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Toyota Shows Flexibility With Prius/Highlander/Tundra Moves. The flexibility automakers have to build different vehicles in different plants. Today the Toyota Japanese automaker said it will now build its red-hot Prius hybrid at its new plant in Tupelo, Mississippi, shift the Highlander SUV from that plant to its plant in Princeton, Indiana where it will take the place of assembly space currently used by the Tundra pick-up. In the future all Tundra’s will be built at Toyota’s plant in San Antonio.

The move comes the same day Toyota is announcing it will suspend Tundra and Sequoia production at the San Antonio and Princeton plants, because the company has a glut of those models. Toyota is not closing plants because it has the flexibility in it’s plants to shift to trucks/SUVs to cars/hybrids. Roughly 75% of the Asian automaker plants in the U.S. are flexible, compared with roughly 35% of the domestic plants. The Prius moving into the Tupelo plant is important since it signals how much growth Toyota expects from it’s hybrid. And in the future, that plant will have the flexibility to add other models into the plant, especially if Toyota expands the Prius line-up, as many expect to happen.

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Toyota provides its customers with constant access to Toyota’s high quality service standards. Toyota’s dealer network is ably manned by skillful technicians, supported by advanced facilities and using only Toyota genuine parts. At Toyota, customers are always mindful of Toyota after-sales service. In addition, Toyota devotes the best efforts to further improve its service system and facilities to give customers full satisfaction.

Every time Toyota customers purchase a new car, they get a survey in the mail within 10-45 days. The survey starts by asking how happy they are with their new car. If the customer isn’t happy, Toyota wants to know, in detail, why not. The survey is returned to Toyota headquarters in Torrance, CA, and then passed on to local dealerships, where individual customer problems are resolved.

Managers and workers: Toyota has also created a stressful work environment, each year; an estimated 200 to 300 employees are incapacitated or killed from overwork. Observing the production lines, we can see the workers are in constant motion, fetching pieces, stretching, bending into the cars and back out again. After two hours, they get a ten-minute break; two more hours work, a half-hour for lunch; two more hours, and so on. But very few workers seem to rest during the breaks. Most are busy tidying and re-supplying their work areas.

As a result of that, in order to produce a positive image, Toyota aims to increase its employees’ motivation and optimize the value of its human resources. In 2002, with the aim of reforming management throughout the company, Toyota set its sights on women’s participation, reviewing its arrangement with regard to female employees. In order to promote the creation of an environment more conducive to participation by motivated female employees, Toyota has made efforts to help enable women to work and raise children at the same time; to assist in women’s career building, and reform the working environment and employee awareness. As of March 2003, Toyota had approximately 5,800 female employees, accounting for 9% of the total workforce, but the number of women employed has grown steadily each year.

Besides, as of March 2003, Toyota employed about 800 disabled people in many kinds of positions at various workplaces. Toyota believes in helping the disabled achieve autonomy within society, and makes it a basic rule to have them work together with other employees. Strategies are plans for achieving organization goals. The importance of strategies can not be overstated; the Toyota’s strategies have a major impact on what the organization does and how it does it. Strategies can be long term, short term or intermediate term. To be effective, strategies are designed to support the Toyota’s mission and its organizational goal.

Toyota has made substantial long-term investments in Europe with the aim of designing and manufacturing vehicles that meet the needs of European customers. Guided by a clear vision of a sustainable future, It has developed a wide range of vehicles powered by advanced petrol, clean diesel and hybrid engines. Ever since the founding of Toyota, it has aimed to contribute to the creation of a prosperous society. It wants to grow as a company together with its stakeholders, including customers, employees, shareholders, business partners and society at large. To realise this ambition, it conducts the business operations with the utmost honesty and integrity.

Minimising environmental impact throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle has always been a top priority. Thanks to the extensive Research ; Development efforts, it has taken a leading role in developing and marketing new technologies and designs that limit the environmental burden of our cars. These efforts have become a hallmark of Toyota’s business philosophy for the 21st century, an approach which is based on a vision of sustainable mobility. Toyota’s goal is to turn customer satisfaction into Complete Customer Satisfaction. This means delivering beyond expectations to ensure that owners feel positive about Toyota vehicle at every stage of the customer experience. Toyota’s ongoing drive for excellence ensures that customers can experience its highest standards of quality, safety, performance and driving pleasure.

Toyota’s operations strategy focuses on maximum reliability, easy maintenance of its cars in each class, production systems that includes product design, processes, and supply chain management focused on its goal. Fewer man-hours, less inventory, this is how Toyota is. They consistently have the highest quality cars with the fewest defects compared to its competitors in the manufacturing (auto) industry. Its well-known “Toyota Production System” (TPS) or “Lean Production” seems to be Toyota’s secret weapon in improving the speed of its business processes, quality of its product and service, as well as the reduction of costs. The TPS developed as a new paradigm of manufacturing excellence, which transforms businesses across different industries.

This is the very core reason why Toyota, despite the competitors’ effort of imitation, continues to gain market share and huge profits continues on building new plants, retains a harmonious relationship with its supplier and enthusiastic workforce, with its labor costs retained at a lower amount compared to others. It is also described as “the fastest runner in the race” in auto industry. Production efficiency helps Toyota reach that point. Toyota’s record (most productive) of 27.9 hours per-vehicle time surpasses the record of its competitors like Ford and Chrysler. The tools of the TPS seem to work smoothly for them.

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