a) Historical Background
TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (NYSE: TM) is a Japanese multinational automaker headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. It was founded in Japan on August 28, 1937. The company originally produced small cars and light trucks for consumption in Japan and for exports to other countries. The first Toyota retail dealership was opened on October 31, 1957 in Hollywood, CA. In 1980 a heavy United States import tax on vehicles forced Toyota to open a plant in America in order to remain competitive. In 1982 the production and sales divisions of Toyota merged to form Toyota Motor Corporation. -------------------------------------------------
In 1990 Toyota started to produce new types of vehicles, such as luxury cars, full sized pick-up trucks, and sports utility vehicles, in an effort to broaden the product mix farther beyond. Toyota went public in 1999. Since then, the company has created a broad range of new products, delved into robotics, and had two vehicles named car by “Motor Trend”.
The recent President of Toyota Motor Corporation is Akio Toyoda and its Chairman is Fujio Cho. In 2012, Toyota employed 325,905 people worldwide and was the third-largest automobile manufacturer by production behind General Motor and Volkswagen Group. Toyota is the 11th largest company in the world by revenue. On July, the company reported it had manufactured its 200-millionth vehicle. Toyota mainly focuses in the automobile business as well as the financial business. Toyota sells its vehicles in approximately 170 countries and regions and its primary markets for its automobiles are Japan, North America, Europe and Asia. Today, Toyota has 7 factories in the United States, 15 in Japan (12 of which are in Toyota City), and factories in 13 other countries around the world. Toyota is well known for its small cars and SUVs but it is an industry leader in manufacturing techniques and has been a pioneer since its inception. The Toyota Production System (TPS) is a benchmark for all manufacturing companies. Principles like Kaizen, continuous improvement, and use of “kanbans”, means of keeping enough parts on hand for JIT manufacturing, are known and widely used because of Toyota.
b) Mission statement
The Toyota Motor Corporation mission statement is referred to as a “Global Vision”. Toyota has become one of the best automobile companies and one of the most popular car brands in U.S. automobile industry largely because it is able to live up to its own lofty mission statement:
“Toyota will lead the way to the future of mobility, enriching lives around the world with the safest and most responsible ways of moving people. Through our commitment to quality, constant innovation and respect for the planet, we aim to exceed expectations and be rewarded with a smile. We will meet our challenging goals by engaging the talent and passion of people, who believe there is always a better way.” The Story of Toyota:
B) Corporate Strategy
a) Grand strategy
As Toyota’s mission statement said, TM focuses on not only short-run profit maximization, but use the best approach to achieve sustained corporate growth and profitability. Its long term objectives are maintaining a competitive market position, harmonious employee relations as well as attaining technology leadership and public responsibility. For the grand strategy, Toyota uses differentiation, which strives to create and market unique products for varied customer group with building customer loyalty. At the same time, TM also exploits market development. Toyota expands its presence in different car market worldwide, and success in localizing its strategies in tune with the needs of different customers’ preference.
b) Business segments
The Company operates through three business segments: Automobile, Finance and other operations.
The Automobile segment is engaged in the...