Published: October 29, 2015 | Nagoya
“Competition in the global automotive industry is becoming fiercer.”
Akio Toyoda, Toyota President
Toyota launched a new Corolla in Japan with cutting-edge crash prevention system made by Continental.
Until now, Toyota relied on Denso Corp., a major parts maker and key member of its traditional supplier network, but which provided such equipment only in high-end Toyotas. Few months back, Toyota also dumped Denso as its navigation parts supplier. The Corolla’s technology, made by Continental AG, will spread to many of the vehicles Toyota sells in the U.S., Europe and Japan by the end of 2017.
The decision to go outside its traditional network highlights a growing concern within Japan’s auto industry: Parts suppliers, once considered the foundation of the country’s auto export prowess, are losing their edge, especially in next-generation software technologies for safety and autonomous driving.
Japan’s parts makers are up against suppliers such as Continental and Robert Bosch GmbH, which have become one-stop shops for everything from engine software to automatic braking systems. Their global presence and greater economies of scale mean they can offer the newest technologies at lower prices.