Toyota Dossier

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Top Toyota News Stories

After conducting a media analysis, the top five news stories from Toyota that were found include the company assembling its Lexus car in Canada, Toyota investing up to $13 billion in its U.S. car manufacturing plants, the company's total car production in North America in 2018 reaching nearly two million, and a story about the company recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America to fix faulty and dangerous bag inflators. Detailed information is below.

Toyota to produce Lexus NX for North America at Canada plant

  • A link to the article is here.
  • The story is about Toyota announcing that it would build its two models of the Lexus brand, the Lexus NX, and NX hybrid sport utility vehicles, in Canada beginning in 2022. The Canadian Prime Minister lauded the decision saying that the plan showed how valuable Canada's trade agreements with other countries were.
  • This is considered one of the top stories as it was featured in tens of media platforms including in at least three reputable platforms, namely Reuters, CBC, and Bloomberg.

Toyota ups investment in US plants to $13 billion, adds 600 manufacturing jobs

  • A link to the article is here.
  • The article is about Toyota announcing that it was going to increase its investment in the U.S. by 30% to $13 billion come 2021. The new plan included the company adding 600 jobs at manufacturing plants in the U.S.
  • This is considered one of the top stories as it was featured in tens of media platforms including in at least three reputable media platforms, namely CNBC, USA Today, and Fox Business.

Toyota Production in North America Nearly 2 Million in 2018

  • A link to the article is here.
  • The article is about the company announcing that the vehicles it had built across Toyota's North American vehicle assembly plants nearly reached two million as 1,928,979 had built. Toyota's chief administrative officer, Manufacturing and Corporate Resources, Chris Reynolds, attributed the milestone to hard work and dedication by workers at the company's 14 manufacturing plants in North America.
  • This is considered one of the top stories as it was featured in over ten media platforms including in at least three reputable news sites, namely PR Newswire, Market Watch, and The News Wheel.

Toyota Recalls 1.7 Million Vehicles in North America to Fix Takata Air Bags

  • The link to the story is here.
  • The story is about Toyota recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America so that it could fix its Takata front passenger airbag inflators that were considered dangerous.
  • This is considered one of the top stories as it was featured in over ten media platforms including in at least three reputable news sites, namely Bloomberg, CBS News, and Business Insider.

Toyota announces big changes to ‘better respond’ to customers

Research Strategy

To find five top Toyota news stories that got the most attention, our first research strategy was to search stories from Toyota that were repeatedly featured by numerous reputable news sites and platforms. Our thinking was that a top and popular story is more likely to be covered by several well-known and reputable media companies than one that is not. We did a general search for stories from Toyota and identified those stories that appeared in numerous news sites. This strategy provided tens of stories. We then did a second search to find out how many times the story had been presented or featured by different media.

For example, the "Toyota to produce Lexus NX for North America at Canada plant" article was featured/repeated in 33 articles as can be counted here. Also, 36 identical articles were counted for "Toyota ups investment in US plants to $13 billion, adds 600 manufacturing jobs", and the "Toyota Recalls 1.7 Million Vehicles in North America to Fix Takata Air Bags" article was featured/repeated in 65 other articles/sources as can be counted here. We ensured that we only counted articles by other news sources other than the Toyota company itself. We did this by ensuring that no media releases by the company were included in our total. We therefore chose stories that had been featured in the highest number of sources.

Our next strategy was to go through these stories and select those that had a North American scope and those that had been featured in at least three reputable news and media sites and platforms such as CNN, Forbes, Reuters, CBC News, Bloomberg, CNBC, USA Today, Business Insider, and Fox Business. This strategy provided five top stories that were included in our findings.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

Toyota 2020 Model Lineup

The 2020 4 Runner, 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser, 2020 Sequoia, 2020 Tacoma, 2020 Tundra, and 2020 Corolla are among Toyota North America's projected model lineup for 2020.

2020 4 Runner

Type of Vehicle

  • This model is a midsize SUV available in eight trim levels: SR5, SR5 Premium, TRD Off-Road, TRD Off-Road Premium, TRD Pro, Venture Special Edition, Limited, TRD Pro, and Nightshade Edition.

Features

2020 Toyota Land Cruiser

Type of Vehicle

Features

  • The model has a "5.7L V8 engine, 8-speed transmission and robust suspension" that gives it exceptional performance.
  • Its off-road capabilities include "Multi-terrain Select and Crawl Control (CRAWL)" for every territory.
  • The model has a stylish interior with features like "cooler box, and heated and ventilated leather-trimmed seats."

2020 Sequoia

Type of Vehicle

The 2020 Sequoia is an SUV available in five trim levels: SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Pro, Limited, Platinum, and TRD Pro.

Features

  • The interior is spacious, with the third-row seats spaced for passenger comfort and entertainment. It's also fitted with Apple CarPlay that pairs up with compatible iPhone and Android Auto.
  • Its "fully boxed frame, 381-hp 5.7L V8, and TOW/HAUL Mode" has the power to tow up to 7400 lbs.
  • The 2020 Sequoia is fully fitted with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), "a suite of active safety technologies" designed to help keep the driver and passenger safe.
  • Its off-road capability, the TRD Pro FOX shocks (front and back), is designed to give the passenger the ability to handle every terrain.

2020 Tacoma

Type of Vehicle

Features

  • Its "V6 engine, 6-speed transmission, and 6800-lb towing capacity" has the power and performance for every adventure.
  • Its off-road capabilities include "Multi-terrain Select and Crawl Control (CRAWL)" for every territory.
  • It has a smart interior "with available features like the Smart Key System, power-adjustable driver's seat, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility."

2020 Tundra

Type of Vehicle

Features

  • 2020 Tundra's "tuned FOX suspension, 67 aluminum skid plate, forged BBS wheels, and more make this truck" the best for any North American terrain.
  • It has a "10,200-lb towing capacity, 64 deck rail system, 54 and 38-gallon fuel tank" built for payload and towing.
  • It has an 8-in touchscreen display with access to audio and navigation functionalities, as well as a Smart Key System that lets the driver leave the "key fob in the pocket or purse."
  • The 2020 Sequoia is also built for performance; for example, the "four-piston, 13.9-in front brake calipers and an i-FORCE 5.7L V8 provides the capability needed for both work and play."

2020 Corolla

Type of Vehicle

  • The 2020 Corolla is a sedan available in eight trim levels: L, LE, Hybrid LE, SE CVT, SE Nightshade Edition, SE (6MT), XLE, and XSE.

Features

  • The new edition has a distinct style "featuring blacked-out wheels, black budging, black grille, and other accents."
  • Its also equipped with the latest tech, "like an available 8-in touchscreen display and standard Apple CarPlay compatibility that works with iPhone."
  • The 2020 Corolla features the "Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) and an updated Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA), and more," for safety.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Toyota Dealership Trends

General View of Toyota Dealership

Current & Future Trend in Toyota Dealership

Research Strategy

We were unable to find the trends that Toyota dealerships are currently focusing on or will be focusing on in the next year. However, we provided some helpful insights into the Toyota dealership and the United States Dealership trend.
To provide the trends that Toyota dealerships are currently focusing on or will be focusing on in the next year, we tried looking for direct data from pre-compiled information such as articles, news reports, and magazines. We were expecting that since Toyota is a global brand, and there are thousands of dealership in North America, information about Toyota dealerships' trends will be scarcely abundant on these kinds of sources. We learned that required information was limited and financial information was scarcely available on these sources. The limitation in information may be because such details were contained behind paywalls.

Secondly, we tried to locate the information through the company website. We were hoping to find any relevant articles in its newsroom section. We also hoped that we could find it in the annual financial report as annual reports usually have management outlooks and insights for the current & future progress of the company. The company may have mentioned any trends that Toyota dealerships are currently focusing on or will be focusing on for the next year. We looked for the newsroom and investor's tab of Toyota USA since the website was scoped to North America. Through our search, we learned that there was no news or press release focused on the trends in the newsroom tab. Instead, the investor's tab, company insights and outlooks were more focused on company sustainability and no trend was mentioned. Perhaps, this information is missing because Toyota is currently focused on the issue of sustainability.
Third, we tried to triangulate the requested information by re-focusing the study. We tried to locate the dealership trends in North America. We used this because we were aiming to locate a trend or future trend where Toyota is one of the companies that participated in the trend. Thus, we could say that it was a trend that Toyota dealerships are currently focusing on or will be focusing on in the next year. We searched through market analysis and industry analysis using Market Watch and Allied Research Reports. Throughout the search, we located some US dealership trends and marketing trend but when we tried to find whether Toyota was one of the companies practicing the trend, the information was unavailable. Information about Toyota's dealership may be because of high competition in the industry making it difficult to single out Toyota from its competitors.

Even though we did not find the information about the trends that Toyota dealerships are currently focusing on or will be focusing on in the next year, we provided data about some helpful insights regarding the Toyota dealership. In conclusion, we present this as a full client update.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Toyota Marketing Initiatives

Toyota's unique AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality) marketing initiatives, and the Super Bowl campaign for the RAV4 launch are two key marketing initiatives deployed by Toyota in 2019. Both techniques have, so far, reaped great results for the company.

RAV4 Marketing Campaign (Super Bowl)

  • Launched in 2019, this is a 60-second ad that draws a comparison between Antoinette "Toni" Harris and its new RAV4. The commercial portrays Harris loading football gear into the back of a Toyota RAV4 and then performing some intense training, while Jim Nantz, the narrator in the ad, talks about how she defied the odds.
  • Toyota considers its RAV4 as already the best-selling nonpickup in the nation and expects to receive a big marketing push with this Super Bowl ad. According to Ed Laukes, head of marketing for the Toyota Division, this gives Toyota a leeway to reach out in a more targeted manner to specific customer segments, such as through this "nontraditional experiential marketing initiative."
  • The company considers this as expensive and difficult which started off with people who were just focused on a commercial. However, this has now become an entire campaign just around the Super Bowl which involves multiple different strategies.
  • Channels — Various mediums were used to propagate this campaign; channels ranging from TV and outdoor media to social media platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, were used.

Unique AR/MR Featured Marketing Initiative

  • Toyota delved into the use of AR technology as part of its unique marketing initiative that superimposes computer-generated images and data on a consumer’s view of the real world. The company is leveraging this technology to bring consumers across the United States an experience of their vehicles which is up close and personal. As per the marketing team, each of their virtual vehicles features a different lifestyle experience, appeal to specific buyer segments, and while they view the vehicle, AR overlays highlight its most relevant features (e.g., cargo capacity, AWD capability, luxury touches, etc.).
  • Toyota believes that this unique immersive experience will lead the auto industry increasingly towards digital transformation in the form of AR and MR. The company showcases this marketing initiative as a truer use-case for AR for the automotive industry at large.
  • Channels — Being a new and unique initiative, it is delivered at scale through digital media only. Customers, thus, do not need to download a specific AR app, or don heavy goggles to leverage this marketing experience. A simple click on the social media banner of Toyota is enough to launch to the experience.

Research Strategy:

Though all information provided in the research has been deduced from pre-compiled and credible sources, the following details outline how these initiatives have been defined as key initiatives. The Super Bowl Campaign features Toyota focusing on female empowerment with the inclusion of Antoinette "Toni" Harris, the first female football player who does not play a specialist position like kicker to be offered football college scholarships. The unique AR campaign is termed "key" since this is considered to be a best-in-class innovative AR technology that allows Toyota to engage with guests like never before. Being the first of its kind used in marketing initiatives at the dealership level, it is already proving OEMs all over the world that AR does not have to be challenging, clunky, or app-based thus opening up new markets and removing barriers between the company and its potential customers. As a direct result, this strategy contributed to a 5 percent lead conversion rate where the shoppers could personally experience a car and virtually activate all of its features thereby developing a highly engaged relationship with the vehicle.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Toyota Motor Corp will build its Lexus NX luxury crossover vehicle at a Canadian plant starting in 2022, the company said on Monday, a decision that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said demonstrated the value of the country’s international trade agreements."
Quotes
  • "Toyota will soon build a new vehicle in Canada, adding the Lexus NX luxury SUV to its Ontario assembly plants as of 2022."
Quotes
  • "The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today welcomed Toyota Motor Corporation's decision to bring production of its Lexus NX and state-of-the-art NX hybrid to its Cambridge plant."
Quotes
  • "Japanese automaker Toyota is upping its investment in the U.S. by 30 percent to $13 billion by 2021, the company said Thursday."
Quotes
  • "The automaker deepened its commitment to American factories with plans to invest $13 billion in the period from 2017 to 2022, up from a previous plan of $10 billion."
Quotes
  • "Japanese automaker Toyota on Thursday said it would invest $13 billion in its U.S. operations by the year 2021, boosting its previous pledge for investments totaling $10 billion over the same period."
Quotes
  • " In 2018, Toyota built 1,928,979 vehicles at its North American vehicle assembly plants. Since 1986, Toyota's total vehicle production in North America has reached more than 38 million."
Quotes
  • "In 2017, Toyota built 1,983,723 vehicles at its North American vehicle assembly plants. Production volume was down approximately 1 percent over the previous year total of 2,124,608 vehicles."
Quotes
  • "If you’re worried that auto manufacturers are taking jobs overseas, don’t be. In 2018 alone, Toyota built 1.935 million vehicles at its North American vehicle assembly plants, reaching a total tally of more than 38 million since the company first began building here."
Quotes
  • "Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America to replace potentially deadly Takata front passenger air bag inflators."
Quotes
  • "Toyota Motor Corp said Wednesday it is recalling another 1.7 million vehicles worldwide for potentially faulty Takata airbag inflators as part of a multi-year industry recall campaign announced in 2016."
Quotes
  • "Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America to replace potentially deadly Takata front passenger air bag inflators. The move is part of the largest series of automotive recalls in the nation's history."
Quotes
  • "Carmaker Toyota announced key changes to its organization Monday that it said will help streamline customer response and adapt to ongoing changes in the auto industry."
From Part 04
Quotes
  • "The 60-second ad shows draws a comparison between Harris and its new RAV4. "Both of them are changing the game," said Ed Laukes, group VP of Toyota division marketing at Toyota North America, at an event unveiling the new spot in New York on Tuesday."
  • "The commercial shows Harris loading football gear into the back of a Toyota RAV4 and then doing some intense training, while Nantz talks about how she defied the odds."
  • "The ad, released today, is from Burrell Communications and directed by Joe Pytka, who has directed more than 80 Super Bowl commercials. The narrator is Jim Nantz, who will call Sunday's game for CBS."
Quotes
  • "Toyota's RAV4, already the best-selling nonpickup in the nation, will get a big marketing push with a Super Bowl ad. The RAV4's massive volumes, and the marketing budget that comes with it, mean Toyota can still leverage large, mainstream platforms such as big-time network sports, he said. "
  • "The compact crossover, redesigned for 2019, comes in three distinct trim levels, including a sporty hybrid and a rugged Adventure model. That gives Toyota some leeway to reach out in a more targeted way to specific customer segments, such as through nontraditional experiential marketing initiatives, Ed Laukes, head of marketing for the Toyota Division, told Automotive News on the sidelines of the Los Angeles Auto Show."
Quotes
  • "AR superimposes computer-generated images and data on a consumer’s view of the real world. Toyota is using the technology to bring consumers across the United States an experience of their vehicles which is up close and personal. Each virtual vehicle features a different lifestyle experience, appeal to specific buyer segments. As customers view the vehicle, AR overlays highlight its most relevant features, such as cargo capacity, AWD capability, luxury touches, etc."
  • "Unlike most AR applications to date, customer don’t need to download a specific AR app, or don heavy goggles, to participate in Toyota’s virtual showroom. Instead, the AR experience is being delivered at scale through digital media. A simple click on a social media banner is enough to launch to experience."
Quotes
  • "Toyota’s immersive AR experience will lead the auto industry in what is sure to be an increasing move toward digital transformation in the form of AR and MR. This latest round of Toyota’s immersive AR experience, however, seems to be a truer use-case for AR for the automotive industry at large."
  • "“This innovative AR technology allows Toyota to engage with guests like never before. It creates a highly engaging online vehicle experience, and highlights Toyota models in a personalized way for each guest,” according to Cynthia Tenhouse, Vice President, Vehicle Marketing and Communications, Toyota Motor North America."
  • "In a way, it already is. If nothing else, it’s showing OEMs all over the world that AR doesn’t have to be challenging, clunky, or app-based. It’s showing them that they can now model their cars to people hundreds or thousands of miles awhile without housing vehicles in those specific geographic locations. It’s opening up new markets and removing barriers, and that’s what AR and MR are all about."