3.1. Meet Every Customer Need

It is, of course, impossible to meet every customer need in every market. To do so would require Toyota to incorporate millions, even billions of modifications into their cars to suit each potential customer, which does not make economic sense. Philosophically, however, Toyota is bent on meeting the needs of every customer, as stated in its internal document Toyota Value: "For Toyota to carry out [the policy of] 'customer first' globally, it is essential ... to respond to the needs of every customer quickly and thoroughly."[] This philosophy extends beyond the customer to include the supply partners, the workers on the assembly line, and the distributors, dealers, and service centers.

Toyota attaches a strong social value to meeting the needs of every customer and enhancing satisfaction with the product. It publicly declares its impossible goals to raise the social consciousness of its employees, as in the following statement in the closing section of Toyota Value:

We are always optimizing[] to enhance the happiness of every customer, as well as to build a better future for people, society, and the planet we share. This is our duty. This is Toyota.[]

The goal of developing new cars for every customer segment in each country or region arises out of this sentiment. It is contrary to conventional wisdom in strategic management, which espouses the merits of staying focused and making tradeoffs. According to Michael Porter, a leading scholar in the field ...

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