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Toyota: Business Strategy Analysis

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In 1995, Hiroshi Okuda, president of Toyota Motor Corp., considers whether to push for a more aggressive launch of the Toyota Prius--an automobile that incorporates Toyota's new and technically advanced hybrid power train. This launch decision allows discussion of the importance of the Prius in Toyota's overall product strategy and explores issues ranging from market structure to competitive advantage and competitive dynamics.
|Learning Objective: |
|To examine a wide range of business strategy topics involving strategy formulation, including market structure, competitive |
|advantage, sustainability, and competitive strategy. Also, to discuss leadership and corporate environmental citizenship. |

What is the Toyota Prius?

The Toyota Prius is the world's first standard-production hybrid-electric vehicle (hence the name, which, in Latin, means "to go before.") The Prius is meant to be a fully usable replacement for a family or fleet vehicle. It gains fuel economy through clever use of technology, rather than through downsizing, so it is a comfortable family car - no pitiful acceleration, shaking and rattling, or impossible-to-fit-in dimensions. The Prius is proof that you do not need to give up comfort, speed, reliability, and space to get good gas mileage.
Even the first-generation Prius remains a better deal than the new Honda Civic hybrid, since it is larger inside, more comfortable, has a larger trunk, accelerates more quickly, and is cleaner-burning. The second generation, well, there's no comparison.
> The strategy is to have proven technology available to meet the demand of most stringent jurisdictions and thus create extended market opportunities as other jurisdictions follow the path of the leaders.

Toyota Prius Chronological History

January 16, 1992 - Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces the Earth Charter, a document outlining goals to develop and market vehicles with the lowest emissions possible....

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