Japan’s Toyota Motor, the country’s largest company and the world’s biggest automaker, has pledged to reshape its strategy in a bid to put away the years of reputation for producing dull, but reliable automobiles.
The full company makeover will affect all areas of the business, from designs, technologies and plants to supplier contracts – the strategy reshape aiming to keep the automaker atop a rapidly changing industry. The carmaker’s global leadership and great profits were supported by decades of uniformity – common parts used across a wide variety of models and segments limited styling, for example. Now, the automaker’s Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) strategy will continue with the standardization of vehicle engineering. But it will also allow it to redesign its vehicles entirely, with added emphasis on styling and handling. The upcoming vehicle platforms, using fuel efficient engines and rigid, lightweight frames, will be introduced in stages beginning with the upcoming presentation of a medium-sized car this year, with experts expecting it to the be fourth-generation Prius hybrid.
“TNGA changes fundamentally the way we design and procure technologies and manufacture final finished products using those technologies,” commented a senior Toyota executive, though he refrained from being named because he wasn’t in a liberty to discuss the matter with the media. Adding “it’s not just a more cost-effective way of designing the automobile,” the company will still gain massive savings from the overhaul drive – tallying around a fifth of Toyota’s development costs – which in turn will be used to add or modify new features, such as auto-braking, to suit the preferences of certain markets.