Report Company Case 4: Toyota Prius
Samuel van Horen
Bastiaan van Kemseke
Supervisor: Vera Hartog
The Toyota Prius is a full hybrid electric mid-size hatchback, formerly a compact sedan developed and manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corporation. The EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) rate the Prius as among the cleanest vehicles sold in the United States based on smog-forming emissions. The Prius first went on sale in Japan in 1997, and was available at all four Toyota Japan dealerships, making it the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. It was subsequently introduced worldwide in 2000. The Prius is sold in almost 80 countries and regions, with its largest markets being those of Japan and the United States. In May 2008, global cumulative Prius sales reached the milestone 1 million vehicle mark, the 2 million milestone was reached in September 2010, and as of October 2012, a total of 2.8 million Prii have been sold worldwide. Cumulative sales of 1 million Prii were achieved in the U.S. by early April 2011, and Japan reached the 1 million mark in August 2011. Since its launch in 2009, the third-generation Prius sold more than 1 million units worldwide by September 2011. In 2011, Toyota expanded the Prius family to include the Prius V, an extended hatchback wagon, and the Prius C, A subcompact hatchback. The production version of the Prius plug-in hybrid was released in 2012. The Prius family reached global cumulative sales of 3.3 million units through October 2012, representing 71.5% of Toyota Motor Company hybrid sales of 4.6 million Lexus and Toyota units sold worldwide since 1997.
1. What micro environmental factors affect the introduction and sales of the Toyota Prius? How well has Toyota dealt with these factors? The micro environmental factors that affect the introduction and sales of the Toyota Prius are the company itself, the suppliers, the customers, the competitors and the public. The micro environmental factors are the factors close to the company that affect its ability to serve its customers. The company: The slogan and concept of Toyota express explicitly that Toyota is always pursuing the product which is environment-friendly and fuel efficient. As the previous version, the new version is also continued to use this concept and the improved Prius is in accordance with the company’s image perfectly. The Prius is an important component of Toyota’s strategy; the car sets the table for a new line of hybrid cars. The suppliers: There has to be better collaboration between Toyota and their suppliers. Toyota needs to motivate their suppliers R&D to produce better products. They can all benefit from this because better products make a better car. This will result in higher customer satisfaction, and more value can be added. The marketing intermediaries: Toyota has to prepare promotion material for the launch of the Prius. They hired an advertising agency to come up with promotion ideas. The dealers also have to be prepared for the sale of the Prius. They have to train their salesmen in order to inform the customer about the car. The promotion of the car went very well, as Toyota made the customer well aware of their new car. The training of the salespeople did not go as planned, because many salesmen had trouble with the new technology. The customers: The company carefully studied their consumer market. They are focusing their product on innovators and early adapters. These people are very interested in new technology. Toyota put a lot of effort in educating this target group by advertising and sending emails to potential customers. This worked very well for Toyota. Their target group was very interested in the car. The number of sales proves this. The competitors: Toyota had a head start with the launch of the Prius. They were the first with...