NEW YORK -- Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda is banking on an overhauled r&d strategy to kick the company his grandfather founded into growth mode after four years of crises.
The strategy will help boost Toyota's global sales beyond 10 million units a year, Toyoda told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automotive News. In 2007, Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn set a similar goal for the group -- 10 million sales by 2018.
"No company in this industry has ever exceeded 10 million units, but we would like to achieve that level," Toyoda said before the April 19 launch party of the global marketing campaign for Lexus. "And the means that we can use" to get there, he said, "is TNGA."
TNGA stands for Toyota New Global Architecture, a new approach that focuses on simultaneous development of multiple models and massive use of common modular components.
The shift in the company's approach to product development represents the biggest operating change of Toyoda's tenure, which so far has been hobbled by the global financial crisis, the company's worldwide recall fiasco, the 2011 earthquake in Japan and the yen's soaring exchange rate.
"If you compare it to soccer, it's like changing the field formation," Toyoda said. "As the head coach, I have changed us from a defensive formation to an offensive one."