Toyota Motors Europe: Analysis of Case study2008IntroductionToyota Motor Corporation is a multinational automobile manufacturer based in Japan. The company is headquartered in Tokyo. Founded in 1937, it is the largest automobile manufacturer in terms of number of units sold although it is ranked second in terms of sales value. The group came into existence as manufacturer of textile loops and the automobile business was begun by the founder’s son, Kichiro Toyoda. The company began to grow after the Second World War and began exporting to the United States in the 1950s.
The company manufactures the whole range of automobiles, including passenger cars, special utility vehicles, sports cars and commercial vehicles. In the 1970s, the Toyota quality management and lean management practices became phenomena that even western manufacturers began to copy. Over the years, Toyota has become a global company, with the regional offices in North America and Europe working more and more independently. North America is the key market for Toyota although it is also working at gaining market share in other markets, including in Europe. The current President of Toyota Motor Corporation is Katsauki Watanabe.
The company is a publicly held one, listed in the New York and Tokyo Stock Exchanges. In 2007, the company had 408,504 shareholders (Toyota website). The vision of the company is laid out in the company’s seven Guiding Principles, more commonly known as the Toyota Way, as follows: “the language and spirit of the law of every nation and undertake open and fair corporate activities to be a good corporate citizen of the worldRespect the culture and customs of every nation and contribute to economic and social development through corporate activities in the communitiesDedicate ourselves to providing clean and safe products and to enhancing the quality of life everywhere through all our activities. Create and develop advanced technologies and provide outstanding products and services that fulfill the needs of customers worldwideFoster a corporate culture that enhances individual creativity and teamwork value, while honoring mutual trust and respect between labor and managementPursue growth in harmony with the global community through innovative managementWork with business partners in research and creation to achieve stable, long-term growth and mutual benefits, while keeping ourselves open to new partnerships” (from the Toyota website). Toyota Motor Corporation is not only one of the major global automobile manufacturers in the world, it is also one of the nine global companies that posted net income of above $10 billion in 2005 (Ichijo & Radler, 2007).
The same year, Toyota sold 7.97 million cars globally, of which North America, its main market where it has 13.7 percent share, contributed 2 million units. In 2006, the company planned to manufacture 9 million cars, compared to 5.182 million in 1995.
The decade 1995-2006 marked Toyota emerging as a major global automobile manufacturers, with its number of factories increasing from 20 in 14 countries to 47 in 26 countries. In the 1990s, Toyota began expanding in Europe with earnestness although it had been exporting to Europe since 1963 and formed the subsidiary Toyota Motor Europe (TME) (Toyota Worldwide website). In Europe, Toyota has invested Euro 6 billion since 1990, employs 80,000 people directly and through the dealers, supports 28 national marketing companies in 48 countries, 3,000 sales outlets and eight manufacturing plants in France, Pola, Turkey, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom (and a ninth under construction in Russia).