Toyota aims to be a company that caters to the needs of the customers and provides them with better quality at affordable prices along with its commitment towards the betterment of the society. Therefore, Toyota wants to be inspiring by becoming a company that not only brings better quality and technology for its customers, but also cares about the sustainability of the society. Toyota follows the product oriented and market oriented management that enables it to meet the requirements of the customers in all regions and come up to their needs and expectations. Product development is very important at Toyota along with being nimble in the markets it caters to.
Toyota’s mission is to ‘make better cars and contribute to society’. The company has always tried to be more than just a manufacturer of quality products and a pursuer of shareholders value. It has served to more purposes than just becoming a company of excellence. It has always contributed to the economic growth of the country is had operated in keeping in regards the external stakeholders and ensured the well-being of its employees and teams by maintaining stability. Hence, the overall growth of Toyota has been a core to the essence of its mission. But at the same time, the company has had to face negative situations in more recent years. However there have been scenarios in which Toyota has neglected the essence of the mission it caters to. For instance, when Toyota faced a lot of setback because of its tainted accelerator system in the cars and they had to be recalled because of their potential danger to the drivers. It was said that Toyota knew about the defect in the accelerator system and misled the investors by failing to disclose it (Patton & Estep, 2010). Therefore, more recently the consumer confidence in the brand has lowered and the company has been a target of relentless media coverage. Toyota’s carelessness reflected that it did not respect its stakeholders. The employees and the company name were subjected to a lot of negativity. Customers were scared to use their new vehicles. The company had a global vision to those it served and it compromised on it. Hence, the company compromised on the mission it had and the strategy to more importantly cater to the customers’ needs backfired when Toyota failed to disclose its shortcomings. The brand has been damaged by these recalls. The customers are the most important stakeholders for Toyota because for them a product of Toyota is a huge investment and a high involvement. It is more the matter of trust that the customers put into a brand.
The company needs to address to the challenges that have sprung up regarding the stakeholders. For instance, when it comes to the customers, the executives need to maintain their trust and to quell their fears. Therefore, the executives need to constantly reassure them that their needs are still the primary concern of the company and it is responsible for their taking care of them. The recall could have actually been a sign of a responsible company that wants to maintain good relationships. The company needs to explain to the customers and media what really happened and why it would never happen again. Hence, the executives need to be well aware of the current situation and the stakeholders concerned such as the regulatory bodies, media, its own employees and supply chain members.
Toyota has a global vision in which it addresses the importance of each stakeholder and the future of its global approach. Therefore, it needs to make use of this global vision again and again in its media appearances and the dedication of the company to its stakeholders especially the customers and society. The executives need to demonstrate that the company can be trusted again and would take all the necessary measures so as to improve the lives of people and meet their expectations. They need to reinstate the fact, that Toyota assures quality and technology at affordable prices while at the same time responding to the customer needs. The executives should go back to their tried and tested management techniques and go back to discovering solutions of the problems that were encountered. The executives can even go a step further and disclose records of their repairs and reported problems of all their other models. Toyota needs to come up with potential solutions, put them into practice, monitor the processes and results and then do standardization and spreading of the practices that have proven effective. Like always Toyota executive should focus on planning and making it 80% of the effort instead of without thoroughly analyzing the problem and jumping into solutions. The executives need to do the analyses to investigate why it took so long for Toyota to respond to the customer complaints and why the regulatory bodies believed that Toyota was non-responsive to safety concerns (Liker, 2010).
The case in point is an example of a company’s failure to deliver its brand’s promise. It addresses the almost instantaneous jeopardy that the company was put into based on its non disclosure of the imperfections in the design of its products. Therefore, it took just a few complaints and videos to ruin what Toyota had built over years. The company had conquered the automotive industry all the way from Japan since 1937. Its dominance was almost compromised and the stakeholders such as the customers bore the brunt of this carelessness. The company should not have forgotten how long it takes to build a brand. Brands such as Toyota give the impression of timelessness and trust. They are household brands that represent high involvement products. Cars are huge investments by people and it takes them relentless researching and efforts to decide on a model and a company. For them what Toyota has done is almost the unthinkable. Hence, the company needs to address the concerns of its loyal customers and to explain to them the reasoning behind what happened.
Businessweek (2010, February) What should Toyota do now? Retrieved July 27, 2012
CNN-Money, Toyota’s troubles: A timeline. Retrieved July 27, 2012
Toyota-global (2009), Global vision for those we serve. Retrieved July 27, 2012
Toyota-global (2009), The tight way forward. Retrieved July 27, 2012