Case Study

Toyota: Repositioning the brand in Europe (A)

26 pages
December 2000
Reference: IMD-5-0564

1998 was an excellent year for Toyota in Europe: The company posted record sales in 10 European countries and had topped Nissan’s sales in Europe for the first time ever. However, on a global scale, the European market was still a weak spot for Toyota. The market share in Western Europe stood at only 3% while the company had secured over 10% in other international markets such as the US. Early 1999 marked a turning point and Toyota publicly announced its goal to raise the European market share to 5% by the year 2005. However, many executives considered the different positioning and perception of the Toyota brand across Europe as a main obstacle to growth. The new President of Toyota Europe had to decide whether there was a need to reposition the brand? If yes, should he recommend a unified brand image within Europe. How could this be achieved? The case provides a lot of data on the European market for automobiles, customer segments and positioning of Toyota vs. the competition. Moreover, the case outlines the intricacies of growing a business by making bold changes to the positioning of products and brands. It is the first case of a series of three cases (continues with IMD Cases IMD-5-0565, IMD-5-0566, and IMD-5-0701).

Branding, Product Positioning, Automotive
Field Research
© 2000
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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