In a presentation in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) provided further details of its initiatives conducted under the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) (earlier post), TMC’s new development framework which balances advances in product with cost reductions. The details follow the announcement on 6 March of the establishment of the TNGA Planning Division, a division which will propose technology-based medium- to long-term product strategies.
Five TNGA initiatives discussed included:
Enhancing product strength. To develop next-generation platforms for cars with emotional appeal, TMC will redesign cars starting from the frame, adopting lower hoods, lower center of gravity and creating more attractive designs that ensure excellent visibility and improved fundamental functionality (such as ride, turning and stopping). TMC will introduce the new platforms, which will give form to TMC’s “ever-better-cars” approach, in stages starting with new models to launch in 2015.
TMC will develop new high-performance, low-center-of-gravity powertrain components—the very core of an automobile—and roll them out in stages.
Employing grouped development for making ever-better cars and increasing development efficiency. The first step of the TNGA development process is to finalize the medium- to long-term product lineup and determine, within Toyota’s vehicle architecture, such characteristics as driving position, major powertrain components and their positioning within the vehicle.
Through grouped development—the simultaneous planning and development of multiple vehicles based on the pre-determined vehicle architecture—common parts and major components can be adopted and the efficiency of making ever-better cars and development can be increased. Allowing for variance between parts and major powertrain components, TMC aims through the introduction of TNGA to increase the efficiency of the development process by 20% to 30% and to invest the resulting savings in the creation of more ever-better cars.
Manufacturing reforms. Parts and major components that are simpler and easier to manufacture will be created by integrating the operations of suppliers and divisions responsible for part and major component procurement, production engineering and R&D. This will facilitate the establishment of streamlined manufacturing processes and ensure higher manufacturing quality.
Global standardization measures. Up to the present, parts for Toyota and Lexus vehicles were developed according to TMC’s own specifications. From now on, TMC will seek the compatibility of certain parts it uses with standard parts used by many automakers globally.
Procurement Strategies Linked to TNGA. The Purchasing Group will achieve even greater competitiveness by conducting global bulk-ordering for multiple models across regions and time frames as a result of the use of common parts and major components under grouped development.