Marketing Strategy in Automotive Industry: Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai

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About the industry

The automobile industry has developed substantially over the previous decade. Computerized innovation, change in client notion and financial well-being have assumed a fundamental role in this advancement. OEMs and other key industry players are observing this development and investing vigorously in non-commercial strategic approaches of assembling vehicles.

Substitute income sources are quickly assuming control over the market. Transport organizations, for example, Uber have grown exponentially in the course of the most recent couple of years and established innovation organizations like Amazon and Microsoft are crunching back-end car information. Associated innovation has turned out to be much increasingly significant and essential to the progression of vehicles, acquiring a large group of new features and contributions.

Like earlier years, patterns like declining car deals, expanding elective fuel powertrains, particularly electric vehicles, and more value-added services in advanced retail will keep on prevailing in the car business. New and alternative types of vehicle proprietorship are winding up increasingly prevalent, particularly membership services and e-powered ride-hailing administrations.

Market Leader:

As per Statista, the market leader in the automotive industry is Toyota with a market share of about 9.46%

The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937, as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Three years earlier, in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product, the Type A engine, and its first passenger car in 1936, the Toyota AA. Toyota Motor Corporation produces vehicles under five brands, including the Toyota brand, Hino, Lexus, Ranz, and Daihatsu. It also holds a 16.66% stake in Subaru Corporation, a 5.9% stake in Isuzu, a 5.5% stake in Mazda, as well as joint-ventures with two in China (GAC Toyota and Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor), one in India (Toyota Kirloskar), one in the Czech Republic (TPCA), along with several nonautomotive companies.

Toyota is the world's market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles, and one of the largest companies to encourage the mass-market adoption of hybrid vehicles across the globe. Toyota is also a market leader in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Cumulative global sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrid passenger car models achieved the 10 million milestones in January 2017. Its Prius family is the world's top-selling hybrid nameplate with over 6 million units sold worldwide as of January 2017.

Marketing Strategy of Toyota:

Toyota’s marketing strategy is a mix of penetration pricing marketing strategy and guerilla marketing strategy.

The purpose of the penetration pricing marketing strategy is to maximize sales nand to attain widespread market share within the market a company is competing in. The penetration pricing marketing strategy has the objective of capturing a large market share rapidly by setting low prices for products that a company sells. Penetration pricing is best executed when consumers are sensitive towards the price of the product.Toyota’s usage of the penetration pricing marketing strategy which states that Toyota sell their cars in the low end of the price spectrum. This strategy caters to price-sensitive consumers.

Toyota’s incorporation of the guerrilla marketing strategy which outlines that Toyota’s main reason for using the guerrilla marketing strategy is to attract the younger crowd i.e. young adults. We notice out that companies such as Toyota conduct this strategy by placing advertisements on objects that are used every day e.g. food or drink packaging. Toyota also uses alternative methods for the guerrilla marketing strategy such as placing advertisements in locations where people commute frequently.

Market Challenger:


As per Statista, the market challenger in this particular industry is Volkswagen with a market share of about 7.38%.

Volkswagen, otherwise called VW, is a German automobile manufacturer established on 28th of May, 1937 by the German Labor Front under the aegis of Adolf Hitler, headquartered in Wolfsburg. In the event that deciphered, 'Volkswagen' is German for 'individuals' vehicle.' notwithstanding Hitler's aspiring effort to manufacture a system of autobahns and restricted access roadways crosswise over Germany, Fuhrer's pet undertaking was the improvement and large-scale manufacturing of a quick yet reasonable vehicle that could be sold for less than 1,000 Reich marks. In request to guarantee that he got what he has imagined, he called Austrian car engineer Ferdinand Porsche. At first, the organization had confronted a lot of obstacles (World War II and the vehicles memorable Nazi association) which came about in ended creation. In 1959, a promoting organization by the name of Doyle Dane Bernbach propelled a milestone crusade, naming KdF-Wagen as 'Creepy crawly' and displayed its small size as an unmistakable preferred position to customers. Today, Volkswagen is a name to figure with eating income of 230,682 million Euros. The Wolfsburg-based organization has 12 marks under its which incorporates Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini among numerous others and unquestionably Volkswagen Business Vehicles. It has likewise ventured into different business fields which incorporate huge bore diesel motors, turnkey power plants, and turbochargers among numerous others.

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Marketing Strategy:

Volkswagen has always been forceful with its ad campaigns. As a part of its marketing strategy, Volkswagen has used 360 branding to promote not only the parent company, but all its cars individually. With higher grade of tensile strength used in its steel, greater depth and shine of paint, higher craftsmanship of its cabins and better equipment levels has helped Volkswagen drive ‘higher quality’ as a trait of all of its car and most of its promotions in developing countries advertised the same. Abuse friendly build and solid construction along with longevity was advertised in India and helped it gain important sale numbers. Aggressive promotional activities using social media networks and online platforms including Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and Instagram help Volkswagen remain at the top of the promotional game as competitors are increasingly heading into online space. Product differentiation is one marketing tactic used in the creatives for promotional activities of Volkswagen and safety and German build quality are two traits used most often in campaigns of its vehicles.

Market Followers:

1. With economic backlashes being already felt by the company, FORD has failed to innovate and differentiate itself in their product categories as well, ending up as a follower to the market leader.

Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker and the fifth-largest in the world based on 2015 vehicle production. The company was established in 1903 by Henry Ford. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe.Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines; by 1914, these methods were known around the world as Fordism. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East since 1938.

With economic backlashes being already felt by the company, the company has failed to innovate and differentiate itself in their product categories as well, ending up as a follower to the market leader.

The company went public in 1956 but the Ford family, through special Class B shares, still retain 40 percent voting rights.During the financial crisis at the beginning of the 21st century, it was close to bankruptcy, but it has since returned to profitability.Ford was the eleventh-ranked overall American-based company in the 2018 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2017 of $156.7 billion.

Marketing Strategy:

Ford tries to create an emotional bond with the customer. The company does not have a lot of innovation and differentiation to offer and hence it uses this tactic. However, the latest marketing strategy if far bolder. They say that with their new strategy they are trying to target those who do not like or consider Ford while making purchase decisions.

2. Hyundai has allowed more dominant firms to lead the way in the automotive industry. It has kept a close watch on market leaders like Volkswagen, Toyota and the likes to be able to guage their strategy and play safe in the market.

The Hyundai Motor Company, commonly known as Hyundai Motors, is a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Seoul. The company was founded in 1967 and, along with its 32.8% owned subsidiary, Kia Motors, and its 100% owned luxury subsidiary Genesis Motor, altogether comprise the Hyundai Motor Group. It is the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the world.

Hyundai operates the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea which has an annual production capacity of 1.6 million units. The company employs about 75,000 people worldwide. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 5,000 dealerships and showrooms.

Marketing Strategy:

Hyundai's marketing strategy is differentiated marketing. The primary consumer target is middle to upper-income professionals, who need value for their money and a comfortable ride in city conditions. The primary business target is mid-sized to large-sized corporates that want to help their managers and employees by providing them a car with ease of transport.

Market Niche:

All the market trends today, point towards sustainability. This is true for any given sector. In the automotive industry, there is no bigger and better name than Tesla to be considered a market niche. With a mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove to the world that they were not compromising on the quality of a car when they are deciding to buy electric vehicles. They wanted the world to show that electric vehicles can be a viable and better option than gasoline cars and definitely more fun to drive. Tesla has been a game-changer in an industry that has always been criticised for causing most harm to the environment and hence has always been shackled by its regulations of it.

Marketing Strategy:

The automotive industry is starting to experience the kind of disruption that is altering the status quo. BMW, Ford, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Toyota, and other big names are facing challenges from a new generation of electric and autonomous vehicles. The most fascinating is the incredible strength of Tesla from a social media marketing perspective. It's a brand founded just 15 years ago, makes less money compared to auto giants, yet on social media, it's in the top 3 – outperforming Volkswagen, Ford and Toyota.


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  3. mbly/PDFs/McK_The_road_to_2020_and_beyond.ashx
  5. 2017.pdf
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Marketing Strategy in Automotive Industry: Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from
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