April 13, 2006
Toyota Introduces New Inexpensive Chinese Brands
Toyota is aggressively looking toward the Chinese market, planning on offering a new cheap and cheerful car brand name in the coming months for Chinese consumers. The company, which will soon surpass General Motors in sales, would experience a "quantum leap" in sales if the Chinese brands take hold.
I think some in the industry wonder if Toyota will enter China using new brand names altogether, fearing that selling inexpensive cars to the Chinese could diminish the Toyota brand name. Toyota did just that as it entered the luxury and youth markets in the U.S. with Lexus and Scion, respectively.
One thing is certain I'm sure: Toyota will face stiff challenges from Chinese car manufacturers who will not easily hand over this burgeoning market to the Japanese.
As I noted in an earlier blog post, Product Naming: China Wants Your Brand, the Chinese already have the Chery brand name and are aggressively looking to switch from being supplier of choice to foreign companies to offering consumers worldwide interesting, inexpensive Chinese brands that compete with the big guys. I'm sure they will not stand by idly while Toyota takes over their home market.
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