In Surprising News, Toyota is Replacing Some Robots with Humans
In today’s day and age, the usage of robotic machinery has become commonplace among the driving forces of the automotive market, two of those main companies being Honda and Toyota. Honda and Toyota, long-term rivals both hailing from Japan, have been at the forefront of innovation in robotics usage for automative supply chain networks for the past decade. However, Toyota has now made a bold move in their supply chain processes by placing importance on getting back to the basics of the process by tranisitioning back to a more traditional process with the usage of more humans. “We need to become more solid and get back to basics, to sharpen our manual skills and further develop them,” states Mitsuru Kawai who is spearheading the increased usage of humans manufacturing plants for Toyota. With this new direction, Toyota hopes to maintain their high market share in the United States with this transition.
1. If you were Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, would you want to take a step back in your machinery by using humans over robotic machines? Why or why not?
2. Do you believe that by using humans in the supply process will slow down the supply chain process at Toyota? Why or why not?
3. In a field such as the automotive industry this is a particularly odd move at first sight, especially in the eyes of competitors who are consistently raising the bar on their robotic processes. If Toyota becomes noticeably successful with their reduction in the usage of robotics, do you think others will follow them on this backtracking path? Why or why not?