It is no secret that Toyota has had its share of quality problems this year. The company has recalled over 1 million vehicles, and Kazuo Okamoto, head of its research and development organizations, is looking for the silver lining.
According to Okamoto, his company's recent quality problems can be pinned on their suppliers, and once Toyota figures out how its component quality slipped, its quality scores will be even higher than they are now! While we did not see any form of sinister laughing tucked in Okamoto's comments, we did find that he admitted the crux of Toyota's success in the US: the company's quality image in the United States is the 'lifeline' for all of its products. What was that, you mean it's not Toyota's exciting products?
Gary Convis, Toyota's executive vice president of Toyota's North American engineering and manufacturing operations, claims that the recall numbers seem high because of Toyota's move to consolidate suppliers by sharing components across several product lines. We call baloney on that, since many of the recalls we've seen also effect vehicles made ten years ago. Sharing components across products is nothing new. Anyway, we can all rest assured that Toyota's plans for global automotive domination will continue once it gets to the bottom of its component quality issues.
[Source: Automotive News, sub. required]