Toyota Motor Corp. president Akio Toyoda is counting on an overhauled r&d strategy to propel growth at the Japanese carmaker. Toyoda told Automotive News that Toyota’s strategy will help increase the carmaker’s worldwide sales to over 10 million vehicles annually. Interestingly, Volkswagen Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn set a similar target in 2007 – to achieve 10 million sales by 2018.
Toyoda noted in April that no carmaker has ever exceeded 10 million units, but Toyota would aim to achieve that target through the TNGA. TNGA, which stands for Toyota New Global Architecture, is the carmaker’s new approach that centers on simultaneous development of several models and massive use of common modular components. The shift in Toyota’s approach to product development marks the biggest operating change of Toyoda's tenure.
Toyoda compared the shift in strategy to the change in field formation in a football game.He remarked that as the head coach, he transformed Toyota’s defensive formation into an offensive one.
Toyota announced its product-development strategy in broad terms in 2013 but only unveiled details at a briefing late April.
Toyota executives remarked that the first cars using the TNGA will be launched in 2015. The TNGA will be implemented first to three front-wheel-drive vehicle platforms that account for around 50% of Toyota’s global production volume.
Japan's Nikkei business daily reported that the next-generation Prius will be among the vehicles that will benefit from the new approach. The goal of the TNGA is to reduce cost while improving the appeal of the vehicles through streamlined engineering