Toyota is a typical example of how Japanese industry succeeded. Although it is often conservative in design and not very creative in bringing new ideas, its special attention to build quality and reliability wins customer confidence gradually. Its emphasis on technology development and production efficiency results in up-to-date products and good value for money. That's why its cars capture a lot of brains if not hearts. Nevertheless, in recent years Toyota starts getting more creative no matter in design and technology. Examples are Pruis and IQ. Hopefully it will be even stronger in the future. Toyota does not have many brands and subsidiaries. Most cars are sold under its own brand, while Daihatsu takes care of mini cars and Lexus concentrates on premium and luxury cars. Scion is a youthful brand created by its US marketing division and is still rather insignificant. Heavy trucks and commercial vehicles are produced by its subsidiary Hino. Toyota did not invest into foreign marques, as it believes more in its own effort.
Being the most powerful car maker in the world, Toyota holds many number one titles: No. 1 sales worldwide, No. 1 sales in Japan, best-selling car in the world (Corolla), best-selling car in USA (Camry), most factories all over the world, the widest range of vehicles, highest profitability... would be easy to think Toyota's biggest problem is its damaged reputation caused by sudden acceleration recalls, millions in government fines and massive lawsuits and settlements. But what's hurting the company most is an aging lineup of boring cars. Over the past decade, Toyota and its US dealers had it easy. Cutting-edge design wasn't required because the cars sold themselves on reputation. Everyone knew Toyotas held their value, were safe and got drivers from point A to point B with little drama, then the recalls came which called all of that into question. Ending 2010 on a low note, Camry sales fell 10 percent in December from a year... [continues]
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