The biggest thing that Toyota is known for is its reliable vehicles. Their vehicles last long, like really long. In past, they have offered extended warranties up to 2.2 lakhs that too on all models! There have been many examples of Toyota’s vehicles that have covered many kilometres. We have seen a Qualis that has covered more than 8 lakh kilometres, then there are Innovs that have covered more than 6 lakh kilometres and one has covered 10 lakh kilometres! It is said that a vehicle loses 5 to 10 percent value as soon as it leaves the dealership and the depreciation continues over the life of the vehicle.
Toyota themselves claimed that their vehicles hold up to 68 percent of value after 5 years. When we check the pre-owned market, there are many Toyota vehicles that are still holding their values better than other vehicles. One of the biggest reasons behind this is the reliability that Toyota vehicles offer. So, what is it that makes their vehicles so reliable. We explain.
Secret #1: Jidoka
Jidoka is a Japanese word that translates to ‘automation with a human touch’. We all know that all vehicles now are built by robots or automation but what Toyota does is the complete opposite. They start off by making every part of the vehicle through bare hands so that every part is perfect. Once the hand-built part is up to Toyota’s 100 percent specification, then it is put through an automated process. This ensures that every part is near 100 percent perfect. However, this is also the reason why Toyota has very limited optional extras. Because it takes so much time to build every part that Toyota has to limit their optional extras.
Once the part is perfected then they use the same part for many of their vehicles in their line-up. This ensures that the part is replicated and is perfect in all the vehicles. Also, this reduces the production cost of the part because they are manufacturing it for so many vehicles. For instance, the Toyota Fortuner and Innova Crysta share the same 2.7-litre petrol engine that produces 166 PS and 245 Nm in both vehicles. Earlier, both of them also used to share the same diesel engines too.
Secret #2: Kaizen
Kaizen is again a Japanese word that means ‘change for the better’. You might have studied it in school. In Toyota, any employee can stop the production line if he or she sees scope for improvement or a problem that should be fixed. An employee can be anyone irrespective of his position. This helps the manufacturer in catching the problem on the production line itself and helps to improve the manufacturing process. Toyota is always open to new suggestions that can help them perform more efficiently. Now, other big manufacturers have also started following the principle of Kaizen.
Secret #3: Function over form, and overengineering
Well, Toyota’s third secret has proven itself in every market. It is very difficult to kill a Toyota car. They last for many lakhs of kilometres. Toyota always overengineers their parts so that they can anything that the owner can throw at it. There are instances where people would have to sell their vehicle because of some issue but that issue was not related to mechanicals or the engine. People who buy a Toyota mostly use it for a very long time and because they are so overengineered, the maintenance cost of them is also less when compared to the competitors.