Why Toyota Has Become Such a Successful Automaker
As is the case of most successful companies, there are many qualities that come together to create a company such as Toyota. Included among the qualities are Toyota’s product design, marketing concepts, cost control methods, production control and innovation. Innovation The definition for innovation is “the act of introducing something new; the act of starting something for the first time” (innovation, 2007). Toyota is synonymous with innovation. One of the possibly not so insignificant reasons for Toyota’s success has to be credited to its long-term investment in gas-saving technology.
Because Toyota is innovative in most areas, it only stands to reason they would also be focusing some of their energy and resources in the area of fuel efficiency. Toyota continues to make progress in the area of environmental issues. Toyota listens to the feedback of its customers as president of Toyota Motor North America, Harry Otaka states, “Our customers tell us that they are interested in our environmental investments and innovative technologies, provided we meet their price and performance requirements as well” (Prius, 2007). Toyota was a forerunner in introducing SUV hybrids.
Unlike other manufacturers, Toyota has voluntarily committed to phase out some substances of concern such as lead and mercury in all of their vehicles by 2015 (Prius, 2007). Marketing One of the many ways Toyota seems to be competitive is with there various and often unique marketing techniques. One technique is holding back on production of certain Toyota models to keep them fresh and special as in the case of the Scion. “But instead of riding that momentum to increase sales still further, Scion plans to throttle back production to keep sales from going above 150,000 vehicles next year.
It is part of marketing strategy to keep the brand special and, above all, cool” (Chon, 2007). This was a marketing technique they also used successfully employed when first introducing their cell-electric Hybrid SUV’s to Japan and the U. S. (Toyota, 2007). Only it was in the introduction of the cell-electric Hybrid SUV that a “soft opening” was used to test consumers response. Even Toyota’s “green and clean” self-promotion is seen as much or more of a marketing technique as reality (Welch, 2005).
The article, “Toyota’s Myth and Myth Marketing” accuses Toyota of using this clean, green, tech-savvy advertising as “slick marketing ploy” (Welch, 2005). The article points out that some of Toyota’s hybrids like the Lexus RX 400H and the Highlander SUV don’t have much better mileage than their gasoline counterparts and that Toyota along with the Detroit automakers are suing to stop pending legislation in California that reduces greenhouse gas while Toyota continues to oppose tough fuel-economy regulations in Washington (Welch, 2005).
Competitors were betting that Toyota’s marketing of their lower-priced Scion by having hip-hop artists introduce it would fail. However, Toyota again proved it knew its marketing better than its competitors since the Scion is selling in record numbers and “has become a ubiquitous presence within the underground hip hop scene” (Gonzalez, 2007). Brand Name Unlike most American auto manufacturers, it is not uncommon for a Toyota customer to buy a Toyota model and 10-15 years later buy a Toyota car with that same model name.
That is one of the many things that differentiates many auto manufacturers from their Toyota counterparts. Some credit Toyota with making this part of their success plan. When the customer has purchased a Corolla, driven it for 200,000 miles later, and begins to consider their next purchase and the model name Corolla is still being manufactured, it would only be common sense that the customer would consider purchasing another Corolla.
If a customer purchased an American model car and was pleased with it, when the time comes to purchase another car, odds are that company has changed the model name even if a similar model is being manufactured. This is just one of the areas addressed in the article, “Why is Toyota Successful? ”: It is worth noting that, while German automakers tend to use symbols and numbers, and Americans tend to throw away names frequently, Toyota sticks by a name as long as a car is successful, and doesn’t toss names onto cars that don’t fit them.
The Land Cruiser started in 1950; the Corolla in 1966; the Celica in 1970; the Camry in 1983; the 4Runner in 1984… (Why, 2007). Some even think it is Toyota’s modest demeanor as a company that has something to do with their success. Toyota’s world headquarters in Toyota City which is a quiet industrial city 150 miles SW of Tokyo has what one writer referred to as a “deceptively modest demeanor” (Collier, 2006).