• Dec 24, 2009
As with every other automaker – heck, almost every other company – Toyota wants to save more money. Japan's Asahi business daily revealed a Toyota initiative to lower its parts expenses by 30. Can anyone guess how suppliers will most likely remove one-third the cost of their parts? If you said "use cheaper materials," we have your prize backstage...

A Toyota spokesman said the company had given "various suggestions including cost reductions" to the affected portion of its supplier base, which makes it sound like at the very least the company didn't just say "Here's less money, make it work." There are more than 200 vehicle components involved the move – that might sound sizable on its own but it's a tiny fraction of all the parts in a car.

Ultimately, Toyota wants to ensure its competitiveness in emerging markets and guard against a strengthening yen. Assuming the initiative is carried out, the parts in question will be used for cars arriving for the 2013 model year. We hope that by 2014 it is clear that Toyota chose the right bets for this game of parts roulette.

[Source: Reuters via TTAC | Image: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images]


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  • 112 Comments
      Steve
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a mistake. They are slipping further and further away from their reputation of "built to last" I would be willing to pay a little more for better quality and get a REAL toyota but this will make me look elsewhere when it comes time to buy a new car. And I am (was) a big toyota repeat customer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They've obviously already cut the budget for lights - I can't tell you how many of their cars I've seen with either a head or tail lamp out, and these aren't old cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is obvious this happens to all cars, not just Toyota. I've seen brand new Escalades with lights out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Another way to reduce supplier expenses is by sourcing more parts from suppliers in China,Thailand,India etc.
      deeksha
      • 2 Years Ago
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      jim.jb
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota now use cheap parts made in china shipped to Japan, then shipped to USA and Canada plants. They are very cheap and this will affect there " so called best quality" I own a 2011 Venza and the fit and finish is simply aweful! Not to mention I am in Canada and was visiting Florida and the price in the USA is $8000 cheaper and thats just the list price WTF? Canadian dollar is even with the US dollar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota is using junk parts in their 2010 Corolla. I bought one but the headlights are aimed too low. The car is being overdriven at night at 60 mph as the low beam headlights don't shine 300' and you can't stop that quick. The warning buzzer to warn the driver when exiting the car that the headlights have been left on is too low and can't be heard unless you have perfect hearing.The wipers don't take the rain away properly. The figures on the speedometer giving miles per hour on Canadian models are so small that they cannot be read at night unless you take your eyes off the road and concentrate on the figures. I get less miles per gallon than I did on the 2004 Corolla. Toyota dealers say they cannot adjust the headlights or the volume of the warning buzzer but the seat, steering wheel, windshield wipers, side mirrors, radio, CD player, etc. can be adjusted many, many different ways. A set screw to adjust the headlights and a volume control for the buzzer are needed. The car was designed by a little, old lady who only drove in daytime on a clear day at 50 MPH or less.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thanks for informing me autoblog.

      I know now that Toyotas rust, have brake pedals that get stuck, and now use cheap parts for the cars. I'm definitely never getting these shltboxes. Now where's my ford fiesta, fusion, or taurus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You forgot about engine sludge.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh god, please, just stop talking.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Camry, Camry Solara, Corolla, Matrix, Tacoma, Sienna, Tundra, I think are the ones that are built in America, from what I can remember. The rest of the lineup is imported from Japan and from other countries.

        Actually the other Japanese automaker like Mazda build their cars at the Michigan plant right by Fords and in Japan.

        Nissan builds cars in Aguascalientes, Mexico and of course their plants here in America, Japan and Europe.

        Honda is the same way. the CR-V, example, is built in Europe, America and another country.

        @ Derek: Awesome link!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do you realize the number of parts manufacturers for Toyota that are AMERICAN companies? Do you realize that most Toyotas are built in the U.S.? Do you realize that your Ford Fusion and Fiesta are built in Mexico?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mact: http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2009/07/domestic-parts-content-and-automakers.html

        Toyota did a great whitewashing campaign with their "made in America" ads. Sure, they have a lot more domestic parts than they used to, but are still well behind actual domestic manufacturers. In truth, their cars are more "assembled in the US" than made here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        mact, it's called sarcasm. everyone here knows I heart toyota.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ maz3o7:

        This list gets shorter in February - Corolla production moves to Canada to join the Matrix when NUMMI goes under.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bye bye quality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Finally, the GM-ization is nearly complete! Surely the Scion Aztek can't be far behind...
      • 5 Years Ago
      One poster touched on it.Unless any of you are steel workers or autoworkers, you probably don't know what has been going on.Even though many parts suppliers and even Caterpillar does.It is the illegal flooding of americans markets and many countries around the world by China selling their cheap crap chinese steel.And before anyone says that we have to cut costs to beat their prices,it cannot be done.Most chinese steelworkers make 4 dollars a week.We could fill our mills with illegal immigrants and still not make it cheaper than china.In 2005 our steelworkers marched on washington protesting the illegal dumping by China.Americans requested a 2% tariff increase to level the playing field.They were denied by republicans and democrats and told to consolidate.After the smoke cleared,many mills were bought out by independent groups including the chinese.Workers lost their pensions and were forced to work for half the pay to keep their jobs.Those who still had a job.There are only 23 blast furnaces in the US that makes iron to be converted to steel.Only 5 were online at minimum output.China as of 2005,because of trade agreements, had 3,000 online at maximum output.All this and never having bought one pound from america.Now we have right at 8 and they are standing behind our autogroups to keep american industries still going.Caterpillar has already turned their backs on america and import only chinese steel.And of course this plant is where Obama visited with the push from congress instead of visiting US Steel who is still single handedly fighting the chinese in courts without government backing.Some of you have a hardon against unions.Those unions are americans who built the working class.It is every working americans right under federal law to unionize for better wages,pensions and benefits.They have been reduced to 12% with the rise of corporate america.Where before unions asked for 10% of profits for employees has been replaced by management and CEOs consuming 25-35% of a companies profits.Our 10% made this country prosper and become the most powerfullest nation in the world.But now management and CEOs are raping the workers forcing their debt to be sold.How many banks and AIGs do we have to go through before americans see that.Do you like working for minimum wage?When the unions are gone,so is the middleclass.There will only be rich and poor again.The same as the great depression.And I don't want to live through that again twice in my lifetime.
      • 5 Years Ago
      American Manufacturing Corporations fled the US in droves primarily because of their inability to manage their processes. The set up shop in low cost manufacturing Geo's primarily for cost but the same old antiquated management practices continued to propagate. The American so-called support organizations like the ASQC dropped the ball also because they were tied to antiquated philosophies and practices. Toyota's business model was superior and allowed them to compete very effectively for many years. But now, Toyota is trying to leverage their enormous financial clout to stay competitive. However, their value proposition lacks viability in that it is becoming obsolete. All business is based on five key variables: Cycle Time, Accuracy, Cost, Flexibility and Relationship Management. If a corporation establishes key metrics aligned with these five key variables throughout their Value Delivery System, they will succeed. Otherwise, they will wind up like Chrysler or GM. The future belongs to the talented, the fleet of foot and those that understand what it takes to remain competitive. Setting arbitrary cost targets is a last ditch effort on a failing value proposition.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The American so-called support organizations like the ASQC dropped the ball also because they were tied to antiquated philosophies and practices. Toyota's business model was superior and allowed them to compete very effectively for many years."

        Toyota's "Business model" is little more than the standard Japan, Inc. playbook. A reliance on formulating business plans down to the most minute detail, and complete inflexibility when it comes to deviating from that plan. When things are going in your favor (e.g. bumbling competition) everything's great. But if something throws a wrench into that plan, then it's complete panic followed by near-paralysis; that is, until a new plan is formulated. And given the typical length of time before a decision, that plan could be obsolete by the time it's approved.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "cheaper parts" being substituted is not the only way to reduce parts expenses. Removing certain badges, or even leaving parts body-colored instead of repainting over it with black... stuff like this can hugely reduce expenses for such a "minor" change since the volume is so large.
      deeksha
      • 2 Years Ago
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