Toyota’s Thoughtful Innovation

With a horizon increasingly filled with hybrid, electric and non-petroleum power, meeting increased fuel economy demands will involve both energy efficiency and lightweighting.

For Toyota, that means steering toward global platform and drivetrain standardization to protect its leadership position.

“We are always searching for the best materials and best methods for constructing our vehicles,” says David Sawin, Vice President of Toyota North America Research & Development–Body Design Division.

“We want to bring our customers the best value by optimizing weight through thoughtful innovation of automotive body materials which reduce weight and improve performance without adding cost. Instead of relying on a single solution for lightweighting, our engineers try to find the best material for each specific application.”

In order to meet those oft-competing demands, the company is moving toward worldwide standardization.

Global Standard
Three years since it was announced, Toyota has pulled together its company-wide design, manufacturing, technology and business goals under the banner Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). The program integrates development of platforms, drivetrains and components across its model lineup.

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