Toyota revamps development process to build bolder cars

More good news comes pouring from the C-level offices of our beloved automakers. The latest word from Japan is that Toyota has given its product development techniques a makeover so that they’ll result in less boring cars. It appears that over the decades, the number of executives signing off on each vehicle has ballooned to anywhere from  80 to 100! 

“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,” chief engineer Tokuo Fukuichi told industry rag Automotive News. But ever since self-professed car nut and occasional LFA racer Akio Toyoda took ToMoCo’s helm three years ago, he’s been on a crusade to revive Toyota’s once-proud sporty image.

Toyoda admits that the company had focused too much on chasing sales numbers in recent years. “The feeling at the time was, ‘If we build it, they will come,'” Toyoda told reporters at the automaker’s headquarters in central Japan today. “Instead of developing what customers would want next, we were making cars that would rake in sales.” By slashing the number of suits designing cars by committee and giving more control to chief engineers with vision, Toyoda hopes the company his grandfather founded will create bolder cars. Let the Nissan-Toyota battle begin!

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10 Responses to Toyota revamps development process to build bolder cars

  1. Nigel says:

    Toyota has thrown the gauntlet.
    Other manufacturers take note.(Nissan and Mazda).

  2. Andre says:

    And time for Honda to build a proper FF again, one that’s around 2200-2400 lbs, has double-wishbone suspension all around, and mated to an engine with an efficiency of the old B18C.

    • ylee says:

      I totally agree! the last hatchback they made, EP1, weighed closer to 3000lbs! I really miss Hondas that weigh closer to 2000 lbs.

  3. Tyler says:

    Sounds great!

  4. paul says:

    yea nissan should build a car and use a subaru engine ….nissan has no worries…

  5. dennis says:

    nissan has no worries because they won’t warranty their own engineered ‘launch control’ design

  6. Jason says:

    Lets hope Mitsubishi takes note. AWD is great and super safe and blah, blah, blah. I would love to see a full retro RWD Galant GTO.
    As for the other makers how about a TA22 Celica remake or a S600 Honda maybe a S16 Silvia, what about a retro Cozmo, how about a full retro Z car?
    I think if Japan’s big makers (Mitsubishi, Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan) need to take a leaf out of America’s retro book, the remakes of the Comaro, Mustang and Challengers are awesome. The 86 is cool but still a bit modern looking.
    My 2c

  7. Dylan says:

    Nissan could care less about the enthusiast at this point.. they’ve become just like Toyota was in recent years due to Carlos Ghosn, but then again that’s because the company was in danger of going under due to all the car development.

    Thankfully Toyota opened its eyes in the wake of Akio’s advice, but I don’t have much faith in Nissan at this point. Apparently one of Nissan’s reps made a statement about the Silvia that basically said we’re only going to develop a similar concept if there’s proof that it can be successful. In other words, lets wait until someone else does something amazing (see 86/FR-S/BRZ), and then we might copy it down the road. Definitely not the same Nissan that built the S13/14/15 and R32/33/34 and even R35 and pioneered a lot of various racing (considering all were in development before Ghosn).

    That being said, at least they have the Z and R35. Mazda and and the others, well I just don’t know, though there are plenty of rumors about Mazda getting back in the game, and Honda has the new NSX on the horizon and perhaps an S2K replacement.

  8. ylee says:

    more lighter and nimble cars with 250hp!

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