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Toyota Electrification Plans To Boost Presence In Asia-Pacific EV Market

Toyota Electrification Plans To Boost Presence In Asia-Pacific EV Market

Toyota is set to unveil the concept version of the first model in its new battery electric vehicle (BEV) series, the Toyota bZ4X, in Shanghai and establish a full line-up of EVs to reduce CO2 emissions with the aim of having 70 electrified models by 2025.

Following this news, Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“Toyota presently has only 4 BEVs in its portfolio and the new launches will enhance its position in the Japan and global BEV market. Several global OEMs, including Toyota, presently do not have a strong BEV portfolio due to their strategic priorities, low volumes and profitability concerns with battery vehicles. But the EV scenario has changed rapidly and there are significant opportunities in EV space due to push from the regional governments, reduction in costs and the availability of wide-range of products.

In addition to global market, Toyota’s BEV portfolio expansion will help it to tap significant opportunities in its home market, Japan, which presently does not have attractive BEV offerings and is witnessing high growth in demand for BEVs from select players such as Nissan and Tesla. Nissan’s Leaf is the only popular and successful BEV available for the mass market in Japan. While Tesla caters to the premium segment with sales of nearly 2,000 units annually.

In the recent past, Asia-Pacific has witnessed major developments in the EV market. Players such as Hyundai are trying to lead with innovative products and standout features while technology companies such as Huawei, Sony and Xiaomi are trying to penetrate the BEV market. The market is getting fiercely competitive day by day and automakers need to respond with suitable products to make their future sustainable.”

 

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Toyota Industries Corporation And Siemens Partner On Digital Transformation For Die Casting

Toyota Industries Corporation And Siemens Partner On Digital Transformation For Die Casting

To support their goal of manufacturing quality parts, Toyota Industries Corporation and Siemens have cooperated to develop artificial intelligence (AI) that can predict product abnormalities in aluminium die casting, a key process in automotive air conditioning compressor production.

The development is one of the world’s first to use defect prediction AI for die casting. It improves quality and productivity by utilising the AI application in Industrial Edge, the Siemens edge computing platform for industry. The initiative is an innovative example of digital transformation in manufacturing, and Toyota Industries Corporation aims to use it to further evolve their technology and incorporate it into their production plants in Japan and overseas. Siemens hopes that more businesses in the manufacturing industry will adopt their digitalisation and automation solutions such as Industrial Edge.

Aluminium die casting is a high-speed moulding process in which molten aluminium is shot into a die at high pressure. It is ideal for the accurate manufacture of metal cast parts that demand high dimensional precision, and therefore is often used for automotive parts that require high quality and reliability.  The die casting process is challenging to manage due to a range of constantly changing production conditions such as variations in the molten aluminium temperature or the injection rate. Success relies on the judgement of experienced workers, and sometimes the parts require secondary processing to handle abnormalities and maintain high quality standards.

During development, the two companies used a Siemens Simatic S7-1500 controller to gather big data totaling approximately 40,000 data points per die casting shot at the model line and then analysed the data using AI technology. They succeeded in preventing defects and improving quality by monitoring the production status in real time and automatically predicting equipment abnormalities that lead to quality issues. The production data is processed by the defect prediction AI on Industrial Edge, enabling instant analysis of the data on production conditions at the time of a shot and assessment of the part quality immediately after the casting. This series of AI technologies boosts productivity, improves quality, and transforms how operators work

“Digital transformation is a game changer. I am delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Toyota Industries Corporation in this revolutionary endeavor and to work together to forge the future,” says Rainer Brehm, CEO of Factory Automation, Siemens AG. “We will continue to develop and provide solutions for industries incorporating the latest technologies and to contribute to optimised and sustainable manufacturing.”

 

 

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Mazda And Toyota Joint Venture Commits Additional $830 Million To Cutting-Edge Manufacturing Technologies

Mazda And Toyota Joint Venture Commits Additional $830 Million To Cutting-Edge Manufacturing Technologies

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, (MTM), the new joint-venture between Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation, has announced an additional $830 million investment to incorporate more cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to its production lines and provide enhanced training to its workforce of up to 4,000 employees.

Total funding contributed to the development of the state-of-the-art facility in US is now $2.311 billion, up from the $1.6 billion originally announced in 2018. The investment reaffirms Mazda and Toyota’s commitment to produce the highest-quality products at the facility. It also accommodates production line enhancements made to improve manufacturing processes supporting the Mazda vehicle and design changes to the yet to be announced Toyota SUV that will both be produced at the plant.

The new facility will have the capacity to produce up to 150,000 units of a future Mazda crossover vehicle and up to 150,000 units of the Toyota SUV each year. MTM continues to target up to 4,000 new jobs and has hired approximately 600 employees to date, with plans to resume accepting applications for production positions later in 2020.

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Ford & Toyota—First Automakers To Suspend Production In Vietnam Due To Covid19

Ford & Toyota—First Automakers To Suspend Production In Vietnam Due To Covid19

In response to the growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid19), Ford Motor Company has announced that the company will be temporarily suspending vehicle and engine production at its International Markets Group (IMG) manufacturing sites which includes Vietnam.

READ: Coronavirus Hits Automotive And Aerospace Supply Chains

In January 2020, Ford announced an expansion plan for its plant in Vietnam to increase annual production capacity from the current 14,000 to 40,000 vehicles, with an investment of US$82 million.

However, Ford Vietnam’s Hai Duong assembly plant has now been scheduled to stop operations by March 26—the first to do so in the country. This will continue for several weeks depending on the pandemic situation, national restrictions, supplier constraints and dealer stock requirements.

READ: Coronavirus Outbreak Reveals the Weakest Links In The Supply Chain

Similarly, Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV) has also temporarily halted vehicle production starting March 30—the second in Vietnam. According to TMV, the outbreak has impacted all aspects, from economy to society, including the automobile industry and resumption of production will be dependant on the outbreak situation, market demand, supply chain situation, the dealers’ stock and Government’s restriction regulation.

“We are taking necessary actions to protect their safety and health as well as minimising any impact on our company’s operation. While closely monitoring the situation, we will consider and make decisions guided by the direction from the Government,” said a representative from TMV.

READ: COVID-19 Forces Companies To Evaluate How They Operate And Embrace Technological Investment

According to Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), sales of members decreased 26 percent to 31,908 in end of February due to the impact of Covid19. In particular, sales of passenger and commercial vehicles dipped 30 and 12 percent respectively due to changing consumer behaviour in light of the pandemic.

 

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Toyota Strengthens Automotive Production Amidst Challenging Year

Toyota Strengthens Automotive Production Amidst Challenging Year

Thailand’s automotive market reached 1,007,552 units in 2019 according to Toyota Motor Thailand, which represents a three percent decrease compared to the previous year. This is the fourth time in the history of the Thai automotive market to hit over one million-unit level even though the market showed a sharp decline in the latter half of last year, especially from September.

2019 Market Result

2019 SalesDifference
Compared to 2018
Total Sales1,007,552 units-3.3%
Passenger Cars398,386 units-0.3%
Commercial Vehicles609,166 units-5.1%
1-ton Pickups (Including PPV)492,129 units-3.8%
Pure Pickups431,677 units-3.4%

 

However, 2020 will be another challenging year for Thailand’s automotive industry. Mr. Michinobu Sugata, President of Toyota Motor Thailand projected, “We are facing with the headwinds, including the decreasing level of consumer confidence and private consumption, tightening car-loan scheme, and continued uncertainty of the global economic trends. Taking these unfavourable factors into consideration, we expect that the total market will be 940,000 units, representing a seven percent decrease from last year.”

 

2020 Domestic Sales Forecast

2020 Sales
Projection
Difference
Compared to 2019
Total Sales940,000 units-6.7%
Passenger Cars358,500 units-10.0%
Commercial Vehicles581,500 units-4.5%

 

In 2019, Toyota was able to overcome the market negative growth and achieve a six percent increase in the domestic sales (accounting for 332,380 units), owing to the positive feedbacks from valued customers and the launch of their all-new model passenger car and commercial vehicles.

For 2020, Toyota will be focused on strengthening their product line-up with the upcoming models and product improvements to respond to various customer needs, while also enhancing the ownership experience of their customers from the very first day of their purchase to the end of the product life cycle.

“As the automotive industry has entered a once-in-a-century period of profound transformation, Toyota is now aiming at transforming from a car manufacturing company to a “Mobility Company” which implies a proactive engagement in all kind of services related to mobility to people in the society,” Mr. Sugata commented.

The company is committed to the creation of an Ever-Better Society through a wide variety of environment-friendly initiatives such as hybrid EV introduction in various models and providing good fuel efficiency as well as lower CO2 emissions. Moreover, to create a sustainable green society, Toyota aims to expand and transfer environment-friendly knowledge to local communities through two learning centers—“Toyota Biotope” and “Toyota Green Town Ayutthaya”.

Furthermore, to foster a sustainable economy, Toyota has helped improved businesses and develop the local economy through transferring business knowhows and practices to SMEs, under “Toyota Social Innovation” project.

“All in all, we are deeply proud to be a part of contributing to sustainable growth alongside Thai society,” Mr. Sugata concluded.

 

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Toyota Motor Opens Battery Recycling Plant In Thailand

Toyota Motor Opens Battery Recycling Plant In Thailand

Toyota Motor Thailand has opened a battery life cycle management plant in Chachoengsao to circulate batteries of hybrid cars sold in Thailand. The company has shifted its battery recycling operations from Europe to Thailand to strengthen its commitment in sustainability and eco-friendly cars.

As part of Toyota Motor’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Battery Life Cycle Management (3R Scheme) project, the new facility will collect and inspect used batteries and sort them into three types of usage, depending on the level of deterioration. High-efficiency modules will be reassembled and sold at a third of the price of new batteries, moderate-efficiency modules are reused as storage cells for buildings and factories, while low-efficiency modules will be sent to Japan for extraction of reusable raw materials like nickel to produce new hybrid batteries. The facility will be able to diagnose 10,000 units and recycle 20,000 units a year.

“We believe that the 3R Scheme will significantly reduce the cost of hybrid batteries, mitigate negative environmental impact and establish a solid foundation in preparation for the future growth of the electrified vehicle market,” said Michinobu Sugata, president of Toyota Motor Thailand.

Toyota has invested US$622 million on hybrid vehicle production in Thailand and plans to assemble 7,000 hybrid cars a year and produce 70,000 batteries at the Chachoengsao plant.

 

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Toyota To Invest Two Billion In Indonesia For Electric Vehicles

Toyota To Invest Two Billion In Indonesia For Electric Vehicles

Reported by Bangkok Post, Toyota Motor Corp plans to invest $2 billion to develop electric vehicles (EV) in Indonesia over the next four years, starting with hybrid vehicles.

“From 2019 to 2023, we will progressively increase our investment to 28.3 trillion rupiah ($2.00 billion),” said Akio Toyoda, Toyota president in a statement released by the ministry for maritime affairs.

The Japanese carmaker said this month that it aimed for half its global sales to be from electric vehicles by 2025.

Indonesia, one of Southeast Asia’s largest auto production hub, has set a goal of increasing proportion of electrified autos to 20 percent of total output by 2025. Furthermore, Indonesia has plentiful reserves of nickel laterite ore, a vital ingredient in the lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs, and has been making a push to attract foreign carmakers.

“Because the Indonesian government already has an electric vehicle development map, Toyota considers Indonesia as a prime EV investment destination,” Mr Toyoda said in the statement.

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Toyota To Open New Vehicle Plant In Myanmar

Toyota To Open New Vehicle Plant in Myanmar

Toyota Motor Corporation will build a production facility in Myanmar, where it will locally produce the Hilux starting February 2021.

The growing economy of Myanmar has driven the demand for new vehicles in the country. In 2018, Myanmar’s automotive market registered 18,000 units, 2.1 times more than the previous year. Toyota currently sells the Hilux, Vios, Rush, and other models in Myanmar by relying on imports. This month, the company will establish Toyota Myanmar Co. Ltd (TMY) and promote initiatives that will allow even more customers to choose Toyota vehicles, in preparation for a market that promises to continue expanding steadily.

The company plans to construct the new TMY plant in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, situated in the southern suburbs of Yangon city, Myanmar’s largest metropolis. Investment is expected to be approximately US$52.6 million. Toyota plans to hire about 130 new employees, and intends to build around 2,500 Hilux vehicles per year using the SKD (semi knock-down) method when operations begin in 2021.

 

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Thailand Remains As Production Base For Toyota

Thailand Remains As Production Base For Toyota

Toyota Motor Thailand announces that the company will invest an estimated 10 billion baht annually in Thailand’s automotive industry and continue to use Thailand as a production base for both domestic and export markets. This investment will build confidence among foreign investors.

Previously, Toyota has successfully obtained privileges with total investment of 19 billion baht for production of hybrid electric vehicles (EV) from the Board of Investment (BoI) in 2017. According to Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, the board chairman at Toyota motor Thailand, the company plans to localise manufacturing of eco-friendly vehicles and has submitted an investment plan worth 10 billion baht for the government’s EV scheme. Furthermore, the company has also submitted applications with BoI to produce plug-in hybrid and battery EVs in January. Mr Ninnart said that Toyota will be manufacturing plug-in hybrids over the next three to four years and EVs in 2023.

Toyota also plans to assemble 7,000 hybrid EVs a year, making 70,000 batteries for EVs and producing other parts such as doors which totals up to 9.1 million units. Furthermore, the company is looking into a project next year to recycle the cells of hybrid car batteries which can be used for solar rooftops.

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