was in the neighborhood, after pitching his services to the nearby company that made Kal Kan dog food, so he dropped in.
At the time, Dave Power was getting desperate to establish his new company as a source of "voice of the customer" research for the auto industry. Toyota was in a receptive mood, after being badly burned by the disastrous U.S. introduction of the Toyopet Crown. It was relaunching itself with the Corona, a big improvement over the earlier car, and was determined to get it right the second time.
A short time later, when Toyota executives invited Power to Japan, he didn't even have a passport.
Jim Henry interviewed Dave Power, 76, in New York.