TOYOTA, the dominant brand of the past decade, is facing a brain drain over the next two years as a result of its decision to move marketing and sales from Sydney to Melbourne. Several senior executives won’t make the trip south while others haven’t yet decided.
The company is committed to replacing those who leave with managers displaced by the closure of the Altona factory in Victoria but many are nervous about replacing seasoned marketers with manufacturing specialists.
The strategy could cause the company to lose ground, particularly in the key market of Sydney.
The move is also shaking up the long-term agencies that have been behind some of the most recognisable advertising campaigns of decades past.
Many have outposts in Melbourne but the key personnel are in Sydney.
The risk is that the company loses direction in the process of rebuilding its marketing team. Other car companies we’ve spoken to see it as a chance to chip away at the giant’s considerable market share.
The end of Camry production in 2017 also will open the door for rivals to poach government and fleet clients, which in the past have had a buy Australian policy.
There are other factors to consider. Toyota’s market share in Sydney has been stronger than other states and many put that down to its local presence.
Sydney headquartered rivals Hyundai, Volkswagen, Subaru and Kia will be licking their lips at the prospect of gaining some of that share.