Toyota world over upholds the philosophy of continuous improvement, believing that there is always scope for that, under the terminology ‘Kaizen.’ The tradition at Toyota has always been to provide premium quality cars backed with reliable services to the customers. With the Kaizen culture, the company strives to ensure this premium quality of international standards while taking into consideration the local sensitivities.
The assurance of quality at Toyota starts from the company’s design stage following to production unit – where each team member is responsible for passing along a perfect part or assembly to the next. Every team member has the authority and the responsibility to stop the line, if a component or assembly doesn’t meet our quality standards. Here at Toyota, quality is perceived as a culture from the early stages of the design process up until the cars roll off the assembly line.
The roots of Toyota’s quality assurance system can be traced back to when Sakichi Toyoda was still building and improving experimental loom models in 1905. Toyoda, father of the Japanese industrial revolution and founder of Toyota Industries once said: “A product should never be sold unless it has been carefully manufactured and has tested thoroughly and satisfactorily.”
His approach to quality assurance was reiterated when Toyota Motor Corporation Ltd (TMC) decided in the early 1960’s to implement Total Quality Assurance activities to solve quality issues early and prevent any reoccurrences. One such activity developed was the ‘Toyota Customer Follow-up System,’ which recorded customers’ addresses, names, car histories, vehicle problems, and repair locations onto cards. Due to the implementation of Total Quality Assurance activities, the quality of Toyota’s products improved.
Quality At TKM
Quality standards at Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) are constantly supervised by the Quality Assurance Division (QAD) which comprises of administrative and procedural activities. The QAD unit carries out these activities to ensure that the products or services offered fulfills the quality standards of the company, thus meet the expectations of the customers.
To sustain quality standards, the Quality Assurance Division at TKM conducts the Corporate Quality Month (CQM) every year in February to revisit the past quality issues. The theme for this year was ‘Customer First Quality Must for Everlasting Trust.’ The theme involved three main activities: Remind Activity, Reflect Activity, and Reform Activity.
The ‘Remind’ activity was to engage the stakeholders in reminding themselves of previous quality issues and customer grievances. The ‘Reflect’ activity ensured participation of all divisions adhering to the theme. Lastly the ‘Reform’ activity established companywide Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for all operations and provided training to relevant stakeholders.
The reputation of Quality Durability and Reliability (QDR) has further led Toyota’s steady growth in the Indian automotive market. All Toyota products are built on this foundation of QDR which has now reflected to over 1 million Indians who have joined the ever-growing Toyota family.
Unquestionably, the denotation of Quality at Toyota is closely associated with heritage of ‘Toyota way’. Maintaining quality throughout the production process has further helped Toyota build its reputation for quality. With this legacy and its impeccable eye for uncompromised quality, Toyota continues and will continue to remain synonymous with quality. For generations Toyota will be offering the best class drive with guaranteed comfort to the customers through all its products and services.