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Case Details:| Price:|
Case Code| :| MKTG118| For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400; For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling ChargesThemes| Case Length| :| 27 Pages| |

Period| :| 1997 - 2005| |
Pub Date| :| 2006| |
Teaching Note| :| Not Available| |
Organization| :| Toyota Motor Corporation| |
Industry| :| Automobile| |
Countries| :| USA| |
Abstract:
The case focuses on the world's first mass produced hybrid passenger car - Prius - manufactured by the world's second largest automaker Toyota Motors.

The case explains the new hybrid technology used in the car.

It also looks for the reasons for the success of the original Prius in the Japanese market and of the subsequent models of the Prius launched in the US and other markets.

The strategies for marketing the product in the US are also analyzed.| | Issues:
• History of hybrid vehicles.

• Working and usefulness of hybrid vehicles.

• The growing need for clean and green cars in the 21st century.

• The system Toyota put in place for the manufacture of the original Prius.

• The technology and other aspects and features of the original Prius and its subsequent versions.

• Toyota's marketing strategies in the US.

• The role of buzz marketing in the marketing of new and innovative products like the Prius. Contents:
 | Page No.|
Introduction| 1|
Background Note| 2|
Toyota| 2|
Hybrid Cars| 3|
Knowledge Management at Toyota| 4|
The Original Prius| 7|
The First Generation Prius| 7|
The Second Generation Prius| 9|
Outlook| 13|
Exhibits| 14|
Keywords:
"The Prius is solid evidence that the ponderous development process that produces new automobiles is finally on the brink of a genuine technological breakthrough."1 - Popular Science Magazine, July 1997.

"We believe that clearing environmental hurdles and offering an attractive driving experience are critical for cars to thrive in the 21st century."2 - Hiroyuki Watanabe, Senior Managing Director, Toyota in 2003. Introduction

In December 1997, Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) of Japan launched its hybrid vehicle Prius in the Japanese market. This was one of the first mass-produced hybrid vehicles in the world. It used the Toyota Hybrid System (THS), which combined an internal combustion engine fueled by gasoline with an electric motor.

Prius achieved a balance between high mileage and low emissions and was the upshot of the company's initiative to produce environment-friendly automobiles and its goal of manufacturing the 'Ultimate Eco Car'(Refer Exhibit I for the Ultimate Eco Car goal of Toyota). The Prius generated a lot of enthusiasm in the industry as it was both efficient and stylish.| | It was also a safe car. The car conformed to Japanese regulations and standards pertaining to environmental pollution. Having sold more than 100,000 units worldwide by 2002, it was the best selling hybrid car model in the world. | The company introduced further refined models in 2000 and 2003. Toyota introduced Prius in the US market in 2000. Before entering, Toyota conducted a research study of the US market and consumer preferences there. It developed various strategies specifically for this market based on its research findings. The price of the new improved Prius was unchanged from that of the original Prius.

These initiatives helped Prius to break successfully into the tough US market even though it was based on a new concept of a hybrid car. In 2001, the Automotive Engineering International3 recognized rius as the 'world's best engineered passenger car.'| Toyota Prius: A Case in New Product Development - Next Page>> Introduction Contd...

By 2002, it was being sold in North America, Japan, Europe, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore. Analysts opined that the demand for hybrid cars would rise because of the unstable oil prices and the growing need...
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