Case Study: Toyota Prius
University of Maryland University College
September 30, 2010
As the United States unite in the global effort to monitor the use and waste of energy, fuel efficient or hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius has dominated the market over the SUV’s who once adored every American driveway. With much doubt, in 2004, the Prius has become the leading selling vehicle in America. The sleek design has caught the eye and pockets of many Americans who prefer the “gas sipper” over the “gas guzzler.” (Kotler & Armstrong, Principles of Marketing, 2010)
In addition to the declined trips to the gas station, the Prius also offered advance technology such as the implementation of a Smart Key System, DVD navigation, Bluetooth and more. (Wikipedia, 2010) This made it a must buy for the technology savvy community who discovered ways to modify the Prius computer system, making it perform many customized features. Such unconventional features, gained the approval of the underground market so to speak. Not to mention the incentive of driving in the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane even with one occupant. Tax breaks issued by the federal government in addition to free parking were just a few of the perks that came along with owning a hybrid. (Kotler & Armstrong, Principles of Marketing, 2010)
According to Toyotas website, they report a decline in sales July and August in comparison to the same time last year. “Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported July sales of 169.224 units, a decrease of 6.8 percent from the same period last year, on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis.” In August, Toyota sales were at the peak in 2009 when Cash for Clunkers were going on, but last months’ sales declined 31.4 percent on a DSR. The Toyota Prius has a new competitor on the market, the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Ford Fusion Hybrid. With these new products, and the idea that most automobile companies are progressing towards the hybrid movement, you will see a lot more hybrids appearing on our roads, especially since the skyrocketed gas prices since 2008.
2A: What microenvironmental factors affected Toyota Prius? How well has Toyota dealt with each of these factors? In 2010, Toyota announced a voluntary global recall on certain Toyota Prius models which involved millions of vehicles sold in the United States. Due to this, the microenvironmental factor of the company was influenced because Toyota then had to re-evaluate and redesign a new marketing plan while taking company groups such as management and finance into account. This also affected the suppliers who had an imperative connection to the customers’ satisfaction and safety when the Prius was made by defective parts which could damage the overall satisfaction of the customer. (Kotler & Armstrong, Principles of Marketing, 2010) According to Toyota’s newsroom site, the report of there being “unconfirmed accidents alleged to be related to this condition, one of which reported a minor injury” can send a drastic downward plunge in sales of Toyotas as a whole. (Toyota, Toyota Announces Voluntary Safety Recall on Certain Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix Models, 2010) In addition, competitors could use the opportunity for the decline in sales to regain the lost customers of the Toyota Prius. The media public placed newspaper articles and televised broadcasts that a recall was established by Toyota, this in turn affected the most important aspect in Toyotas microenvironment; their customers. They had to maintain a strong relationship with their loyal customers and assure them that they would be taken care of. (Kotler & Armstrong, Principles of Marketing, 2010)
As an element of the recall, the vehicles that were involved were replaced at no charge to the owner. Toyota mailed out notifications advising owners of such recall and that further notice will be made available to them. If additional detailed information was needed they could...
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