Toyota Reinvents Manufacturing to Take on Tesla in the EV Era

Toyota is revamping its renowned production system to challenge Tesla in the electric vehicle (EV) era, introducing a range of new manufacturing technologies set to debut within a few years.

The Japanese automaker, known for pioneering lean manufacturing, is revisiting its factories, production lines, and logistics to adopt innovative approaches that could accelerate the release of a new generation of EVs in just three years.

One of the key solutions Toyota plans to embrace is the concept of cars autonomously driving through factories without traditional assembly lines, a technique popularized by Tesla. Despite Tesla’s success in redefining car production, Toyota remains confident in the potential of its Toyota Production System and aims to surpass competitors with breakthroughs rooted in continuous improvement, or “kaizen,” principles.

During a recent briefing, Toyota executives showcased their upcoming production technologies, aiming to halve the number of production processes, plant investment, and production lead time required to introduce new models.

These advancements align with Toyota’s “BEV-first mindset” championed by CEO Koji Sato, who envisions global sales of 3.5 million EVs annually by 2030. As the industry landscape shifts toward electric vehicles, Toyota recognizes the need for a radical shift in manufacturing practices.

To achieve this transformation, Toyota plans to leverage gigacasting, a method pioneered by Tesla, to reduce the number of parts by casting vehicle sections as large modules. Gigacasting, along with the implementation of self-propelled production lines, digitalization, and increased automation, will enhance efficiency, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness in Toyota’s manufacturing processes.

While Toyota faces fierce competition from emerging automakers like Tesla and BYD, the company’s commitment to continuous improvement and adoption of cutting-edge technologies positions it to regain a leading position in the EV market. By combining its rich manufacturing heritage with forward-thinking strategies, Toyota aims to navigate the transition to electric vehicles successfully and secure its position among the top players in the industry.

EV Evangelist, Passionate About Electric Vehicles/Mobility. Tune in on X : @HDEONEV