New Toyota System in the 2000s

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Eishi Fujita


Gerpisa colloquium, Kyoto (2014)


Toyota has constructed new Toyota system to deal with changing social and economic conditions since the 1990’s. In the 2000s, new Toyota system has been entering into the second stage. Toyota has been trying to pursue the second stage of new Toyota system for the last dozen years or so, firstly in order to handle well drastic expansion of global production in both developed markets and emerging markets, secondly to revise product strategy, thirdly to cope with environmental problems, and fourthly in order to modify corporate governance system and labor management system to deal with financialization accompanied by globalization.

One of main factors facilitating shift to the second stage of new Toyota system is drastic expansion of overseas production of Toyota both in the US and in emerging countries. The percentage of products manufactured overseas of Toyota rose rapidly in the 2000s, from about 20% early 1990’s, 33.8% in 2000 to 50.5% in 2007 and 60.0% in 2012. On the other hand domestic car sales in Japan have stagnated.

The aims of this paper are firstly to make clear essential points of the second stage of new Toyota system focusing on production system and social organization of work mainly on production shop-floor, and secondly to discuss changes and continuities of industrial relations and labor management.

As far as production system and social organization of work concerned introduction of Set Parts System (SPS) which is kit system of components with shortening assembly line in the 2000s, is move to the next step from traditional Toyota production system reorganizing social organization of work on shop-floor. SPS make easier keeping the same level of quality and efficiency of production at overseas plants even if overseas production sites have difficulty in acquiring well-trained and competent operators. SPS has shortened length of assembly lines by more than the half. In consequence SPS reduces investment cost of building production and handling loss of operations to a large extent, and shortened assembly lead time. In addition SPS makes mixed production easier to increase production flexibility.

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