Toyota is looking to make ever-better cars in the future. To do so, the automaker has decided to promote the continued development of its workforce, as well as making substantial changes to its structure in order to streamline work processes on a company-wide basis. The changes will take effect in April 2016.
This overhaul is meant to create a company built around product-based organisations, rather than function-based organisations. Toyota president Akio Toyoda said, “I would like to make this an opportunity to strengthen our workforce and further promote making ever-better cars. Whether or not this structural change turns out to be the right solution or not is in our hands.”
Other objectives of this move include linking work processes ranging from R&D to manufacturing, enable individual business units to make decisions more quickly and independently, and strengthening the functions responsible for formulating mid-to-long term objectives and corporate strategies.
The move will result in the creation of seven product-based in-house companies – Innovative R&D and Engineering Company; Toyota Compact Car Company; Mid-size Vehicle Company; CV Company; Lexus International Co.; Power Train Company; and Connected Company. Full responsibility and authority will be given to the president of each in-house company, who will be responsible for short- to mid-term product strategy and development.
Furthermore, a new Frontier Research Center will be set up, tasked to develop new technologies and business models from a long-term, society-based perspective, actively seeking input from external research organisations and Toyota Group members.
To date, Toyota has already put in place several structural changes in its efforts to make ever-better cars, enhancing the strength and autonomy of regional operations, and emphasising the importance of genchi-genbutsu (on-site learning and problem-solving) in training personnel.