Toyota plans quality drive

14 December 2005

  • New programme to improve quality
  • Company has seen slight dip in reliability surveys
  • UK training centre to open next year

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It might have one of the strongest records for build quality and reliability, but Toyota is embarking on a new programme to improve its cars.

The company is worried sharp increases in production that are likely to soon make Toyota the biggest manufacturer in the world, have contributed to slight slips in reliability and customer satisfaction surveys.

Although Toyota is yet to drift out of the top five in What Car?'s Reliability Survey or the JD Power customer satisfaction polls, boss Sinichi Sasaki isn't happy and has launched a 'back to basics' programme.

To ensure customers don't have problems that Toyota has to solve once cars are sold, Sasaki is re-emphasising the company's core value of 'built-in quality'. A new global training centre will open in the UK next year to drive up quality.

Toyota has consistently placed in the top three of our reliability survey, but did slip from 2nd to 4th in the JD Power league table this year.

Sister-company Lexus has an even more enviable record, taking the overall top spot in the JD Power survey for a fifth straight year in 2005.

Toyota has already overtaken Ford become the world's second biggest car maker and could easily take the number one position from struggling General Motors. It is scrapping low-volume models like the MR2 roadster and Celica coupe to concentrate increasing sales with more popular models.

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