Toyota to prioritize customers over conquest sales

Article by Anita Panait, on September 2, 2013

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. will focus on "taking care of the customer" instead of prioritizing its share growth in the United States market, chief executive Kazuo Ohara disclosed. He said that they had some quality issues in 2009 and 2010, and while many customers still believe in the carmaker, “some don't trust us.”

He remarked that to recover Toyota’s reputation, they “should get back to basics." Ohara was a Lexus executive in the US from 2003 to 2008, during which Toyota experienced rapid volume and share.

Ohara, however, said that it was unsustainable growth, noting that it “was so fast in some areas,” and the carmaker did some mistakes. He said that while he does not have a US unit sales target, Toyota's short-term market share target is 15 percent, which would be equivalent to 2.325 million Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles in a 15.5 million-unit market.

Toyota recently told dealers that it expects to sell 2.25 million units in the US this year. The Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands accounted for a 14.3-percent share of the US in the first seven months of 2013, compared to 14.4 percent during the same period in 2012. The car US share jumped to 14.4 percent in 2012 from 12.9 percent in 2011.

Bob Carter, Toyota's senior vice president of automotive operations, remarked that the carmaker has to focus more on customer loyalty rather than conquest sales. He remarked during a global press gathering for Toyota hybrid technology that to be successful, there should be a loyalty strategy, and there should be a conquest. Carter remarked that perhaps, Toyota was too focused on conquest and failed to have an appropriate balance on loyalty. [source: DetroitNews]

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