“Toyota’s strengths and weaknesses”
The strength of this brand is its facility in Calty U.S. Recently this design studio has been set the challenge to create an exciting future mobility concept. Starting from their sports car roots, the 2000 GT coupe’, the new FT-1 has a wraparound DLO which enhances a low squashed down roofline. The new design presented in Detroit this week has very distinctive solutions like form of the rear bumper around the tailpipes, or the very long bonnet that underline a cab rearward design. The front has a curious front “nose” which leave space to two very large apertures for radiators cooling. Back to the rear again, the functional rear diffuser with integrated stop light draws inspiration from F1. Over the rear hatch, a section on the metalwork hides underneath a hydraulic lifted spoiler. Overall the shape has very controlled surfaces except for the bulky wheel arches that although muscular looking are arguably aesthetically beautiful. The challenge at the very start two years ago, was set to create an emotionally designed vehicle to showcase as a concept in the Play Station 3 new game Gran Turismo 6. That concept made such an impression to the Toyota’s head that he asked to make it real. This for my personal opinion is one of the strength of this company. Try and experiment with their capabilities and also people’s reactions.
As every other manufacturer though has also weakness too. A distinctive style is lacking on their automobiles, although there are some funky designs like the Yaris, there also are some bland too like the Avalon.
Also the manufacturer showed a tendency toward recalls especially during 2009 and 2010 that also affected its image on the market. This was due to the lack of qualitative components in areas or uses where quality mattered. An example was the throttle pedal that usually got stuck to full applications involved ten million vehicles and was one of the issues. This influence as statistics says saw customers veering off the marque to buy from other brands like Ford, Chevrolet, Kia and Hyundai. To put simply Toyota’s brand loyalty has declined. But not only Toyota had the negative tendency, the same has also been for Honda and Nissan. The 2010 Toyota’s recall campaign has been estimated $2bn. in expenses and also up to 3% in vehicles involved. This not only displaced brand’s perception in danger, but more importantly, customer’s safety. By the way, the increase of other manufacturers in brands loyalty proves Toyota’s loss, but the manufacturer coped with an every so often updated line-up that kept sales numbers on the positive side. Even though this brand has a weakness, on Social Influence Marketing customer’s opinion weren’t relevant to sales figures. Therefore the company should also take action on Media diffusers in order to describe clearly to their customers for example; the nature of the recall by describing visually the replaced parts or by making good publicity to inform customers on action taken to avoid past faults on future vehicles.
Finally another example was to create at any cost different range of vehicles from the 1999 Yaris platform to generate the sedan Echo which was flawed proportionally. In a very demanding market of premium cars, nowadays customers are much more aware of convincing offers or potential risks. Therefore manufacturers should reflect their attention to quality and inform customers in detail on the qualitative product they’re selling.
Edoardo Pandolfini Barberi 14/01/2014
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Video #1 Toyota FT-1 at Detroit 2014 [Online] Autoguide, available from:
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Picture #2 [Online] Car Body Design, available from:
Picture #3 [Online] Car Body Design, available from:
Picture #4 [Online] Car Mitula, available from:
Picture #5 [Online] Pictures Dealers, available from: