Despite being affected by the recession and shaken by the earthquake and tsunami in recent years, the Toyota Group (toyota-global.com) stands as the largest automobile manufacturer today. Behind the company’s success has been its high-performing automotive division, which consists of four brands targeted at the passenger vehicle market and one brand designed for the commercial vehicle space. Toyota’s non-automotive and financial services operations have also helped the company get to where it is now.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of Toyota Motor Global Product Portfolio (frost.com/ne60), offers an in-depth examination of the Toyota Group’s key operational strategies, corporate structure, R&D strategies, localization strategies, production capabilities, and product planning and branding strategies.
Toyota was restructured in the beginning of this decade to ensure equal attention to all its brands from a global perspective. To achieve true competitiveness for sustainable growth, Toyota Global Vision was announced in 2011. Since then, the company has implemented initiatives like the formation of Lexus International as a separate unit, directly managed by the chief executive officer in order to help reach individual brand targets.
In spite of these efforts, the Toyota Group had a scare in 2014, with the Volkswagen Group (volkswagenag.com) almost taking pole position in terms of sales units. A key challenge has been that Japan is the only location where basic research, vehicle engineering, and advanced engineering and design have been taking place. Although the United States (US) and China have supported the company’s research and product development, Toyota still faces the risk of having all its eggs in one basket. Therefore, it is essential for the company to expand its footprint outside Japan.
“Toyota is expected to rely on external stakeholder collaborations and partnerships with vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), such as BMW and suppliers like Toray, to diversify its geographical presence,” said Frost & Sullivan Automotive & Transportation Program Manager Vishwas Shankar. “Since each market demands unique powertrains, vehicle body styles, and other features, Toyota will do well to adopt this strategy for continued success.”
As far as the Toyota brand is concerned, all current body styles will remain relevant. For Scion and Lexus, however, the conventional, sporty, and sport utility vehicle body types will shape future product strategy. Models, such as Lexus NX and Scion iM, are already entering markets like the US, where vehicles with similar body styles have been well-received in the past. If hybrid or turbo-charged engines are also used in these models, Toyota will manage to attract a wide array of customers.
“In the near future, Toyota will neither create new brands nor kill existing brands,” noted Shankar. “Instead, it will stick to its core values derived from management principles and focus primarily on the automotive business to help its groups’ brands co-exist.”
Strategic Analysis of Toyota Motor Global Product Portfolio is part of the Automotive & Transportation (automotive.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: Financial Assessment of Global Automotive OEM Industry, Strategic Analysis of the Japanese Powertrain Market, and Opportunities in the Global Taxi Market. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Strategic Analysis of Toyota Motor Global Product Portfolio / NE60-18