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Significant reform to return to the origin of the chief engineer, as seen in Toyota's TNGA.

My car is Toyota CH-R.


When I brought it to a regular inspection and spoke with a Toyopet salesman, he said, "Mr Yamada, it's been half a year before the vehicle inspection."


You are expected to change your car every time you inspect.

I'm looking forward to half a year later. 😂


My current car, CH-R, is from Toyota Motor East Japan's Iwate factory.


The Iwate factory has been working since the factory started, so it's like my hometown.


Many things were fun and painful. I was a little too old to call it my youth, but the experience at the factory is a beautiful memory for me.


The motivation for purchasing the CH-R was that this car was from my second home, the Iwate factory.


The other motivation for purchasing was that I wanted to try the category of crossover vehicles instead of SUVs.


It was a sporty car, so I was a little confused considering my age, but now I'm glad I decided.


Rather than that, this car is running, it has a very stable feeling, and the sound transmitted from the road surface is tranquil.


I was convinced that this was the meaning of the vision of "let's make a better car."



That should be that we have adopted a new platform called TNGA Toyota New Global Architecture.


Before, there have been movements such as standardization and modularization of the underbody (floor).


However, this TNGA is a revolution called innovation based on a larger vision.


When it comes to standardizing the underbody, we have achieved commonality among the models sold in Japan and among global models.


Vehicles with the same platform as the CH-R include the Prius, Lexus UX, and the new Corolla sedan & touring.



The Corolla I joined the company around 1980 was a twin with a car called a sprinter, but now the Corolla is about five children when viewed based on a common platform.


There are four types of passenger car platforms in total.

  • GA-B Platform / Aqua, Yaris

  • GA-C platform / Prius, C-HR, Lexus UX, new Corolla sedan & touring (Japanese specification is GA-C narrow version)

  • GA-K platform / Camry, RAV4, Lexus ES

  • GA-L platform / Lexus LS, LC, Crown (GA-L narrow version)

Based on these four types of flowers, 13 types of body silhouettes are made just by counting roughly.


TNGA is not a dedicated model for Japan or other countries but a policy for efficiently building cars globally.


It does not mean the narrow framework of standardization of platforms but the policy of car manufacturing itself.


Toyota's official announcement explains the following six items. But, first, I will explain what I noticed a little while I was travelling.


The reason why I felt the stability on the CH-R and the quietness of the road surface was the essential parts (platforms, units, etc.) related to the first item, "running," "turning," and "stopping."


Furthermore, I think the new development of a high-performance power train unit with a low centre of gravity has been achieved brilliantly.


The second item has the keyword "grouping development", which means developing the quintuplets above.


Since the underbody is expected, you can enjoy the economies of scale for the total number of quintuplets.


Furthermore, we aim to improve development efficiency by 20 to 30%.


The third item is said to be the activity of the quaternary unit.


Although it is an old word, it has been an activity involving suppliers for a long time, as it was said to be a "series". Still, it will be possible to jump over vehicle types further and develop efficiently.


Recently, closed and open innovation has been called for, but they will promote on a reasonably large scale.


The adoption of the fourth global standard further expands the framework of closed and open innovation.


When it comes to vehicle product development, the chief engineer was the leader, and with that leadership, he took the lead in the project. But, until now, it was an activity in the group of vehicle types.


In the future, it is expected that the activities will be divided into a wide range of activities within the platform framework and activities to bring out the individuality of each vehicle type.


According to media reports, in the development of CH-R, the development manager (chief engineer) went on a test run to the Nürburgring in Germany and thoroughly ran on a public road in Europe, which has a higher speed range than in Japan. I asked for high driving performance.


The Nürburgring is set closer to a mountain bend than the competition circuit, and there are curves with poor visibility. Nevertheless, they created stable manoeuvrability even with the tall C-HR and realized a sense of security by driving it to full power.


Also, in terms of design, the appearance, such as Keen Look, is widespread, and the outline of the car is harmonious, and I hear that it is highly evaluated in Europe.


The chief engineer will be freed from the traditional development method and will have extra time, so I think we will have more time to collect customer requests.


And it seems that President Akio Toyoda strongly wanted the chief engineer to return to the starting point. TNGA was also a measure for that.


It is a comment from President Akio Toyoda.


Immediately after assuming the post of president, I once asked Vice Chairman Uchiyamada.


I want Toyota to regain its original form as the chief engineer.

The chief engineer knows the customer better than anyone else.

He should be watching the changes in our customers.

I want you to raise such a chief engineer.



        Public explanation about TNGA

  1. For improvement of product power, We have developed the next platform. We change the car from the skeleton, realize a low hood and a low centre of gravity, and make it a car that appeals to customers' sensibilities, such as excellent design, good visibility, and improvement of exercise performance. , Will be introduced sequentially from the new model to be released in 2015. First of all, we aim to realize a "better car" by improving the performance of essential parts (platforms, units, etc.) related to "running", "turning", and "stopping". As for the power train unit, the car's core, we will develop a high-performance unit with a low centre of gravity and install it in sequence.

  2. "Making better cars" through grouping development and improving development efficiency. In the TNGA development process, Toyota's "architecture" first determines the medium- to long-term product lineup and then determines the units mounted on them, their arrangement, and driving position. It is defined as the design concept of car making). Then, based on the defined "architecture", we will promote the sharing of parts and units through "grouping development" that simultaneously develops multiple models and promotes "making better cars" and improving the efficiency of development. Although it depends on the parts and units, the introduction of TNGA aims to improve the development efficiency by 20 to 30%, and the resulting resources we will put into "making better cars".

  3. Manufacturing reform Supplier and procurement (department in charge of procurement of parts and units), production technology (department in charge of production technology), technology (department in charge of research and development), Realize a more straightforward parts/unit structure that is easier to make. As a result, a simple and compact manufacturing process can be created, and each part can be manufactured more than ever to ensure higher quality.

  4. Efforts to tackle global standards, in the past, parts development was based on Toyota's exclusive standards. Still, we will support global standards in the future so that standard parts that many automobile manufacturers globally adopt can also adopt.

  5. Procurement strategy linked to TNGA, The Procurement Department responds to the sharing of parts and units through "grouping development," collects multiple vehicle types, and globally implements "bulk orders" across vehicle types, regions, and times. , We will continue to secure further competitiveness.

  6. Based on Toyota's Global Vision, Toyota will continue to aim to be a corporate citizen who can contribute to creating a prosperous local community through the creation of better cars and be accepted as a member of a "good town and good society." We will work to make cars that exceed Toyota's expectations.


What is the origin of the chief engineer?


I called him the chief engineer, but I first called him. Then, of course, the chief examiner is a deputy general manager, but the chief examiner was exceptional from that time on.


Tatsuo Hasegawa developed the Crown under the supervision of Mr Nakamura and later became the first Corolla chief.


At that time, Mr Hasegawa was from the Department of Aviation, Tokyo Imperial University, which has a capacity of nine people.


He loved aeroplanes, so he dared to aim there. Then, around the third or fourth grade of elementary school, a French-made biplane called Salmson flew to the Army's assault course and flew aerobatic.


It was so thrilling that it made me chill, and I was deeply moved.


The aircraft department graduates were forced to join Nakajima Aircraft and Mitsubishi Aircraft, making "Zero Fight", a new aeroplane maker made by the Army and Navy because there was a system called employment allocation system by the military. ..


As a result of consultations with nine students, it was decided to prioritize the poor students and give them where they want to get a job.


When I was reluctant, Nakajima Aircraft and Mitsubishi Aircraft were decided in a blink of an eye, and finally, the allocation tickets were gone.


Now, what should I do? First, I wouldn't say I like Manchuria Airplane; I wouldn't say I like Showa AirplaneTachikawa Airplane negotiated with the Army behind the scenes to get a dark ticket and scouted.


I didn't feel like it, but I decided to join the company. Because it is a company in Tokyo, and Tachikawa Aircraft is second-class and small in scale, so I thought that I might be able to become the chief designer (chief design engineer) of the aeroplane sooner. There is a history of it.


Tachikawa Aircraft was a company that had never designed a fighter aircraft, but Mr Hasegawa's name was known to the Army for research on wing cross-sections, so I have a faint expectation that it may pass. Had


The Army wanted a fighter that could shoot down BR at that time. So, only at this time, I decided to say, "OK, try it."


Thus, the military issued an order to develop the BG air defence fighter "Key" for interception.


It was then that it was difficult. Mr Hasegawa will lead the development as the chief designer of "Key".


His experience led to the introduction of the chief examiner system after joining Toyota.


As the chief designer of an aeroplane, you have to decide everything yourself.


Above all, the basics of fuselage weight, the fuselage size, the area and thickness of the wings, etc., must be decided by the chief designer during the initial design process.


The fate of the aeroplane and the quality of the aeroplane are determined by the initial design.


Besides, no one will teach me new techniques, so I had no choice but to challenge myself, and of course, no one could guide me to be a chief designer, so I learned it myself. So there is no choice but to do it.


I thought about everything myself and experienced it for myself. Then, the "key" was finally completed, but shortly after that, the war ended and never flew in the sky.



Chief Tatsuo Hasegawa was the person who introduced the chief examiner system.


Mr Hasegawa thought that the chief designer system itself in aircraft development or software such as planning methods in product development should be introduced.


What is the planning method in aircraft product development? For example, when planning weight or planning costs, the chief designer first holds the overall frame, in which the engine is several kilometres and the chassis. It is distributed to each department, such as how many kilometres. (Distribution of goals)


The point is that the chief designer always has about 5% savings.


It is the same theory that the Treasury assesses each ministry's budget, and if you insist on wearing this equipment during development, there is always the possibility of being overweight.


At that time, share the weight from the chief designer's savings,


The development system based on the chief designer system is that the chief designer controls all processes in a centralized and pyramidal manner.


-Please do not confuse it with ​​managing buffers, such as Agile and TOC (Theory of Constraints) theory.


At that time, automobile companies all started developing passenger cars when GHQ approved the production of passenger cars.


However, except for Toyota, all were licensed in production, including cars and production equipment.


Toyota is the only company that has taken on developing in-house.


The company motto, "Provide cars for the people on our own," has been the spirit since our founding, and above all, when we try to develop a new car, production technology becomes critical.


For that reason, I thought that I had to accumulate production know-how on my own, no matter how difficult it was.


Mr Hasegawa said that if he develops in-house, he should introduce the chief designer system, that is, the chief designer system, which is the know-how of aircraft development.


Around that time, Eiji Toyoda, his managing director, decided to introduce the chief examiner system.


Eiji Toyoda's famous phrase, "The chief examiner is the president of the product," was coined by Mr Hasegawa.



Finally, I would like to introduce the episode where the first Corolla was born. It is the actual value of the original chief examiner, the chief examiner who President Akio Toyoda expects.


There was a car called Publica. In 1959, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry launched the national car concept for this car in 1955.


Toyota also raised its hand on this national car concept and started a development that year.


However, it didn't go well, and the development did not proceed as expected.


At that time, President Eiji Toyoda and the top executives had an intense talk about the product development concept, ignoring the thoughts of the chief examiner.



Mr Hasegawa was one of the first to grasp customer changes even before the development of the Publica.


However, it was difficult for me to understand the perception that the Corolla was waiting within the company.


He wanted to convince the upper management, so he asked Toyota's president Kamiya to give him a chance to speak directly.


At that time, it was a time when self-manufacturing and self-sales were separated.


"The world is growing steadily. In the future," Publica "will not work.


We have to plan a slightly higher class attractive product.


The new product can be used in the coming Japanese highway era.


We will also be responsible for competing in the European market, "said Mr Kamiya.



He desperately asked, saying, "We will make a car that will sell, so please cooperate with the dealer."


He talked with all his might. That probably touched Kamiya-san's heart.



Mr Kamiya took three hours to listen to the story while he was busy, and after a few weeks, he called to talk to me again.


Did he talk for about three hours again? Then, the story extended to how to proceed with a concrete project.


I don't know if it's true or false, but perhaps Kamiya-san was convinced of my story and got into Toyota Motor Corporation.


He should have said, "Since sales are the responsibility of self-sales, please authorize them within the development project self-manufacturing."


Shortly after that, they upgrade the project to a company-wide project.


The method of asking for support from outside the company is to crush the self-made men, and it also means that they skipped the job system, so it was natural that there were criticisms.


However, that was the exciting part of Toyota, and no one criticized it.


The project started when Eiji Toyoda was given a sign.

Because Toyota has an atmosphere in which upper management can freely express their opinions.


If necessary, give an opinion to the chairman and the president.


"When the organizational reform of the engineering department was difficult, I once explained to Mr Eiji, who was the Honorary Chairman at the time. The Honorary Chairman encouraged me," If you do it thoroughly. " I remember Mr Yoshiro Kanahara, the chairman of Toyota Motor Counselor (at that time), telling me.



That freedom and openness create many thinking employees and support the Toyota Production System, which values ​​ingenuity.



Yamada has a similar experience, although the scale is different.


He was eager to develop management Kaizen activities within the company.

A person opposed it in the middle, so I went directly to the president to explain.

It was

I had received 15 minutes to meet the president through his secretary. But there were many reports, and I almost ran out of time.

He told me, "Yamada, please come back later."

I got the president's consent while doing extra work in the bathroom. It is also a good memory.



Mr Hasegawa thought that he reserved the idea by taking the lesson of "Publica's failure". He thought it was a profit-oriented, manufacturer-centric idea.


What do customers want, and what do they like? Mr Hasegawa thinks that if we do not give priority to customers, we will fail.


The blow is a comment from President Akio Toyoda.


I want Toyota to regain its original form as the chief engineer.


The chief engineer knows the customer better than anyone else.


They should be watching the changes in customers.



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