In Japan, Toyota faces a steep drop in sales among young buyers: In 1987, 45% of all 20-year-olds who bought cars bought Toyotas. In 1998, only 30% bought Toyotas. A similar problem exists in the U.S. market.
In the U.S. a youth-marketing effort called Genesis fizzled out with mixed results.
Rapid-fire rollout of cars designed more fashionably for young buyers in Japan. They include the bB, the FunCargo, the Platz, the WiLL Vi and the WiLL VS. In the U.S., debut a new sport wagon called the Matrix in early 2002.
Possible Radical Solution
Submerge the Toyota brand name on some cars sold in Japan. In the U.S., create a whole new brand aimed at young buyers.
Data: BusinessWeek, company reports