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Featured Toyota changing strategy?

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by bwilson4web, Oct 24, 2022.

  1. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    "The new platform is to be modelled on the Toyota New Global Architecture, which is designed as a mixed platform."
    https://www.electrive.com/2020/12/07/145160/

    e-TNGA is incorrectly being compared to VW's MEB. The latter is truly a dedicated EV platform.
    "Firstly, it is not a platform for vehicles with combustion engines that has been retroactively modified, but has from the outset been designed to be 100% uncompromisingly electric." VW had to make new factories or perform extensive remodeling of existing manufacturing lines in order to produce MEB models.
    https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/stories/all-about-the-meb-4206
    The same is also so for GM's and Hyundai's EV platform.
    https://gmauthority.com/blog/gm/gm-platforms/bev3/
    Hyundai’s E-GMP EV platform explained | GoAuto

    Dedicated was used in many reports about the e-TNGA. If it truly was a dedicated EV platform, Toyota wouldn't be in the process to decide whether to keep it, modify it, or scrap it for an all new EV platform.
     
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  2. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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  3. dbstoo

    dbstoo Senior Member

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    I don't see the logic behind your statement. The decision would appear to be: Use the parts, tooling and manufacturing facilities that we have built to work with the e-TNGA or throw much of that away to create a new platform that is more like the currently successful EV models.
     
  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Was trying to figure out how popular car leasing is in Japan, but no luck. The bZ4X is lease only in Japan.
    EV sales are also low in Japan. 2021 saw a big increase, but the total was less than the number of Prius Primes sold in the US.

    Not in depth, but some insights into the EV market of Japan.
    Japanese automakers in high gear to boost EV sales | The Japan Times
    Japan's EV Sales Boom: The Hunger for Electric Cars
    :) It's more the auto industry putting out such ads as a whole in Japan, but Toyota is the leader. IIRC, there was a thread here with such examples.
    o_O
    If they got rid of the e-TNGA tooling, how would they make new e-TNGA cars?
     
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  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That's a load of rubbish. You know all too well there are different levels of design. Tesla's casting is a good example. To have something like that to reduce production time, cost and complexity was treated as a must have for Tesla but a possible next step for Toyota. Remember, Toyota's approach is continuous improvement.
     
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Hmm, this article paints that halving of the lease fee in a different light than Reuters. Reuters stated that the halving of the lease fee was a reparation for the delay and recall of the bZ4X.

    Kinda hard to have sales when there’s a stop sale on a vehicle. Teslarati is twisting that scenario.
     
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  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    ""In retrospect, we felt the price was a little too high and customers also pointed this out," he{Kotera} said, adding the EV is also available for corporate lease beginning Wednesday."" - Reuters
    Sounds like more than a reparation for the recall.

    EVs don't sell as well in Japan. Those that do buy one though, are four times more likely to choose an import than buyers of hybrids and traditional cars. And that number of imports approached tripling between 2020 and 2021 while domestic EV sales had a modest increase.
    [​IMG]
    Demand For EVs In Japan Is Rising, JDM OEMs Aren’t Providing

    Toyota's reported actions in the OP could be because they can't ignore what is happening their home market.
    Toyota has all but admitted that their timeline for EV adoption was wrong, and the incremental changes they planned have been out paced by the market. It's why this thread exists.
     
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  9. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    So - which auto manufacturers are not committed to improvement? that sounds like a marketing by-line rather than anything distinguishing from one manufacturer to another.
    .
     
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  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I don't know. What about megacasting made it EV only, and not something the traditional car companies could have used years ago?
     
  11. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That has nothing whatsoever to do with my reply.
     
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Fine.
    The Bolt is built on a platform derived from the one used for the Sonic/Trax. I don't call it a dedicated EV platform, but GM does. It does work a lot better for an EV than using the Trax one as is, but it still has some compromises do to the ICE heritage. The Bolt on a lift video pointed out at least one of them.

    That is the design level of e-TNGA. That isn't Toyota's issue. By reports, the Bolt is fine EV, and Toyota should be able to make fine EVs on e-TNGA. Even with the competitors already selling BEVs on the next level of dedicated EV platform, there would have been some compelling e-TNGA models available. If the EV market had grown at the slow rate Toyota was hoping for.

    The market is growing much faster though. Toyota was planning to use its semi-dedicated EV platform for multiple models over a couple generations. In a smaller EV market, it would work. It would also work if the competition was in the same design position. Except that was where they were about a model generation ago. Now the competition has clean sheet designed EV platforms, with models on the market now that buyers are finding more compelling than Toyota's.

    So I'll repeat, if e-TNGA had been a truly dedicated EV platform, and not some inbetween level one, there wouldn't be such a big shake up in the company as the OP reported here.
     
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  13. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Why do you have such a problem just saying optimization or refactor or improvement? That's what engineering is all about... and the same issue we dealt with in the past. Remember how that tore GM supporters apart? We really don't want to repeat that here. Focus on the goal, not the means.

    Also, consider how Toyota actually does have the option available. They aren't trapped like GM. So what if phaseout is accelerated? Now in my third decade as an engineer, I have witnessed rethinks several times now. Actually having the opportunity to do so is great, especially when you have a viable bridge already in place.

    I simply don't see how the market isn't going to plateau for a bit. Everyone is pretending infrastructure will quickly build up, inventory will rapidly grow, and affordable choices will become available without delay or fallout or pushback. That seems incredibly naïve.
     
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  14. drash

    drash Senior Member

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    I'm sure it is a dedicated EV platform, but as you can tell it is creating the same type of vehicle. The same line builds the Toyota bZ4X, Subaru Solterra, and Lexus RZ 450e (and probably the upcoming RZ 300e) which are all similar vehicles. I believe Akio-san is looking for reasons/solutions why there isn't a diversity of e-TNGA for different vehicles or why TNGA (or GA as Lexus calls it) can't be improved to include EVs. If TNGA is suppose to be continuously improved (TNGA | Mobility | Toyota Motor Corporation Official Global Website), I'd bet on the latter. I personally was puzzled why Toyota thought they had to create a separate TNGA for EVs when the UX 300e is built on the same line as the rest of the UX and using GA-C in Japan (Miyakawa, Fukuoka).
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    We can't you admit when Toyota makes a mistake?

    They can. There is no way the thread topic wasn't a sanctioned leak by the higher ups. It gives away a lot for a company that usually stays quite. this lets Toyota assuage the concerns of investors and the market over the company's EV direction without the loss of face from officially announcing they made a mistake, but don't have a plan to fix it yet.

    There is a lot of info in the Reuters article, but is the bit to sum it up.

    "Terashi’s team has been designated a “BR” or “business revolution” group within Toyota, a term used for major changes including a revamp of its development and production processes two decades ago."

    That doesn't sound like a step Toyota takes when their steady progress of incremental improvements is working out. They were expecting the shift to EVs to take decades longer than the pace it is moving at. Addressing that market reality will require more effort. They cancelled the Crown EV. Toyota made a big deal about the new Crown line up. The model is more important to the company culture than the Prius or Mirai.

    No one said Toyota didn't have options, just that they have to implement those options much faster than the company would like, and that they would have avoided these steps if they had given EVs more consideration.

    The market very well may plateau, but it will do so at a level higher than what Toyota planned for. The market has already grown faster than their internal research said.

    :mad:Cat just erased my response, and part of the above.
    The short of it
    • e-TNGA is TNGA improved for EVs. The GA-C used in the UX300e is probably a proto-e-TNGA.
    • Makes sense for traditional car company to modify an ICE platform. Calling such dedicated is marketing.
    • Pros and cons to the approach. Pro - you can make the EV on the same line as ICE models. Con - can't fully optimize the car design as with a ground up EV platform.
    • Toyota was planning on that pro with e-TNGA, when they were thinking they'd need a third of their output to be EVs by 2030.
    • But it's looking like the global market will be 1/2 EVs by then. Building different cars on the same line has an efficiency cost, which seems unacceptable with the new forecast.
    • If you need to build assembly lines dedicated to EVs, why not use a true EV platform to compete with the others already making such EVs.
     
    #35 Trollbait, Oct 30, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2022
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  16. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Evidence through price increases and back orders tell us otherwise. This is that plateau, where growth levels off for awhile rather than continuing a rapid climb. There is demand, but supply is a problem... made worse by the new tax-credit requirements. It's very difficult to argue the opposite.

    The situation will likely be exacerbated by challenges with DCFC usage. There won't be anywhere near enough stations for a number of years still. Etiquette for their usage is even further off; slower vehicles will tie up faster connections. Overcoming the belief that it is essential to fast-charge beyond 60-65% (the point at which speed tends to significantly drop) will be very difficult.

    In other words, what are the consequence of this supposed mistake? Enthusiasts obsess with drawing conclusions as soon as the journey begins, even though they are well aware that early milestone status means very little in with regard to long-term success. It's all just conjecture still.
     
  17. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    Well, that is a VW sentence.

    Still I cannot find a clue to your opinion as correct.
    e-TNGA is a dedicated EV platform, coming from the Global Architecture design and build philosophy Toyota addressed for quick development and lowering costs.
    Toyota wasn't really up to facing the production hell, which requires very strong make up of raw materials, battery and motor assemblies, semiconductors and hardware, software and manufacturing retooling. That's their mistake. Not e-TNGA.
     
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  18. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That trap is a common one. People start focusing on tit-for-tat competition, losing focus on what the goal actually was in the process.

    Tell us, what is the goal.
     
  19. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    since (based on Toyota quotes from the OP article) it appears Toyota may be scuttling e-tgna - that question - if needing to be re-interpreted - may need someone else to speculate. Most of the above discussion already lays that out.
    .
     
  20. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Creating a dedicated platform and calling it superior is marketing too. Still to this day, we can see posts in the Volt forum claiming all PHEV are designed to be "gas first under heavy load" systems. That is just plain not true. We know with absolute certainty you can drop the pedal to the floor in both Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime without the gas-engine starting. It is entirely electric in EV mode. Yet, despite such overwhelming evidence debunking their rhetoric, the "EREV" marketing nonsense continues.

    In other words, there's no substance behind vague design claims. You don't actually need specialized engineering to compete. It obviously helps, but sometimes it can be a hinderance. Toyota has a highly optimized system already and they don't have to retool much to compete.

    As far as the marketing goes, the only real distinction "dedicated" seems to be is throwing the baby away with the bath water. Unless you start from scratch, not levering anything you learned or developed from the past, it doesn't count. Ugh.
     
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