Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC)
Should the new Toyota president accelerate the launch scheduled for the Toyota Prius? The plan to introduce the car “at the end of 1998 with expected production of 1000 units per month…” (Reinhardt, Yao & Egawa, 2006) is an extremely aggressive and ambitious goal; but, is it in TMC’s best interest to speed up the planned launch? There is no doubt that the new president (Hiroshi Okuda) is under extreme pressure to compete in a global market, he believes the company should radically alter its image to attract new customers and gain a competitive advantage while systematically facilitating environmentally-socially responsible practices. It may very well be that TMC should push for a faster …show more content…
Okuda in the past 100 days of his presidency; but, the Prius launching date perhaps is the most important of all. As of 1994, Toyotas competitive advantages are its: quality design, production efficiency, research and development team (Hybrid Technology) and visionary new leadership (change in management for overall Toyota improvement).
We know from our business studies that firms who initiate the first strategic move usually end up reaping the long-term pay off rewards. Being a pioneer helps a company gain a better reputation and image with buyers, it allows “…early commitments to new technologies, new- style components, new or emerging distribution channels….. and can produce an absolute cost advantage over rivals; first-time customers remain strongly loyal to pioneering firms in making repeat purchases; and moving first constitutes a preemptive strike, making imitation extra hard or unlikely (Gamble & Thompson, 2011). However, we must also keep in mind that “there are no guarantees that a first-mover will win a sustainable competitive advantage” (Gamble & Thompson, 2011). Sustaining a competitive advantage (TMC hybrid case) is no easy task, TMC needs to continue to move aggressively and figure out what is financially feasible without sacrificing the quality and the dependability of the Toyota name. The importance of the first-mover strategy (in Toyotas case) should not be ‘being the first to