Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
April 16, 2012
Two words you wouldn’t think that would go together are Toyota and excitement. But there was time when Toyota meant excitement; cars like the Celica, Supra, and MR2 cemented the brand as building some of best sports cars before hanging it up and building appliances.
However, the tide at Toyota seems to be changing. The RWD GT86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ coupes are beginning to roll out, and Toyota is introducing a new development and manufacturing framework designed to aid in producing more exciting vehicles.
"The feeling at the time was, 'If we build it, they will come. Instead of developing what customers would want next, we were making cars that would rake in sales," said Toyota CEO, Akio Toyoda.
The new framework, called Toyota New Global Architecture, or TNGA, allows the company to design multiple models at the same time to reduce costs. The new framework will also slash the number of executives involved in the design review process to help streamline decisions.
"Toyota's problem was that it had too many filters. When you have that many people weighing in, you end up developing cars by eliminating the negatives, not by creating something positive, by taking risks," said Tokuo Fukuichi, Toyota’s chief designer.
Added cooperation between Toyota's planning and design groups could bring forth more innovative styling, including models with lower centers of gravity and better aerodynamics.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)