Purpose: To determine if Toyota should accelerate the launch date for their hybrid, the Prius; should Toyota even continue to in be in the hybrid market overall?
Strengths: Strong brand image- Toyota Production System ensures consistency. Quality- lowest number of problems per 100 units attributed to the highly educated workers and the Andon cord that could stop the entire production until a problem was solved. Production efficiency-hours for production at 29-31 are below the average of 36-37 of US assembly plants. Expertise in small car manufacturing- focus is on fuel efficiency they predict the trend for “going green”, a 100% increase in fuel economy reduces pollution & puts them ahead of other manufacturers if the regulations are increased.
Weaknesses: Overseas production low- about 80% of automobiles driven in less than 20% of the world population in the OECD countries, therefore future growth in demand would be increasing outside the OECD & Toyota’s current target market.
Both S&W: No backup plan-could total focus of resources make the Prius/hybrid product & productivity inimitable? Appointment of new leader from outside the family-does new perspective ensure strategy that is in the best interest of Toyota? Higher initial price of Prius- high risk, high reward strategy, will consumers value the offset of fuel savings when making the initial purchasing decision? Conservative Corporate Culture-if Toyota doesn’t accelerate they risk not being first to the market, if they launch too soon will the technical problems damage brand reputation?
Opportunities: Low competition-1992-93 hybrids wouldn’t be a considered alternative to CA zero emissions. Gas prices-as gas prices increases the hybrid becomes more inviting to buyers. Fuel efficiency- at 66mpg (28km/l) in comparison to the CAFÉ standards created in to meet 27.5mpg by 1985 which the Prius was shooting way ahead of its competitors.
Threats: Foreign exchange fluctuations-political conditions...
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