For Sale By:Private Seller
Sub Model: BJ70 FJ40 BJ45
Model: Land Cruiser
Exterior Color: Green
Interior Color: Gray
Drive Type: AWD
Key Biscayne, Florida, United States
Toyota is taking the tiny tandem Tango to Tron town. In a teaser video for the new i-Road, debuting at the Geneva Motor Show next week, we catch a light-bike-like glimpse of Toyota's quirky tandem-seat concept. We still don't know much about the vehicle itself, but the video does flash the words "fun, compact, emissions-free," which suggests this is an electric ride. Then comes the apparent tagline: "i Roll, i Rock i Road." An indication that the tilting image we see in the video isn't just a special effect, perhaps? We'll have to wait until we get to Switzerland next week to find out. Until then, you can watch the video below.
In more earthly reveals, Toyota will also show off its hotly anticipate FT-86 Open sports car concept and Auris Touring Sports wagon on its Geneva show stand.
Mitsuru Kawai is overseeing a return to the old ways at Toyota factories throughout Japan. Having spent 50 years at the Japanese automaker, Kawai remembers when manual skills were prized at the company and "experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything." Company CEO Akio Toyoda personally chose Kawai to develop programs to teach workers metalcraft such as how to forge a crankshaft from scratch, and 100 workstations that formerly housed machines have been set aside for human training.
The idea is that when employees personally understand the fabrication of components, they will understand how to make better machines. Said Kawai, "To be the master of the machine, you have to have the knowledge and the skills to teach the machine." Lessons learned by the newly skilled workers have led to shorter production lines - in one case, 96percent shorter - improved parts production and less scrap.
Taking time to give workers the knowledge to solve problems instead of merely having them "feed parts into a machine and call somebody for help when it breaks down," Kawai's initiative is akin to that of Toyota's Operations Management Consulting Division, where new managers are given a length of time to finish a project but not given any help - they have to learn on their own. It's not a step back from Toyota's quest to build more than ten million cars a year; it's an effort to make sure that this time they don't sacrifice quality while making the effort. Said Kawai, "We need to become more solid and get back to basics."
Toyota may have an ace up its sleeve in the fuel economy wars, as it's developed a new type of semiconductor that will allegedly help the company's hybrids net a ten-percent improvement in fuel economy.
The tech is still in development, although Toyota is already reporting five-percent gains during testing, six years before it plans to implement the new semiconductor in production vehicles, meaning the ten-percent improvement doesn't seem like an untenable goal. That is, until you hear from Kimimori Hamada, the project general manager of Toyota's electronics division.
"We are aiming for great improvement in fuel economy and miniaturization," Hamada told Automotive News. "This is a very challenging target."