Toyota Motor wants to slash car prices by 30% 2013 through a new cost-cutting strategy.
The company is under pressure to become more competitive as Volkswagen, Hyundai Motor and others narrow the sales gap with rapid growth in China, India and other emerging markets.
Takeshi Shirane, senior managing director in charge of purchasing, told Reuters that, compared with Korean cars, Toyota’s vehicles are roughly 30% more expensive globally.
It now aims to cut its prices accordingly.
Under a scheme, called RR-CI, Toyota is tasking engineers and purchasing staff to work together to come up with the best way to design and manufacture 165 designated components, setting a unique cost reduction target for each. Suppliers are also asked to contribute ideas.
The plan, which came into operation late last year, marks a major departure from Toyota’s past practice of setting up project teams for each vehicle model to decide the ideal component design for that model only.
Shirane said that, previously, a model built and sold globally, such as the Corolla, had one blueprint that drew up the same component designs across the world. While that was effective for some components, it wasn’t for others, he added.
Under RR-CI, which stands for “ryohin” (quality) “renka” (low price), and cost innovation, Toyota wants to come up with designs that make better use of cheaper and locally available material, even if it means coming up with several different blueprints for the same part.
Shirane said: “I’m hoping that by the end of this year we’ll have come up with the best story for each of the 165 parts.”