The world’s biggest car maker, Toyota,
has unveiled its new platform strategy, which will underpin all its cars
starting with the next-generation Prius in 2015.
Introduced by Mitsuhisa Kato, member of the Toyota board, as a way of “making
ever better cars,” the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) is a response
to the wave of safety recalls which have engulfed the company’s vehicles in
the last decade, as well as increasing competition from Japanese rival Honda
and stiff competition from Ford and GM in the US.
The new common-platform strategy is similar to that used by Volkswagen,
Renault’s Dacia brand, Volvo and most other of the largest car makers.
Toyota’s is based around a common ‘hip-point’ driver-seating position, which
allows a similar set of body pressings around the footwell and bulkhead
across models. In short this means that similarly sized cars such as the
C-segment Corolla, Prius and Auris will share development paths and
under-the-skin designs and componentry.
Kato says this will save up to 30 per cent on development times and costs
(although he says mechanical systems that result will also have longer
production lives), as well as reducing%