Marketing Strategies Adopted in the Japanese Automotive Industry

Topics: Honda, Plug-in hybrid, Hybrid electric vehicle Pages: 22 (6858 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Marketing Strategies Adopted in the
Japanese Automotive Industry

Table of Contents
2.0The Marketing Mix and 4Ps2
3.0Green Vehicles6
4.0Toyota Marketing Strategy7
4.1About Toyota7
4.2Case Study - Toyota Prius8
5.0Honda Marketing Strategy15
5.1About Honda15
5.2.1Case Study – Honda Civic GX16
6.0Nissan Marketing Strategy22
6.1About Nissan22
6.2Case Study – Nissan Leaf22
7.0 Conclusion27
8.0 References27

The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells motor vehicles, and is one of the world’s most important economic sectors by revenue. In the year 2006, the motor vehicle and parts manufacturing were providing 1.1 million jobs; with industrial designers, engineers, computer systems analysts, and assemblers which are the main areas of employment.[1] Japan is one of the top players in the global automotive industry, ranking 3rd (8,398,654 units) behind China (18,418,876 units) and United States (8,398,654 units) in production volume.[2] Well-known companies in the Japanese automotive industry include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, and Mazda. The Japanese automotive industry came from a humble beginning. The first domestic gasoline engine vehicle was only a 10-seater bus with a steam engine, manufactured by Torao Yamaha in April 1904.[3] The industry has gone through ups and lows but in the year 2008, Toyota is able to outsold the then top automobile manufacturer in the world, General Motors by 0.16 million vehicles. [4] The combination of production volume in year 2010 for Toyota, Nissan and Honda is 16,182,570; which is 20.8% of all global motor vehicle production.[4] Toyota Prius

Honda Civic GX
Nissan Leaf
In this paper, we will seek to analyze the marketing strategies adopted by the Japanese automotive industry, particularly the marketing strategies of Toyota, Nissan and Honda since they are the industry leaders. The approach to evaluate the marketing strategies is by employing the 4P (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) tool. One product would be chosen for each company to be researched since they are using different marketing strategy for different products. Since the current trends for automobiles are toward going green and saving the environment, this paper will evaluate one green vehicle for each company. For Toyota, its popular hybrid vehicle Prius is chosen. On the other hand, Honda Civic GX and Nissan Leaf are chosen for the case studies.

2.0The Marketing Mix and 4Ps
What is marketing? The definition that many marketers learn as they start out in the industry is:
"Putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time"[5]
This may seem like common sense but a lot of hard work is needed to really achieve the true definition of marketing. If any element goes wrong, it can spell disaster. Imagine what would happen to a company if it promotes a car with amazing fuel-economy in a country where fuel is very cheap; or publishing a textbook after the start of the new school year; or selling an item at a price that's too high - or too low - to attract the customers it is targeting.

Marketing mix is a general phrase used to describe the different kinds of choices organizations have to make in the whole prices of bringing a product of service to market. The 4Ps is the producer-oriented model of marketing mix and the probably the best-known way of defining the marketing mix. First expressed in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy, the 4Ps comprises of Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. There are a lot of decisions needed to be made at each...

References: [1] Doe, 2006. Global Foresight, Inc. 2006 Report on Industry Trends. [online] Available at: <> (Accessed 25 October 2012)

[2] OICA, 2011. 2011 Production Statistics. [online] Available at:<> (Accessed 25 September 2012)

[3] Jama, 2012. Japan’s Auto Industry. [online] Available at:<>

[4] Bunkley, N., 2008. G.M. Says Toyota Has Lead in Global Sales Race. [online] Available at:<>

[5] Needham, Dave (1996). Business for Higher Awards. Oxford, England: Heinemann.

[6] NetMBA, 2012

[7] Green Student U, 2012

[9] Vidal, J., 2012

[10] Reuters, 2008
[11] Google Finance, 2012. Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR). [online] Available at:<>
[12] The Guardian, 2011
[13] Flynn, M., 2012 Toyota: 77 Years, 200 Million Vehicles. [online] Available at:<>
[14] Blanco, S., 2011
[15] Green Car Congress, 2012. Worldwide Sales of Toyota Motor Hybrids Top 4M Units; Prius family accounts for almost 72%. [online] Available:<>

[16] Toyota, 2012. 3rd Gen Prius Brochure. [online] Available at:<>
[17] Toyota, 2012
[18] Gomez L., 2005. Team Post: Price of Toyota Prius. [online] Available at:<>
[19] Park, J., 2005

[20] Krause, L., 2005
[22] Google Finance, 2012. Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) [online] Available at:<>

[23] Honda, 2008. First Motorcycle Airbag Earns Takata and Honda 2008 Automotive News Pace Innovation Partnership Award. [online] Available at:<>
[24] Grant, R
[25] Austin, M., 2012. 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas. [online] Available at:<>
[26] Vaidyanathan, S., 2011
[28] Honda, 2012. 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas. [online] Available at:<>
[29] Honda , 2012

[31] Krebs, 2005
[32] US News, 2012. Honda Civic Reviews. [online] Available at:<>
[33] Ernst K., 2010
[34] Honda, 2011. Honda Announces Pricing Information for 2012 CIvic Natural Gas. [online] Available at:<>
[35] Ohnsman, 2010
[36] Google Finance, 2012. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (ADR). [online] Available at:<>

[39] English, A., 2010. Nissan Leaf Wins Car of the Year. [online] Available at:<>

[40] World Car Awards, 2011. Nissan Leaf Declared 2011 World Car of the Year. [online] Available at:< /media_release.asp?release=69&year=2011>
[41] Carpenter, 2010
[42] Pasley, M., 2011. Nissan Leaf U.S. Marketing Plan. [online] Available:<>
[43] Glyn Hopkin, 2012
[44] Smith Paul, 2012. Nissan to Push LEAF to Mass Market. [online] Available at:<>
[45] Schlesinger, C., 2009
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