The Toyota Story
Toyota offers a full line of products for just about every need and lifestyle. The Japanese company started out in 1933 as the automobile department of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Ltd. In 1937 the Toyota Motor Co. was founded, and by 1947 more than 100,000 vehicles had been produced. The first Toyota arrived in the U.S. in 1957. Today, more than half of the Toyotas sold in America are produced on U.S. soil. The popularity of Toyota products in the U.S. is easy to quantify — in 2007 the company surpassed General Motors as the world’s largest automaker. Toyota markets cars to more than 170 countries and regions through its overseas network.
Botswana is Toyota country
In southern Africa, Toyota rules. It is easily identifiable from any angle and distance. In fact one can confidently say that anyone alive in Botswana who has ever been in a vehicle it must have been a Toyota. They are as popular as Radio Botswana (RB)1.
Anyone who claims to have never listened to RB1 either by choice or default is, well, very untruthful to put it mildly. It has been said before and I will say it again - Botswana is Toyota country. Of the next 10 vehicles that will pass by any road you are currently traversing, it is impossible that a Toyota of any kind would not be among them. And that is a dare, provided you are in Botswana.So when you are a manufacturer of anything and your goods are more popular than yourself, a firm favourite of war lords, taxi operators and the Botswana government, then you know you are on point. But therein lays the catch, the fly in the ointment of an otherwise fine brew. Well, Toyota has just that very annoying mosquito and it is in the form of their design language. Of late Toyotas seem bland at best and staid with seemingly no inspired outputs within their ranks whatsoever. Yes, they are selling units by the droves, but so are Mazda and Ford, Nissan and Chevrolet. Yes, they rely on their history and reputation as a sure bet against these other players but that alone won't convince everyone who is willing to part with their hard earned mullah. Let us take a quick lesson with something that all of us use day by day; cellphones. Back in the 1990s Nokia was a giant personal phone maker. It was rolling out stuff that was both durable and reliable and it looked like nothing could stop them. Nobody knew about iphone or how good Samsung would turn out to be, never mind Blackberry, but right now they are the respective leaders of the handheld phone with Nokia trailing far below, especially with the youngsters who are the ones that use this stuff a lot. So history therefore teaches us that an enviable reputation is a good place to start, but what good is a strong foundation when you don't build on it? You cannot go around boasting that I have laid the best foundation around while at the same time you haven't or aren't busy building a house. Things have changed dramatically in the last decade. You have manufacturers like Kia all of a sudden being seen as 'stylish' and 'well-made'; words you wouldn't have previously imagined to be uttered in relevance to Kia, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. While Toyota is busy building nondescript people movers like the Avanza, people are looking elsewhere for inspired wheels, for something with a bit of zest to it, something that looks more interesting (in a good way) and that won't make people mistake your pride and joy car for a government CTO issued vehicle. Toyota seems to want to revive itself from its slumber though because recently they worked in partnership with another Japanese car-maker Subaru to produce a lightweight affordable sports car; one for Toyota and the other for Subaru, named the Toyota GT 86 and Subaru BRZ and hoping to inject 'fun 'in their offerings. To be honest, Toyota more than Subaru needs massive doses of fun to stay...
References: Krause, D.R., Handfield, R.B., Tyler, B.B. (2007). The relationships between supplier development, commitment, social capital accumulation and performance improvement. Journal of Operations Management 25 (2), 528–545
Lancioni, R. (2000), “New developments in supply chain management for the
millennium”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 29 No.1, pp. 1-9
Liker, J. K. (2004). The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from The World’s Greatest Manufacturer
Sanna, L. (2005). “Driving the Solution: the Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle”. EPRI Journal, p.8-17.
Teresko, J. (2007). “Toyota’s Real Secret: Hint, It’s Not TPS.” Retrieved April 20, 2011 from
Please join StudyMode to read the full document