Environmental Marketing Plan: Toyota Motor Corporation
Environmental Marketing Plan: Toyota Motor Corporation
1.0 Company Description
Established by Kiichiro Toyoda, the Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese car manufacturer with its headquarters in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Being the first automotive company to produce ten million vehicles in a year, Toyota was named the top automaker by production in 2012 (De-Xing, Yuan, & Teng, 2014). The company has also been recognized as the fourteenth leading companies in the world today based on revenue.
Since its establishment, Toyota has gained a massive global reputation through its brand and its goal to expand to all regions of the world. Presently, Toyota products are available in over 170 countries. Its surging exports have also made it possible for the company to localize its productions through opening new operation plants in numerous countries. The company is governed by the principle of producing vehicles as long as there is demand, which has led to its 52 bases that are located in 26 different countries in Asia, Europe, and North America.
2.0 Strategic Plan
Toyota seeks to become a leader in the automotive industry and to enhance the lives of all its consumers through the creation of innovative products that apply advanced technologies and services. The company is committed to quality, ceaseless innovation, and high regard for the planet, which fuels its objective to surpass the expectations of the world’s automotive industry while making a positive impact on the country’s economy. The company is ready to deal with whichever challenges it will encounter through embracing the talent and passion of all individuals who believe that there is a better way of production and making of products that are suitable to the world that they live in.
Toyota seeks to establish a positive client relationship through offering quality services and products at a highly competitive price. The company is focused on creating an eco-friendly working environment that respects both the environment and society. Thus, the company has embraced numerous strategies and models aimed at attaining these goals.
2.3 Financial and Non-Financial Objectives
Toyota Kirloskar strives to attain a 20% increase in its car sales in India from 50,000 units of Etios sedan to 60,000 units within three years. The best way through which this can be attained is by creating supportive production and supply structures that are aimed at ensuring the best pricing and delivery of its products (De-Xing, Yuan, & Teng, 2014). Despite any fluctuations that the company might experience in its sales, it should strive to attain the set goal within the stipulated time.
By diversifying its marketing and advertising strategies to the traditional media, including television and magazine advertisements, and social media, Toyota Kirloskar will be better placed to achieving more than a 5% increase in car sales on the global market. Using both the traditional and new mediums of communication to advertise its products will have a significant influence on potential customers’ decision-making process while thinking of the most appropriate car to buy.
In the recent times, Toyota has aligned its innovation and manufacturing process with its goal to protect the environment. As such, Toyota has dedicated itself to the production of hybrid alternatives, which are friendlier to the environment, for every model that is introduced to the market. In 2012, the goal was to sell at least one million hybrid vehicles. Furthermore, the company has amended and added value to its 2011 Environmental Action Plan by focusing on six main areas, which include deviations in Energy and Climate; Management of the Environment; Air Quality; concerned Substances; Recycling and Improved Resource exploitation; and Cooperation from the Society (Ng, Hamid, & Yusof, 2017). Toyota is dedicated to reducing the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and has undertaken numerous actions that are aimed at ensuring that it keeps the environment clean through observing the recommended fuel economy values.
2.4 Toyota’s Core Competency
The company’s core competency lies in its capacity to make world-class vehicles and retail them at affordable prices. The Toyota Production System (TPS) is an innovative production program that has made it easier for the company to attain its goal (Ito, 2014). The program relies on the Lean Manufacturing notion, which includes innovative procedures such as Six-Sigma, Kaizen, and Just-in-Time, which are highlighted in the SWOT analysis.
2.5 Sustainable Competitive Advantage
The company continues to strive endlessly to establish a competitive advantage in the local and global market. In the recent years, Toyota has been dedicated to attaining a better and more viable economy through creating a stable international market. By taking advantage of advances in technology, Toyota has embraced numerous strategies that are aimed at allowing the company to attain its goals and objectives within the set time. The company boasts of a well-developed and strong network that is comprised of experts in research and development that are dedicated to ensuring that the company maintains its position at the helm of product creation and service delivery to all its consumers in various parts of the world. Furthermore, Toyota has a well-established distribution network around the globe, which has made it easier for it to reach a broader portion of the market than its competitors.
3.0 Situational Analysis
3.1 Consumer Analysis
3.1.1 Demand Trends
The rate of car use in most parts of the world has been rising steadily in the since the commencement of the 21st century. An increase in the consumer market can be attributed to continuous economic growth and development that has been experienced in most countries. Given its presence in the global market, Toyota has managed to penetrate into the remotest and underdeveloped regions of the world through its diverse range of affordable cars.
The customers that purchase Toyota products are quite diverse as they range from middle-income earners to high-income earners. They are located throughout the world, which has resulted in the company innovating products that would cater to the needs of all these consumers. While some people may need sports cars, others need big family vehicles while companies look for trucks to move their products to the market. Toyota seeks to cater to all these customers by developing cars that accommodate the varied group of its consumers, with different ages, earnings, geographical positions, and social and cultural standings. Its numerous products allow the company to satisfy the diverse wants and needs of its customers. In fact, Toyota has provided low-income earners with a fundamental means of conveyance that is efficient and pocket-friendly while also catering to the luxurious needs of its customers who are looking for class and elegance.
3.1.2 Buying Patterns
Most people consider purchasing a car that is fit for the economy. Thus, a vehicle that is sold at an average price tends to attract most people, particularly those who are buying a car for the first time. Toyota has managed to penetrate this market through the creation of affordable car models with advanced technology, low maintenance and operating costs, and stylish designs. At the same time, it has catered for the needs of the high-income market through the development of expensive luxury cars that are much larger in size, have bigger engine powers, and trendy designs.
3.1.3 Potential Customers
Per income capita in India and other developing nations is not high, which indicates that the automakers do not focus on the development of luxury vehicles. Instead, Toyota is more focused on creating small, versatile, and family-friendly cars that are affordable to most middle-income earners. Following the success of its Etios and Liva models in India, the company should focus more on the creation of affordable and efficient models to cater to the middle-income earners.
3.2 Company Analysis
Toyota’s ability to maintain its high production efficiency as well as its quality rankings can be attributed to its vibrant internal environment. The internal environment is comprised of the manner through which its production process is accomplished by the company’s top management and engineers who are known for their high levels of competency. The company’s production team has an avid fixation on raising the efficacy and success of its manufacturing processes. The best way to fully recognize the situation analysis of the company is through a SWOT analysis, which mainly comprises of its strengths, weaknesses, unfilled opportunities, and the threats that Toyota is facing or expected to go through shortly.
3.2.1 SWOT Analysis
The strengths and weaknesses of any given company are considered to be fundamental internal factors for any given company since they originate from the factors available in the company. On the hand, opportunities and threats are external factors since they arise from outside the company.
Fig. 1: SWOT Analysis (Internal Factors)
|Management||Toyota has competent and highly experienced team in both its management levels and company board||Large management size, which lessens the possibility of expanding rapidly into a new market due to a slow decision-making process|
|Marketing||The company has numerous branches throughout the world, which assist in the distribution of its products||It is expensive to establish such a vast global distribution network
|Personnel||Has a highly skilled and capable workforce||Places the company at a great risk if all it employees decided to leave the company|
|Product offerings||Has hybrid products that are affordable and friendly to the environment||The company spends a lot in advertisement and proving to the public that it has the right products for them|
|Finance||The company has experienced improved revenues following its increased sales of in the global market||The company has a limited workforce and its law materials are quite expensive, which have a significant impact on the company growth in comparison to is main competitors|
|Research and development||The company continuously improves the quality of its products through a continuous research process|
|Manufacturing||The company has reliable suppliers of the materials it requires for its vast manufacturing process, which ensures its ability to continuously carry out its operations||The company relies on suppliers that also provide materials to its competitors|
Fig. 2: SWOT Analysis (External Factors)
|Social factors/consumer||It is projected that the auto market will stabilize in the coming years||Low-priced products are bound to make the consumers assume that the quality of the product being sold is low as well|
|Technological factors||Advances in technology will allow the company to improve the quality of its products|
|Market/competitive factors||Developing differentiated products with different prices will allow Toyota to become unique in the market||The other automobile companies are unceasingly introducing car with high technology into the market|
|Economic factors||Improved levels of income among its consumers has made it easier for the company to penetrate the market||People choosing to purchase product from the company’s main competitors due to their available disposable income|
|Legal factors||Laws and other regulatory measures that ae aimed at increasing fairness in the market and preventing over-exploitation by other car manufacturers|
3.3 Industry Analysis
The company is in a position to utilize its strengths and opportunities to establish a competitive edge within the industry. Through adopting a highly differentiated product line, the company has managed to create itself as a force to reckon with in the world market.
Furthermore, the company has taken advantage of the expanding car market to penetrate new markets, such as China, Africa, and Europe. Given that Toyota initially concentrated its efforts on the Japan and American markets, it is time it initiated strategies aimed at getting into the other global markets. The company has more opportunities to grow based on its sustainable development goals that are aimed at protecting the environment by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. Due to the rising concern over the depletion of the fossil fuel and the foreseeable impacts of global warming, Toyota has a ready market for its hybrid car. Furthermore, the company can take advantage of the success of its hybrid vehicles to sell the technology to other automotive car manufacturers.
4.0 Focus on the Product Market
4.1 Developing an Environmentally-Friendly Strategic Focus
Presently, the primary marketing strategy for Toyota is product differentiation, which seeks to allow the company to penetrate into new markets, and the approach seems to be working well. The company is focused on using a pricing mechanism which will provide it with a better competitive edge over its chief competitors. While the cost of production of a unit car is anticipated to be huge, its mass production plants will facilitate such a mode of production, hence, minimizing the environmental impact of manufacturing one car at a time (Ng, Hamid, & Yusof, 2017). Through mass production, the company will still be able to retail its products at a low price yet, remain profitable, and maintain its goals to protect the environment.
In the recent times, the company has focused on becoming an environmental leader in the production of innovative products that are friendly to the environment. Among its most prominent innovations has been the development of hybrid vehicles with low fuel consumption and which are aligned to the global environmental trends. In 1997, the company launched Toyota Prius, which was its first hybrid car (Ng, Hamid, & Yusof, 2017). The company later developed the Highlander Hybrid and Camry Hybrid in its quest for creating environmentally-friendly vehicles. Furthermore, Toyota regularly updates its environmental reviews on both its website and physical environment reports in an effort at proving to its consumer that the company is dedicated to being eco-friendly. To further tap into this market, Toyota should create a marketing campaign that is focused on the environmental features of its products by showing that it is taking numerous steps aimed at ensuring that the company does not engage in any actions that are detrimental to the environment.
Toyota should focus more of its operation and marketing strategy on its hybrid strategy. The strategy will provide the company with an ideal balance between providing its customers with an affordable car and value for their money. Even if the company chooses to center on the price of its products, the hybrid car will appeal to clients who environmentally conscious yet seek for a quality car that is appealing and luxurious at the same time. The hybrid strategy will allow the company to utilize both cost and differentiation. Thus, the environmental marketing strategy will be a blend of differentiation, value, and cost control, which is fundamental in establishing its position in the automotive industry.
The company should advance its hybrid models even further to create carbon-free cars. Unlike its plug-in hybrids, the carbon-free vehicles will rely on storage batteries that are generated through fuel cells that are powered by hydrogen (Ng, Hamid, & Yusof, 2017). However, the fact that battery-powered electric vehicles cannot compete with the internal combustion engine makes this more of a long-term goal that a feat that Toyota can achieve at the moment. Therefore, even though it will take some time before the company can be able to roll out carbon-free vehicles, it should dedicate its research and development team towards the same. Such effort will appeal to the consumers who are becoming more and more aware of the need to protect the environment.
Toyota should also seek to introduce alternative fuels and technologies as mean of substituting petroleum in their products and likely substitutes for fossil fuel in the long term. Despite the fact that the company has been a pioneer in the creation of hybrid vehicles, 98% of Toyota cars run on petroleum. The dominance of petroleum-fueled vehicles has been due to the ability of petroleum to pack high levels of energy in small volume and weight, which allows the internal combustion engine in all these vehicles to remain compacted, powerful, and appropriate to all modes of transportation (Ng, Hamid, & Yusof, 2017). However, the introduction of alternative fuels can supplement Toyota’s efforts to reduce their level of carbon imprint on the atmosphere caused by their products. In this regard, the company should redirect its research efforts into finding suitable biofuels that can be used on their eco-friendly vehicles. To begin with, the company can start rolling out cars that run on ethanol, which can be made from sugar, corn, and switchgrass, which will then be blended with gasoline. The use of biofuels will be particularly valuable impact on climate change given that biodiesel and ethanol are produced with a minimum low carbon cycle in which the carbon dioxide released into the air during combustion can easily be recaptured by the plant material, hence, can be used to produce more fuels. While the introduction of such vehicles will not entirely displace petroleum, they will play an important role in minimizing carbon dioxide emissions, hence, allowing the company to maintain its focus on protecting the environment.
The Toyota Motor Corporation is among the leading companies in the automobile industry in the world. It has a big potential for growth, particularly due to it hybrid cars that provide it with a more competitive edge. Despite its projected threats and challenges, Toyota is set to become a market leader in adopting a marketing strategy that is friendly to the environment.
De-Xing, L., Yuan, Z., & Teng, L. (2014). Modeling and control for the Toyota Prius under consideration of emissions reduction. In Transportation Electrification Asia-Pacific (ITEC Asia-Pacific), 2014 IEEE Conference and Expo (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
Ito, H. (2014). Toyota as an environmental model city: Is its eco-policy recognized? Journal of Sustainable Development, 7(2), 70-81.
Ng, S. C., Hamid, N. A. A., & Yusof, S. R. M. (2017). Green Manufacturing Performance Measure for Automobile Manufacturers. In Industrial Engineering, Management Science and Application (ICIMSA), 2017 International Conference on (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
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