Kicking up its competitive game by a potentially substantial notch, Toyota Motor Corporation has announced a new vehicle developmental program aimed at realizing overall cost reductions on the order of 30 percent while endowing its future vehicles with far more emotional styling and greatly enhanced dynamic characteristics.
Announced in Japan by TMC boss Akio Toyoda, the Toyota New Global Architecture aims to meet these ambitious goals by restructuring and streamlining the entire development process. Design and planning personnel will work more closely to simultaneously create groups of related vehicles that have an even greater number of shared components or functional systems. According to Toyota, this enhanced cooperation will yield vehicles with revised internal structures that feature a lower center of gravity for enhanced handling and bodywork highlighted by “never-before-seen emotional designs.” TMC plans to begin implementation of the Toyota New Global Architecture with three front- wheel-drive platforms that will spawn models that are expected to account for nearly half of the company’s total unit production volume.
Part of the internal simplification process will involve cutting back on the levels of management and placing the chief engineers directly under the authority of the product planning general managers. The technical teams responsible for evaluation of all key body, chassis, powertrain and associated elements also will have more direct involvement with the goal of fostering specialized technologies that will allow the automaker to produce new strains of even more desirable vehicles.