Toyota Motors: A Japanese Multinational Automaker in China

Toyota Motors: A Japanese Multinational Automaker in China
Case Code: BSTR465
Case Length: 15 Pages
Period: 2005 - 2014
Pub Date: 2015
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Toyota Motors
Industry: Automotive
Countries: China
Themes: International Management, Emerging Markets, Geo-political Tensions
Toyota Motors: A Japanese Multinational Automaker in China
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case is about the journey of the world's largest automobile manufacturer, Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), in the world's largest car market, China,. Toyota entered China in the 1930s when it built plants in Tianjin and Shanghai and carried out local assembly in China. The case discusses the strategies adopted by Toyota to tap the Chinese market. The strategies of Toyota in China included developing sales structure and logistics networks as well as adopting a specific hybrid car strategy for the Chinese market. However, Toyota's performance in China was affected as the company had been facing troubles in China due to the World War II legacy. The political tensions between China and Japan in terms of riots in 2005, labor unrest in 2010, and widespread protests in 2012 over a territorial dispute between the two countries, affected Toyota's operations in the country.


This case is designed to enable students to:

  • Understand the strategies followed by companies from developed countries in emerging countries
  • Understand the issues and challenges tackled by established companies in developing market conditions and customer demands
  • Understand the geo-political issues faced by Toyota in China
  • Evaluate the strategies adopted by Toyota in China
  • Assess the challenges faced by Toyota as a Japanese company in China
  • Explore strategies that Toyota could adopt in China



International Management; Internationalization; Geo-political tensions; World War II legacy; Cultural issues; Localization; Emerging countries; Sales structure; Logistics; Chinese automobile industry; Joint venture; Toyota; Managing across borders and cultures

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