Toyota, the world’s top-selling automaker, is utilizing its famous lean production methods to close the gap with electric vehicle (EV) leader Tesla. The automaker believes that by combining new technology with their proven manufacturing techniques, they can improve efficiency and reduce costs in the production of battery electric vehicles.
At a recent plant tour in Japan, Toyota showcased some of its latest advances in EV manufacturing. This included self-propelled assembly lines that eliminate the need for conveyor equipment, allowing for greater flexibility in production. Additionally, the company demonstrated its use of massive die casting to produce aluminum parts, a technique pioneered by Tesla. Toyota has developed molds that can be quickly replaced in the die casting process, reducing production time and increasing productivity.
Toyota’s commitment to continuous improvement and cost reduction, which have been central to its manufacturing success, are being applied to its EV production. The company is making efforts to catch up to Tesla in the EV market, as it accounted for only about 0.3% of global EV sales in 2022.
One notable innovation showcased by Toyota is the introduction of a self-driving transport robot at its Motomachi plant. The robot eliminates the need for truck drivers to manually fetch cars, reducing physical burden and allowing drivers to focus on driving. Toyota plans to have 10 of these robots in operation by next year and is considering expanding their use to other plants and potentially selling them to other companies.
Toyota’s commitment to lean manufacturing methods and their application to EV production are key factors in their strategy to close the gap with Tesla. The automaker aims to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase market share in the rapidly growing EV market.
– Reuters. (Source)