Toyota Prius is a hybrid car developed by the Toyota Motor Corporation. Initially, it was meant for the US market, though many of them have been sold in more than 20 countries around the world. It has two types of engines: a gas engine, which works under high speed, and an electric engine that works under low speed (Kotler, Armstrong, Wong and Saunders 167). A number of environmental factors affected the introduction and sale of the Toyota Prius
In the introduction and sales of Toyota Prius, the micro-environment factors that affected them were the customers and competitors. Customers were looking for brands with low gas consumption and provided good and efficient services. Toyota Prius had low gas consumption and therefore became very popular. The American people wanted cars with attractive designs. The first generation did not sell much because it did not suit their taste. It was small and a little dull. To overcome this, the second generation of Toyota Prius had technical advances, a better design, and was spacious, hence attracting more customers. Customers also like the second-generation Toyota Prius because of its high speed and improved fuel efficiency by 22% (Kotler et al 168).
The competitors, for example, Honda, provided a harsh environment. They had a Honda civic that suited the needs of most of the customers. Later they produced insight. This posed a market challenge by providing wider choices for customers. Dealers had to sell the competing brands. The design of the Honda civic is more attractive than Toyota Prius therefore it laid a real market challenge (Heding, Knudtzen and Bjerre 189).
The demographic factor is one of the macro-environment factors that affected the introduction and sale of the Toyota Prius. There has been a high population growth leading to a high vehicles demand. On the other hand, there are more vehicle brands in the market. Consumers compare these brands of vehicles in the market hence a high competitive market. According to Kotler et al (168), Toyota Prius got market only from people who were ready to take risks but due to its advanced technology, the market picked up quickly.
A favorable environment was created by customers who are environmentally conscious. The second generation of Toyota Prius got more market among customers who wanted fuel efficiency vehicles. There has been customer growth and stabilization in Europe, Asia, and North America due to the cost-efficiency of the Toyota Prius (Tilde et al 189).
According to Kotler et al (169) natural factors also provided a positive effect on the introduction and sale of the Toyota Prius. There was a rise in gasoline prices in 2004 during summer. People, therefore, began to shift to hybrids due to their fuel efficiency and reduced oil dependency. Hybrid technology replaced petrol as a source of energy in vehicles. The ventilation system of the second generation of Toyota Prius cooled down the car cabin during summer therefore people liked it because of this.
Why consumers are ready to buy hybrids
Due to their advantages and efficiencies, more people are ready to buy hybrids from now. People have been impressed by the fuel efficiency, comfort, high speed, performance, and environmental sensitivity they portray. The ventilation of Prius pre-cools the vehicle’s cabin during summer therefore it is suitable for all seasons of the year.
Better hybrids with improved fuel efficiencies are being developed day by day with very low emission levels. This means more reduced fuel costs. They have aerodynamic bodies that reduce resistance to speed hence increasing fuel efficiency and reducing noise on the roads. Safari rally champions are more likely to utilize them due to their super speed (Heding et al 189).
According to Tilde et al (189), the constraining factors for their consumption include safety issues. Owners should avoid places or situations where the cell is heated faster. This can result to fire. These include thermal runways that give positive feedback. The older vehicles reduce battery lifespan due to increased ambient temperatures. Countries with below-average power output may not adapt to charging vehicles instead of focusing on more critical sectors.
Electrical cars to take lead over hybrids
Most probably, electric vehicles (EVs) are going to overtake hybrids. This is because the filling up stations will be homes not charging stations. Only a few charging stations will be needed. Complex equipment is not needed to charge EVs. Only a 200-volt level 2 charger is needed. This is cheaper than setting up petrol or gas filling stations. They are more convenient because there will be no need to queue. It is also cheap.
They will also cut down on greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions produced by the use of petroleum. The streets will be cleaned up of the noxious emissions. They have a better speed than the hybrids, going up to 100-150kph when charged. Charging takes only 15 minutes hence convenient for people with a few minutes to stop. However, they are not effective for countries with below-average power output. They consume less energy compared to heavy-weight hybrids (Kotler et al 172).
The main target markets and groups for hybrid and electrical
Accordingly, the groups targeted for electric and hybrid vehicles include environmentally conscious customers who want a reduction in emissions that destroy the environment, for example, GHGs and emissions that are obnoxious, for example, exhaust fumes. They also target those that want vehicles that help cut the cost of fuel.
Institutions with ample and many parking places are also targeted example schools, parks, and recreation departments. The general public is also a target due to home charging possibilities hence more conveniences as compared to the line ups and distance from the gas and petrol filling stations
Toyota marketing strategy
As a marketing strategy, Toyota company produces and delivers parts of their vehicles before assembly so as to meet customer demand (Kotler et al 174). They have a good network of dealers and advertisers that improve marketing and sales. They operate in chains of suppliers and have links across all of them. This gives it a better competitive advantage that its competitors cannot match against. It, therefore, becomes the most profitable automobile company in the US. Toyota brands have responded to the economic climate y producing cost-efficient products like the Toyota Prius which saves on fuel costs. It has conducted more research and development on Prius. By 2010, Toyota had launched five generations of Toyota Prius. Continuous amendments are ongoing to suit the latest technology and preferences of their buyers.
In order to stand against competitors, Toyota should produce brands that cannot be easily imitated by competitors. It should also research more on customer needs so that their products get attract and benefit the people more. It should improve on the quality of products and (Heding et al 189)
With more improvements, Toyota Prius has higher chances of dominating the market because of meeting consumer needs and tastes.
Heding, Tilde, Charlote Knudtzen and Mogens Bjerre. Brand management: research, theory and practice. London. Taylor & Francis, 2009.
Kotler, Philip, Gary Armstrong, Veronica Wong and John Saunders. Principles of Marketing (5th European edition). Palmer: Prentice Hall, 2008.