U.S. Toyota models no longer need design sign-offs from Japan

2011 Toyota Avalon

Not a fan of the design of Toyota models? Things may just get a little better because Toyota in North America is now taking product development authority away from Japanese bosses and keeping it in the hands of North American executives. The move is a part of its response to the quality crisis that hit the company hard in 2010.

Up until now, vehicles that were designed, developed and produced in North America required a sign-off by a chief engineer in Nagoya. Local engineers and sales and marketing executives had to jump through many hoops to get things going their way.

Yoshi Inaba, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said Toyota adopted a new system that takes Japan out of the equation. That means that vehicles unique to the U.S. market – Toyota Avalon, Venza, Sienna, Tacoma and Tundra – no longer need Japanese approval in the development process.

“We are going to implement the process from design to preparation for production to development, cost planning, and identifying and selecting suppliers,” said Inaba, said. “All these processes are going to be 100 percent done here, without going back to Japan for approval.”

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News