Toyota currently delivers cars to 135 countries and offers the expertise of around 120,000 mechanics in its dealerships throughout the globe. However, continuing growth in emerging markets means these figures are set to rise dramatically.
As new markets open, Toyota is more determined to maintain – and even improve upon – its world-class standards of quality, customer service and genchi-genbutsu.
One of the means by which Toyota plans to continue implementing these philosophies and respond quickly to unexpected challenges is through its new Tajimi Service Centre. This state-of-the-art, £53 million training facility in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, was opened last year by Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda.
Set in over 46 acres of land, Tajimi Service Centre is one of the biggest and most comprehensive training and test-course facilities of its kind. Its aim is to improve the skills of after-sales service staff at dealerships throughout the world, strengthen quality controls, and perform valuable research and development in repair and maintenance technology.
As well as containing a four-storey building with many classrooms and service bays filled with the latest mechanical and diagnostic equipment, Tajimi Service Centre features a 0.8 mile loop enclosing a series of 13 short evaluation courses. These courses reproduce different road types found across the globe, from cobblestones and patched-up roads to low-friction and wavy surfaces.
The location for the centre was carefully chosen. Not only is Tajimi a short distance from the manufacturer’s headquarters in Toyota City but its relatively harsh climate, which swings from some of Japan’s hottest temperatures in summer to heavy snowfalls in the winter, would allow mechanics to study the effect of severe weather on cars.
Initially, Tajimi Service Centre will train around 2,600 Toyota mechanics every year, rising as swiftly as possible to its capacity of 4,800 a year. The instructors come from all over the globe and have been tasked with imparting some of the highest quality standards in the industry. As new kinds of vehicles arrive, this means training mechanics beforehand to spot abnormal vehicle responses, diagnose problems and research new kinds of service technology. It also involves mental training, the instilling of a customer-first spirit in each mechanic so that quality issues should never materialise.
Discover more about the facilities at Tajimi Service Centre by watching the short video below.