2013-07-22 08:18:02 -
Tokyo, July 22, 2013 - (JCN Newswire) - Tajimi Service Center is TMC's first facility in Gifu Prefecture and I'd like to express my gratitude for the invaluable support and encouragement that has been extended this project.
I'd like to talk about some of the key philosophies adopted by the whole of Toyota, from the manufacturing field to everyone at our dealers.
I'd like to relate an episode that happened around the time of the foundation of Toyota and illustrates the after-sales services provided to the customer after vehicle delivery.
In 1935, Toyota launched the G1 truck, our first production vehicle. Unfortunately, it was affected by a series of parts failures and it often broke down.
Whenever Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of Toyota,
heard about this, he would race to the site of the breakdown, dive under the truck to fix it and apologize over and over to the customer.
He would then take the problem part home, find out the issue, fix it and then apply the lessons he learned to the next vehicle.
This is a living definition of three of our key philosophies: Customer First, Quality First, and Genchi-Genbutsu (i.e., going to the see the situation on the ground).
These philosophies have remained unchanged since the company's foundation and we will continue to pass them on to future generations. These philosophies are the origins of Toyota.
I have been the President of TMC for four years and, in that time, we have faced many difficulties. Through these experiences, we have learned many truly valuable lessons.
We experienced a series of quality issues that greatly inconvenienced our customers, and all of us at Toyota were strongly reminded about the importance of quality. We vowed to become a company that prioritizes the safety and peace of mind of customers over everything else.
Among the quality issues, in addition to the accelerator pedal problems, there was a problem with the brakes of the third-generation Prius. This was widely reported in the media. Our investigations revealed that, under certain conditions, the brake application timing was 0.06 seconds slower than the previous model. In terms of distance, this equals about 70 centimeters.
We thought that the brake setting was safe. However, if the customer feels uneasy, then we cannot say that we have prioritized safety and peace of mind over everything else. As the expectations of our customers increase and become more varied, we have relearned the importance of verifying the customer's experiences from their viewpoint through genchi-genbutsu, and then communicating thoroughly. A little time later, we gave the media an opportunity to test drive the third-generation Prius. Thanks to this, we were able to explain the details, but I deeply regretted our failure to apply genchi-genbutsu right away. This incident underlined the importance of genchi-genbutsu-based communication.
The Tajimi Service Center will play a vital role in implementing the philosophies of Toyota's origins and the lessons we learned from the quality issues.
After a customer takes delivery of a vehicle, it is driven on all sorts of roads. No vehicle is used in the same way and all sorts of things happen that cannot be anticipated at the development stage. It is impossible to build a vehicle that will never break down.
So, we have to respond to events as quickly and as accurately as possible. To do this, we have to raise the level of our maintenance skills so that customers can use their vehicles for a long time, and raise the level of our technical repair skills to fix any problems that occur with the vehicle.
We must approach these tasks from the customer's viewpoint and thoroughly communicate. This defines the essential nature of customer service for us, which is to ensure customer safety and peace of mind.
At the Tajimi Service Center, we have built a drive-evaluation course to simulate road surfaces from around the world. We will use these roads to reproduce the conditions in which customers use their vehicles.
TMC's vehicles are driven all over the world in many different environments. Checking these usage conditions through genchi-genbutsu is a valuable capability and part of our ongoing efforts to develop after-sales service staff through training courses tailor-made to the situation.
Customer service cannot be performed by the manufacturer alone. After-sales service staff directly interact with the customer around the world. Together with our after sales service staff, we are making every effort to build a global team to help realize a safer and more secure mobile society.
We have collected together our technical service capabilities here at the Tajimi Service Center, and by doing so, we can take the next step toward ever-better cars and ever-better services. This should help us to exceed customer expectations and be rewarded with a smile.
Here in Gifu, like everywhere around the world, we will carry on doing everything we can to achieve these goals.
<BR /><BR />Supported by people around the world, Toyota Motor Corporation (TSE: 7203; NYSE: TM), has endeavored since its establishment in 1937 to serve society by creating better products. As of the end of March 2012, Toyota conducts its business worldwide with 50 overseas manufacturing companies in 27 countries and regions. Toyota's vehicles are sold in more than 160 countries and regions. For more information, please visit www.toyota-global.com.
Contact:Toyota Motor Corporation Public Affairs Division Global Communications Department Tel: +81-3-3817-9926
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