The modern business environment is really severe. Companies from the whole world feel the consequences of the global financial crisis. Among these consequences the following ones may be pointed out: volatility of the financial system, more complicated access to financial resources, falling demand for products and services, financial losses of companies, etc. Probably automobile industry was among those that suffered significantly from the global financial crisis. It is very important for every company to have a vivid strategy in such conditions. Mission and vision are very important elements of such strategy.
The question that should be answered in this paper is whether Toyota is a visionary company. More specifically, the answer to the question whether the company really pursues its mission and vision should be found. It is a strategic goal of this research. This goal should be reached via overcoming the following objectives:
- Discussion to what degree Toyota is currently proceeding towards what the company identifies as its ‘Global Vision’?
- Given Toyota’s quality problems in 2010, whether Toyota’s current strategic direction is aligned with the needs of their stakeholders?
- Based on analysis and findings, what would be recommendations to the executives of Toyota corporation?
To begin with some background information about the company under consideration should be provided. Toyota Motor Corporation is one of the biggest companies in the global automobile industry. It was founded in 1933 and has become a global company with branches around the whole world since then. Its annual turnover is more than $200 billion, while the number of employees is more than 300 000. It is a part of a large group Toyota that specializes in a lot of business. Financial services are among these directions. Some additional information about the company can be got from the following quote.
“Toyota is involved in a number of other non-automotive business activities. Toyota is also engaged in the manufacture and sale of prefabricated housing. Toyota also operates a Japanese-language Website, GAZOO.com. Gazoo was established as a membership Internet service linking Toyota, its national dealer network and Gazoo members, and has provided information on new and used Toyota automobiles and related services, as well as online shopping capabilities” (Toyota Motor Corporation Company Profile).
McNamara in his article Basics of Developing Mission, Vision and Values Statements claims that every company should have three statements – mission statement, vision statement, and values statement. Generally, these three statements should describe a company’s vision of itself in an industry and society, its goals and ways to reach these goals. According to Webpages.sou.edu (n.d.). Vision and Mission a company’s mission should include answers to the whole range of questions. The simplest is: What to produce? Who the clients are? What pricing strategy should be chosen?
All these statements are the elements of the so-called strategic planning of a company. One of the most appropriate definitions of this term is the following.
“Simply put, strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next year or more and how it’s going to get there. Typically, the process is organization-wide, or focused on a major function such as a division, department or other major function. (The descriptions on this page assume that strategic planning is focused on the organization.)” (McNamara).
The first task is to explore the company’s mission and vision. It can be done via information on the company’s official website. First of all Toyota sees itself as the global company. That is why its vision is stated as the global vision. It is quite justified approach, taking into account the degree of globalization of the modern world.
Second of all, the vision is the company that provides the most safe and ecologically neutral ways of moving for people, increasing the degree of mobility. Third of all, taking into account the mission and vision the company considers employees as its most values.
It is natural that the company’s mission should reflect interests and desires of its shareholders. Moreover, this mission should reflect the interests of all the stakeholders of the company. These stakeholders include – shareholders, managers, employees and society, in general.
After analyzing the company’s mission and vision statements, it is possible to say that the company’s accounts the interests of its stakeholders. The growing value of the company is able to create a lot of benefits for all the stakeholders. It is growing payments and bonuses for employees and managers, growing dividends for shareholders, growing utility for society, in general.
Thus, the company has quite honorable and notable mission. This mission is able to bring a lot of benefits for all the stakeholders of the company. However, the question is whether the company really tries to reach its strategic goals. In order to find out it the real actions of the company should be analyzed.
An integral part of the company’s mission is to produce safe and ecological vehicles for its customers. The company has a lot of achievements in this area. A lot of the company’s vehicles are considered to be among the safest in the automobile industry. The company has a great experience in development of “green” vehicles. That is why it can be concluded that the company’s actions respond to its mission. However, these actions are not always successful. There were cases, when the company’s cars have some defects and the company was forced to recall them. This opinion can be proved by the following words.
“In a suit filed Tuesday in Covington, several Toyota owners in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Florida accused the company of knowingly concealing defective, dangerous accelerator systems on its vehicles for years to protect sales so it could become the world’s largest automaker” (Patton).
There is no need to explore the reasons for such situation. Probably it is related to some technological mistakes. The company has recalled the spoiled cars. In fact, it was a good decision for the company’s image. Thus, these temporary mistakes have not become great obstacles for realization of the company’s mission. It can be concluded that the company moves toward its mission.
The following recommendations can be proposed for the company under consideration. The company has global vision and mission. It moves towards it. The company’s actions really respond to its goals. However, there still are some mistakes on the way to success. In order to avoid these mistakes the company should pay more attention to strategic planning. It should become more flexible, especially, in the circumstances of the global financial crisis. Probably the company should invite some external consultants and use outsourcing. Such companies specialize in this area and can bring a lot of benefits for the company under consideration.
McNamara, C. (n.d.). Basic Description of Strategic Planning: Including Key Terms to Know. 2012. Web.
McNamara, C. (n.d.). Basics of Developing Mission, Vision and Values Statements. 2012. Web.
Patton, J., Estep. B. (n.d.). Toyota Debacle Could Be Largest Consumer Fraud
Case Ever, Expert Says. Lexington Herald-Leader (KY). 2012. Web.
Toyota Motor Corporation Company Profile. (n.d.). 2012. Web.
Toyota Motor Corporation Official Website. (n.d.). 2012. Web.
Webpages.sou.edu (n.d.). Vision and Mission. (n.d.). 2012. Web.