Ans 1. Company: Toyota has incurred huge amount of money into the research and developmental activities and the marketing of the hybrid model Prius. The main aim of the company is to set up standards in developing a new line of hybrid models from mini to luxurious product vehicles for which the internal coordination between the company departments is a huge task. The company second generation models of Prius has created a rift within the company as with the production of one set of models coming up the production of other lines had to be stopped.
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Suppliers: With the success happening at the company’s end, Panasonic may be able to carry out a R&D act to generate cheaper batteries which will in turn lower the prices and increase the demand which again will benefit the company. Hence Toyota should encourage the suppliers to strengthen their R&D processes.
Marketing Intermediaries: Toyota has to educate and train their dealers to learn the tactics of driving the car to generate higher fuel efficiency. But with issues cropping up in the second generation of Prius, dealers were having shortage of cars to market and sell and hence they would indulge in adopting the mark-up price technique which would increase the prices which in turn would hamper their relationships with the company. Also allocation of the cars to the Japanese markets created more trouble for the American dealers.
Customers: Toyota carried out a thorough study on the consumer market because of which the target audience whom they considered as the techies initially and the early adopters at the later stage served the purpose of the company to the extent that the first phase actually did bring the tech savvy users adopt the internet mode as their awareness creation media and the mass media for the early adopters or less technical type users which was promoted and marketed by Toyota to suit the individual segment needs.
Competitors: Toyota and Honda has the first mover advantage in the American markets and has successfully been able to enter the market and gain the technological market at their advantage where in otherwise the American companies would be reluctant in stating the hybrid versions of vehicles.
Public: Videos and Press releases were the way Toyota promoted the general public through excessive use of media and news groups. They also linked their presence along with the environmental groups by promoting the Earth Day concept there by creating awareness in reducing emissions and lowering gas mileage. The government also tried to push the tax deduction concept to the consumers who would save on the gas mileage by purchasing the environment friendly cars produced by Toyota.
Ans. 2. Demographic: With the baby boomers majoring the US market, affording the Toyota Prius vehicle has not been much an issue for the prospective users who go by quality and who love trying the newer versions. But with the younger generation focusing upon the concern for the environment may hot have afford the higher prices in most cases.
Economic: Because of the higher costs that will be incurred in the production of the environmentally friendly Prius models, Toyota has decided upon the tax deduction idea to soothe the economic progression where in the prices of the cars are in tandem with the affordability of the Americans there by allowing the sale of more cars which will increase the supply and in turn lower the prices. Increase in the prices of gas indeed has made Prius save the consumers pockets in a big way.
Natural: Prius manufacturing requires less oil and less gas production and less air pollution.
Technological: The Company’s main aim is technology, by which Toyota has used the techie concept to target the consumers by way of their promotional strategies. The second generation will evolve with higher and better equipped features to suit the customers’ needs.
Political: Since the company did help in meeting up with the gas emissions and higher standards in mileage, tax deductions from the consumers and tax incentives have a major role to play.
Cultural: Americans love automobiles and the constant advancements in the technology and its progressions is looked upon by the consumers along with the concern for the environment.
Ans 3. Toyota made excellent use of the web – internet use to market the product to the technologically equipped users which highlighted upon the car’s features, advantages and benefits clearly. Since price will not be a major hindrance for the buyers, tax deductions have been incorporated in the economic perspective. The company doesn’t sell the vehicles over the internet instead it makes great use of its dealers to strategically sell the products at convenient places and not stress upon big number sale. The second generation phase targeted the mass market for which the promotions changed according to the markets tastes. Thus security to the distribution model has been maintained.
Ans 4. The statement as stated by Ken Stewart, could hold true thinking of the fact that Americans do prefer big huge cars to indicate their affordability and the symbol of prestige. Taking this idea, the sale of hybrids on bigger vehicles could be a possibility and another option for the marketers instead of aligning the hybrid cars on smaller ones. If the company’s main objective is selling large quantities of hybrids on bigger vehicles with higher prices attached to it then the statement does make sense.
But, the purpose of hybrid vehicles should not be defeated for the purpose of comfort as SUVs and trucks are claimed to be performance models which show their proficiency and their performance on the road by way of speed, toughness, going through the rough terrains and making over the hair pin turns across the curvy roads. Lastly the question here is whether the owners of bigger vehicles really concerned about the environment issues and gas efficiency.
Still, Toyota, doesn’t aim to target the Prius model in huge numbers and most of these issues will be responded by the owners of the smaller cars.
Philip Kotler and Gary Armstrong, Principles of Marketing, 11th Edition. Pearson Education, 2005.
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