5.8. Conclusion

Toyota customizes its products and processes by incorporating tastes and demands unique to each local market, and this pushes Toyota to new frontiers. In the case of the Scion in the United States, new frontiers were opened up with respect to ordering and inventory systems, a pricing scheme (pure pricing), the process of dealer interaction with the customer, and a grassroots marketing program. In the case of the IMV, local customization went beyond sales and marketing activities to include innovations in development and production.

Local customization goes hand in hand with the two expansive forces described in Chapters 3 and 4—impossible goals and the eagerness to experiment. The impossible goal of "developing the finest cars ever built and building the finest dealer network in the industry" was realized in the United States with the Lexus, and the impossible goal of "bypassing Japan to make a global car" was realized in Asia with the IMV. Development of the Scion brand and the Tundra were successful, localized experiments in the United States aimed at winning new customers in the youth segment of Generation Y and American truckers. These three expansive forces drive Toyota to reach new customers, try new processes, and develop new practices and technologies. Ultimately, they push Toyota to grow exponentially in an upward spiral increasing the complexity of the organization. In Chapters 6 through 8, we describe the integrative forces that serve as the glue to ...

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