Positioning of a “Green” Technology

How to make a Hybrid Vehicle Relevant for the Customer and Beneficial for the Brand. The New Toyota Prius: A Case Study

Gunther de Jonghe
Strategic Research Division, Toyota Motor Marketing Europe, Belgium

Stephan Thun
BASIS-KONTAKT and Maritz Research Deutschland, Germany

INTRODUCTION

There is increasing effort amongst automotive manufacturers to bring environmentally friendly vehicles to the market to meet future legislation on emissions, but also to achieve a positive effect with regard to their brand image.

Toyota's efforts in developing environmentally friendly vehicles stretches back nearly 40 years to 1965 when it started investigating the feasibility of using gas turbines to power an electronic drive system for cars. In the 1970s Toyota presented the Sports 800 gas turbine hybrid and in 1997 Toyota unveiled a production hybrid bus (the Coaster hybrid) and launched the first Toyota Prius, which became the world's first hybrid car available in mass production.