28 January 2021
Not only does Toyota have a reputation for innovation, incredible safety and dynamic styling, but the company also has an enviable reputation for the build quality of its cars, trucks and commercial vehicles. The British TV programme Top Gear once put this to the test by trying to ‘kill’ a Hilux. Even putting it on top of a building and then blowing it up couldn’t stop the Hilux from working! The paint may have been a little scratched, but the demonstration proved just how tough, long-lasting and reliable Toyotas are.
So what makes them so good? There are several reasons.
When Toyota develops a new car, they don’t rush it out to meet market demands. They take much longer than other manufacturers to bring new models to market, but it’s always well worth the wait. By taking a little longer to design and develop a new model it means that none of the departments working on the car are put under undue pressure and so produce their best work. It also means that any potential issues are identified and rectified well before the model goes into production.
No manufacturer makes every single part of a car ‘in-house’ so to create a new car means bringing in a network of suppliers and developers. Because Toyota is such a well-respected brand, the best suppliers want to work with this esteemed company. That allows Toyota to pick and choose its outside providers (such as Panasonic for the battery technology), selecting only the best partners to work with from the outset.
The pressure to bring a new model out every year can be intense in the automotive industry, but Toyota has never been a company that is swayed by outside influences. They take much longer in research and development before going to production, and they only release a new model when they’re 100% ready, regardless of what the competition is doing!
Toyota lets line workers actually stop the production line if they identify a problem. Rather than producing cars with flaws in them, Toyota’s team of dedicated workers refuse to let a single car leave the factory if they know there’s an issue. A little line down-time can prevent an incredibly costly worldwide recall later on.
Toyota has a reputation for exceptional build quality, so the welds are flawless, the steel is treated with corrosion preventative chemicals, and their paint is thicker than other manufacturers. This makes Toyota cars weather resistant so that they look better for longer.
From the outset, Toyota developed a set of principles called The Toyota Way. These 14 principles dictate not just how their cars are manufactured, but how their management system is structured and how they treat their workforce. Their number one principle is “Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.” So for Toyota, long-term success is far more important than short-term gain. This goes a long way to explain why their cars are so reliable, dependable, and long-lasting.