Toyota Case Study Analysis

Toyota Motor Corporation addresses the internal and external strategic factors in the business, as identified in this SWOT analysis. The SWOT framework pinpoints the most significant opportunities, threats, and organizational weaknesses that Toyota must address using its strengths. As a global leader in the automotive industry, Toyota effectively addresses such factors. This SWOT analysis provides insights about the possible influences on the company’s business. Toyota’s high performance serves as an indicator of its ability to address the issues enumerated in this SWOT analysis.

Toyota’s SWOT analysis shows that the company remains strong in the global automobile market, although issues related to competition, organizational structure, and corporate culture must be addressed.

Toyota’s Strengths (Internal Strategic Factors)

Toyota’s strengths indicate that the firm is capable of keeping its position as one of the top auto manufacturers in the world. This element of the SWOT analysis model identifies the internal strategic factors that serve as capabilities of the firm. Toyota’s main strengths are as follows:

  1. Strong brand image
  2. Global supply chain
  3. Rapid innovation capabilities

Toyota has one of the strongest brands in the global automotive industry. The company’s global supply chain is also a strength that enables resilience and market-based risk minimization. Furthermore, Toyota has an organizational culture that facilitates rapid innovation, which is crucial for long-term competitive advantage. This part of the SWOT analysis shows that Toyota’s strengths support its position as one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in the world.

Toyota’s Weaknesses (Internal Strategic Factors)

Toyota’s weaknesses point to possible inefficiencies in the organization. This element of the SWOT analysis model determines the internal strategic factors that serve as obstacles to business growth. Toyota’s main weaknesses are as follows:

  1. Hierarchical organizational structure
  2. Secrecy in organizational culture
  3. Effects of product recalls in recent years

Toyota’s global hierarchical organizational structure prevents maximum flexibility of regional operations. Also, the company’s culture of secrecy is a weakness that reduces response times in addressing emerging problems. In addition, Toyota implemented massive product recalls starting in 2009. These recalls weaken the firm because the recall processes consume business capacity that could be used for product distribution instead. This part of the SWOT analysis shows that Toyota could improve its performance through adjustments to reduce the weaknesses based on its organizational structure and culture.

Opportunities for Toyota (External Strategic Factors)

Toyota’s opportunities are mainly based on technological and economic trends. This element of the SWOT analysis model identifies the external strategic factors that the firm could use to improve its business. Toyota’s most significant opportunities are as follows:

  1. Growing markets in developing countries
  2. Rising demand for fuel-efficient automobiles
  3. Growing interest in advanced electronics in vehicles
  4. Weak Japanese Yen vs. U.S. Dollar

Developing markets present the opportunity for Toyota to increase revenues by further penetrating these markets. Also, the current trends of increasing demand and interest for higher fuel efficiency and advanced electronics present the opportunity for Toyota to focus its innovation on these directions. In addition, the weaker Japanese Yen versus the U.S. Dollar means higher competitiveness of products and components exported from Japan to the U.S. This part of the SWOT analysis shows that Toyota must emphasize market penetration and innovation to exploit its opportunities.

Threats Facing Toyota (External Strategic Factors)

The threats to Toyota’s business are based mainly on the competitive landscape. This element of the SWOT analysis model determines the external strategic factors that could reduce the firm’s performance. In Toyota’s case, the main threats are as follows:

  1. Growing market presence of low-cost competitors
  2. Rapid innovation of competitors

Toyota faces the threat of competition with low-cost automobiles from Korean, Chinese and Indian manufacturers, which have been increasing their presence in foreign markets. Toyota also experiences the threat of rapid innovation of competitors like GM, Honda, and Ford. This part of the SWOT analysis shows that Toyota must ensure competitive advantage, such as through innovation.

Recommendations based on Toyota’s SWOT Analysis

Toyota’s SWOT analysis identifies key issues, such as the effects of competition and the company’s weaknesses based on its organizational structure and culture. To address the threats based on competition, Toyota needs to maximize its competitive advantage based on its innovative capabilities. The company can also further adjust its culture and structure to optimize its flexibility in decision-making and problem solving.

References
  • Hill, T., & Westbrook, R. (1997). SWOT analysis: it’s time for a product recall. Long Range Planning30(1), 46-52.
  • Jackson, S. E., Joshi, A., & Erhardt, N. L. (2003). Recent research on team and organizational diversity: SWOT analysis and implications. Journal of Management29(6), 801-830.
  • Pickton, D. W., & Wright, S. (1998). What’s SWOT in strategic analysis? Strategic Change7(2), 101-109.
  • Toyota Motor Corporation (2015). Figures.
  • Toyota Motor Corporation Annual Report 2015.

Automobile Industry, Automotive Industry, Case Study & Case Analysis, SWOT Analysis, Toyota

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Toyota Motor Corporation is Japan’s number one carmaker.   Toyota has international presence in over 170 countries worldwide.  It manufactures cars, pickups, minivans, and SUVs include models such as Camry, Corolla, 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Sienna, the luxury Lexus line, and full-sized pickup trucks.  It has huge financial strength, a sales turnover of 131,511 million for 1997 and sales growth of 29.3%.  It is the second largest car manufacturer in the world, after General Motors.

  • Successful brand - Toyota has developed a trusted brand based on quality, good performance and for being environmentally friendly.
  • Innovation - Toyota is at the forefront of car manufacturing innovation.  It was the first car manufacturer to embrace lean manufacturing (known as Toyota Production System) which is a faster, more efficient process which leads to less waste compared to the traditional batch and queue method of manufacturing.  It also applied JIT (Just in Time manufacturing) and smart automation.
  • Product Development - Key to the success in the car market is new models which stimulate demand and loyalty to the Toyota brand.  Toyota has reputation for producing cars which are greener, more fuel efficient, and of good performance. Toyota has sought to meet government requirements (for reducing the impact on the environment), economic changes (as prices of fuel - oil continues to rise) through the development of hybrid fuels.  Toyota was the first car manufacturer to market hybrid (gas and electric) fuel, with the launch of Prius model, ahead of competitors.
  • It successfully entered markets and penetrated them with both manufacturing and sales subsidiaries.  Toyota gained first mover advantages by presence in globally strategic markets (Asia, Europe, US) first, whereas its nearest rivals (Ford, GM) gained footholds in only 2 of (US and Europe).  Toyota is well positioned to take advantage of the growth in South East Asian markets of China and India.
  • Car manufacturers are facing growing political and consumer group pressure to produce cars that are more fuel-efficient and reduce emissions.
  • Saturation, over supply in the developed world, has led manufacturers to look to China, India and emerging markets where population, income and demand is growing.  However, these countries have national brands which are growing in popularity.
  • Oil prices - affecting the price of fuel.  Fluctuating economic and political conditions those markets.
  • Consumers usage of cars is decreasing.  Faced with increased running costs, consumers are reported to be using their vehicles less to save on household costs.  Businesses are utilizing technology more than ever before, with less face to face meetings.  Governments across Europe are encouraging car-share and alternative forms of transport.  These factors are affecting the demand for new cars.
  • Changing demographics.  The size of families has been decreasing.  This has reduced the demand for larger cars, and an upswing in demand for fuel efficient smaller cars.

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