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    Toyota May Not Recover Until 2012
    Toyota May Not Recover Until 2012

    Once the most profitable automaker, Toyota Motor Co. has lost it shine because of the disasters that haunt the company this year. Toyota planned to run its facilities overtime in order to recoup production lost due to shortages caused by the Japan's earthquake. According to Bloomberg, the plans may be delayed till 2012 because of the Thailand floods, which are the biggest disruptions since the March 2012 earthquake.

    On the official web-site, Toyota says that reduced hours for Japanese facilities will be extended until at least November 12. As for the US and Canada facilities, the company will continue to suspend Saturday output and overtime. Next week, facilities in the Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan will reduce production as well. TMC, which is scheduled to announce its financial results next week, reported that they haven't decided on the production plans beyond November 14 as they continue to review parts supplies and assess the situation.

    According to TMC's estimates, announced by Toyota's spokesmen Dion Corbett, the flood prevented the company from making approximately 22,000 vehicles in Japan and 69,000 units in Thailand since October 10, 2011. As an analyst with IHS Automotive Tracy Handler said, Toyota won't be able to expand production until the Q1 of 2012.

    North American Division of Toyota Will Have More Authority
    North American Division of Toyota Will Have More Authority

    Toyota has announced that in the nearest future the executives of its North America division will have more authority and control over the design and development of the new products. Being unique to the Unites States market, the Toyota Tundra, Venza, Sienna, Tacoma and Avalon will be developed and assembled without receiving the approval of the Japanese bosses on each step of the production process.

    "We are going to implement the process from design to preparation for production to development, cost planning, and identifying and selecting suppliers," said Yoshi Inaba, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. "All these processes are going to be 100 percent done here, without going back to Japan for approval."

    Before this decision was approved by the Akio Toyoda, President Toyota Motor, a chief engineer in Nagoya was appointed to control nearly every stage of the products' production. It is expected that the newly adopted decision will increase the quality of the upcoming cars as well as will shorten the time intervals of the internal processes, involved into production.

    Toyota Needs to Restructure Its Vehicle-Safety Management
    Toyota Needs to Restructure Its Vehicle-Safety Management

    An advisory panel assigned by the company stated that Toyota's latest management changes were not quite successful in solving numerous safety problems discovered during the past decade. According to the panel headed by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, worldwide recalls of millions of vehicles since 2009 were partly caused by too centralized decision-making. It was actually found to be too Japan-based. The panel's 60-page report claimed that Toyota's defensive attitude and skepticism toward the customer also played a role, and the company should attain to the level of U.S. safety regulators' goals, but less centralize on industry lobbyists. While Toyota was short of top safety executive until April, the seven-member panel, paid by the automaker, asserted that it wasn't able to "identify a clear management chain of responsibility for safety." As for company's future, the panel assures it is optimistic. Indeed, federal investigations didn't detect any electronic reasons for unintentional acceleration. Moreover, Toyota's Global Vision 2020 puts safety as the first priority, and the management tends to carry out positive changes. Panel members consider that these changes imply that Toyota would respond faster if safety problems were brought to the surface.

    The company is really concerned about restoring its status of the foremost leader in auto manufacturing. Toyota President Akio Toyoda stated that further insights into the way of approaching customers' expectations with the most reliable vehicles were already given by the panel. Having appointed Steve St. Angelo as a chief quality officer for North America, Toyota is going to assign the CEO for North American operations. Following the panel's advice, the company appointed Moritaka Yoshida to CSTO (chief safety technology officer) position last month. Toyota is also suggested to assign a director from a key regional market such as North America. Analyzing the management failures, Akio Toyoda reported that Toyota executives' low efficiency is the result of "hubris born of success".

    In accordance with the report, Toyota should leave decoding devices (which require updates too often) the thing of a past and facilitate downloading of crash information from electronic data records or black boxes. Another suggestion was that Toyota's vaunted Production System and Way principles should be employed outside manufacturing. While the company detects manufacturing error, paying attention to the source of the problem, it would rather concentrate on vehicle design, customer feedback, corporate governance, and regulatory affairs. The panel's report was finished at the midpoint of two-year term, so the panel is intended to control the realization of these recommendations.