The Honda Company is an institution with a rich heritage and history. The company’s mission and vision statement reads as follows “maintaining a global viewpoint; we are dedicated to supplying products of the highest quality, yet at a reasonable price for worldwide customer satisfaction.” The company has had an objective that is geared towards meeting and making the company a global leader in automobile production. Among its objectives is to proceed with ambition and youthfulness while respecting sound theory. Honda counts innovation as one of its foremost objectives in the company since they endeavour to achieve innovation by making use of time very wisely (Jeffrey D. Kaplan, 341). Most of Honda’s objectives are geared towards improving internal look of the company by encouraging employees to improve work while at the same time encourage open communication. Honda employees have worked hard to strive for a harmonious flow of work by enhancing production through research and development (Ralph Vince, 645). As a strategy of meeting the demand and satisfying the customer, the Honda Company has invested a lot in research for the purpose of developing innovative products for the market. To maintain sustainability the company has also inculcated the strategy of using effective and efficient production systems with the aim of protecting the environment. In its pursuit to reduce the global environmental footprint the company has organised a number of strategies in maintaining the environment.
Honda is a company which operates in a very challenging and competitive industry. In analysing the environment whereby the company operates we have to look into Honda’s micro and macro environments. Honda micro environment is comprised of suppliers, distributors, customers and competition whose relationships affects cost and quality of products. Honda relies on different suppliers who have had good relationships over a long period of time. Honda is also a large producer of automobile engines to several motor vehicle producing companies. As a result, the company rarely faces supply problems (Ralph Vince 534). Honda distributes its vehicles through well distributors globally and in developed markets such as the United States, the company makes use of its own franchised outlets to distribute its vehicles.
The business environment requires an organization to stay in touch with its customers. Honda makes use of franchise holders and its distributors to gather data on customer preferences. Managers in Honda Corporation work closely with the research and development team to develop products that meet the expectations and needs of the customer. Honda gets in touch with its loyal customers through newsletters and product offerings thus it has the ability of retaining a lot of customers. Analysing competition is very important within the business environment and the automobile industry is dominant by many producers. The high competition in the automobile industry requires innovation of new technologies and learning the customer’s needs (Keller, 2001). Honda has been a leader in producing fuel efficient vehicles such as the Honda Civic hybrid. As a result, the company has been able to beat its competition due to offering fuel vehicles at affordable prices to its customers.
Environmental analysis also looks into the macro environment whereby external factors are analysed on the effect on the organization. Macro environment analysis looks into Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal factors that affect the operation of an organization. Honda is a company that operates under several political regions in the world and thus political policies that might affect the company is monitored closely by Honda. For instance, the European economic crisis will affect the economic situation of its citizens which has an effect on the purchasing habits of potential vehicle customers. Economic factor that might affect the purchase of the Honda Civic hybrid is the low economic spending power due to poor economic situations. While on the other hand the poor economic situations might drive demand for fuel efficient and affordable vehicles as the Honda Civic hybrid (Keller, 2001, p. 18). Social factors affecting Honda Civic hybrid demand is latest fashion craze to own a hybrid vehicle while technological factors include innovation and current vehicle technologies. Honda is well known for its innovation and thus, the Honda Civic hybrid will fare well in the market due to the high standards of technology used in its production. The change in the global climate has necessitated the production of fuel efficient and clean vehicles and Honda Civic hybrid is a pioneer in this front. The Honda Civic hybrid meets several global vehicle standards and as a result, the company is not going to face legal quandaries in marketing the Honda Civic hybrid (Curry, 1998).
Honda marketing objective
Honda is a large company with braches and offices in every part of the world making the company plan on a global scale. The company has been consistent on making innovative and technologically effective products. The major marketing objective of Honda Company is to be ahead of competition in terms of fuel efficient and dependable vehicles. Honda’s main marketing objective is to stay at the top in the production and sale of its hybrid vehicles unit. The company also wants to be a pioneer in the production and sale of efficient cars in different regions of the world (Richard C. Grinold, Ronald N. Kahn, 201). Moreover, the main objective of the company is to enhance and maintain its market position as among the top automobile producers in the world.
Honda marketing strategy
The Honda Company is a large company with one of the best marketing strategies in the world. The company’s main marketing strategy lies in its innovation and technological superiority. Honda’s main marketing strategy is producing and selling of fuel efficient vehicles. Due to the increased prices of fuel and the clamor for environmentally safe cars by customers led to increased interest from automobile producers. Honda leveraged the production of its Honda Civic hybrid based on fuel efficiency and this strategy has enabled them to sell a lot of vehicles to potential customers (Keller, 2001, p. 16). The company has marketed the Honda Civic as a fuel efficient and effective vehicle trough use of promotions and advertising. During the launch of the Honda Civic, the company’s engineers produced the vehicle that could be used by anybody compared to the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight which was marketed to techies (Berthon, 2008, p. 34). The Honda Corporation believes in producing fuel efficient vehicles like the Honda Civic hybrid using the best technology that it sustainable to the environment. Honda also relied on its sales networks worldwide and thus the company opened foreign production units and franchises to sell its Honda Civic hybrid brand.
Honda Marketing Mix
Marketing mix determines the combination of product, price, place, and promotion to be used in line with the marketing strategy. Honda has positioned itself in the family car section to offer quality and fuel efficient vehicles. Honda has positioned itself to offer a High quality, safety and outstanding customer service product targeting family based customers. The following marketing mix strategies have been applied in Honda;
In the process of marketing and selling the Honda Civic hybrid, Honda engaged the services of experienced and qualified personnel. The founder of Honda, Soichiro Honda was a talented engineer who relied heavily on talent from the Human resources in the company. As a result, the company hires we qualified and talented engineers who make the best combustion engines in the world for a long period of time (Richard C. Grinold, Ronald N. Kahn, 211). These engineers were used in the production of the Honda Civic hybrid. Honda makes use of the information gathered by staffs who work in the company’s franchise outlets. This is because staffs are able to interact with customers easily and thus information on customer preferences are easily communicated to the company.
Honda is one of the largest producers of vehicles and the company has produced a number of top selling vehicles. Honda is among one of the best selling brands while the Honda Civic is in the midst of the top five selling vehicles of all time. The Honda Civic hybrid is a fuel efficient car that offers the same features as a normal car. During the production of the Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda decided to make a vehicle for ordinary family use. This is opposed to other companies such as Toyota that produced the Toyota Prius which was a car for techies since it was difficult for ordinary people to operate this car.
Honda has been selling its Honda Civic hybrid cars to medium level customers who prefer reliability to class. Honda saw an opportunity to sell cars which were fuel efficient and technologically advanced. The new Honda Civic hybrid sold by Honda retails at the same price as other sedan vehicles sell in the market. Due to the price set by Honda, the Honda Civic hybrid was a phenomenal success since the price set by the company is affordable to everyone.
Honda uses several distribution channels to ensure that its products and services are constantly available to its customers. Honda collaborates with various motor vehicle franchise dealers globally to sell their cars. The company has also adopted an online ordering system whereby customers can order their preferred vehicle or product. Honda has a very flexible and efficient production system that allows any plant to produce any type of car at a given time according to customer demand (Berthon, 2008, p. 33).
Honda has been on the path of being a global leader in the world of automobiles through promotion of its products. Honda partners with a lot of organizations in the promotion of sporting activities. For instance, the company promotes its vehicles through events such as the Indy Racing League of 2006. The company also promotes several other sporting activities such as the Hockey League and the Golf tournaments.
Honda vehicles are sold through Honda franchise outlets or through selected franchise dealers globally. These franchise dealers should meet the expectations of Honda in the process of selling their cars. Honda customers anticipate and judge the vehicles produced by Honda based on fuel efficiency, road safety, user friendliness and comfort (Richard C. Grinold, Ronald N. Kahn, 251).
The process of acquiring a car from Honda Corporation is quite simple and easy to understand. A customer walks into a Honda franchise dealer and purchases the car of his/her choice. In some instances, when the car is not available then a customer places his order and the car will be delivered to him through the dealership according to certain specifications. This system of producing and marketing vehicles is very efficient and it has helped Honda Corporation to easily anticipate customer demands (Richard C. Grinold, Ronald N. Kahn, 261).
Honda’s current performance is absolutely desirable by automobile companies in the same market. Honda has been ranked among the top five automobiles in terms of production and sustainability as compared to other companies. This is an indication of great performance and high production standards. All in all in order to further stretch the performance of the company in order to outstanding globally SWOT analysis will provide the necessary tool for this kind of strategic positioning;
Honda is a large company with production units and companies spread all over the globe and as a result, the company ensures timely delivery of its products to consumers. As pioneers of the combustion engine, Honda is a company which has qualified team of engineers who are responsible for the design and marketing of the Honda Civic hybrid (Richard C. Grinold, Ronald N. Kahn, 143). The Honda Company has various production plants which can are very flexible since these plants can be changed and be utilized in the production of any make of vehicle. As a result, the company can easily meet any anticipated demand for their vehicles from the customers.
The Honda Company also faces several internal challenges including a wide variety of products. The huge array of products offered by Honda makes the company to focus its strengths on different products. As a result, the company’s staffs do not focus all their energy on producing one brand of vehicle such as the Honda Civic hybrid. Other products in the Honda Company stable might eat up the market share enjoyed by Honda Civic in the hybrid market vehicle. For instance, the Honda Insight hybrid vehicle competes with the Honda Civic hybrid and this is not encouraging for the sale of the Honda Civic (Richard C. Grinold, Ronald N. Kahn, 198).
The high fuel prices and campaign from environmental protection has changed the shifts in the production and marketing of vehicles. The rise in the demand of fuel efficient and environmentally safe cars has spurred the growth in demand for hybrid vehicles. Another opportunity which Honda could exploit in the marketing of its Honda Civic hybrid brand is the demand for family based vehicles (Richard C. Grinold, Ronald N. Kahn, 204). This opportunity has made Honda to sell more Honda Civic hybrid vehicle units to potential consumers.
There is very high competition from several automobile companies specializing in the production of fuel efficient vehicles. There is also competition from other types of vehicles such as motorcycles and bigger vehicles. Increased costs of production have contributed to the increase in price of producing hybrid vehicles. As a result, more people have opted for cheaper vehicles from other producers (Richard C. Grinold, Ronald N. Kahn, 261). The global economic downturn has affected the automobile industry and Honda has not been spared either from the effects of the economic slowdown.
Honda is a huge organization with annual revenues grossing over 2.36 trillion Yen. Honda has a huge budget and spends close to 5% of its total revenues on research and development. In the last financial year, the company spent close to 118 billion Yen on research and development of its business units. Honda’s major costs in running the company included selling, general and administrative costs. These costs amounted to 324 billion Yen among the many business units at Honda Corporation. The vehicle production business is the largest segment at Honda Corporation and this segment recorded one of the largest in terms of growth figures. Expenditures at the Honda automobile segment stood at 7.7 billion Yen at the end of the year 2010 (S. Kevin, 213). Honda spends close to 40% of its automobile expenditure on development on the Honda Civic brand.
The current marketing strategy used by Honda focuses on selling its brand of Honda Civic hybrid. Honda has a great potential in its market positions as an automobile company offering safety, efficient and high quality products since these are the core attributes being sought by vehicle business globally. Honda’s strategic plan should be geared towards achieving the following marketing objectives;
- Increasing its global market share by 20% so as to, stamp it global dominance in production of hybrid family vehicles (Shan Rajagopal, Philip McGuin, James Waller, 45).
- Establish a penetration plan for new markets such as Africa and Latin America since it has not concentrated its efforts in diverging from its traditional market of North America.
- Increased its revenue and breakeven load factor for all market segments to above 80%
- Continue with its innovative products and partake in aggressive marketing for the sale of its products such as the Honda Civic hybrid.
- Continue to invest in other ventures and partnering with other automobile companies interested in offering new products and conquering new markets.
- Enhanced community services through its CSR programmes targeting health, sport, education and environment so as to position itself as reliable and trustworthy partner.
The process of developing, marketing and selling a product such as a hybrid vehicle is very challenging. Honda Corporation developed the Honda Civic hybrid as a strategy of appeasing its customers who needed fuel efficient and environmentally safe vehicles. The Honda Civic has been quoted as among the top selling vehicle of all time, a testament of the good job done by Honda Corporation. Honda used its technological and innovative techniques to come up with an effective and efficient vehicle. The Honda Civic hybrid is very efficient in terms of energy consumption and the preservation of environment since the hybrid vehicles produce less waste.