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Toyota tells suppliers that some scratches or blemishes are acceptable

TOKYO – Toyota said on Tuesday it was happy to use scratched or blemished parts from suppliers as the world’s largest carmaker tries to cut costs amid limited production. regime. global chip shortage and increased material costs.

Toyota’s acceptance well enough of using parts it has thrown away in the past marks a significant change for a company known for its strict quality control and for its manufacturing practices. Japanese manufacturers, which often prioritize perfection over speed to market.

“We’re very careful about the appearance of our vehicles, the parts that you can easily see. But there are a lot of places where people don’t,” said Takefumi Shiga, Toyota’s vehicle development project manager. notice unless they’re really looking closely.” in a press conference.

Last month, Toyota raised its operating profit outlook to 12% for the year ended March 31, thanks to favorable currency rates. However, it warned that semiconductor shortages are limiting production and increasing raw material costs are hurting its underlying profit.

Shiga and other Toyota engineers are expanding a program starting in 2019 to meet with parts suppliers, even third-tier ones, to assure them that scratches or Flaws are acceptable as long as they don’t affect the safety and performance of the vehicle, and are unlikely to go unnoticed by car buyers.

“It requires some courage on their part,” Shiga said.

A visit to a company that makes plastic seat belt components has reduced the number of rejected components by three-quarters, he added.

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