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Japan Announces Plans to Send Toyota to the Moon

TOKYO, March 13: Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is looking to take Toyota to the moon. Instead of a family sedan, the car manufacturer is making a pressurized self-driving rover to cruise the lunar surface.

The vehicle, which is expected to make its debut in 2029, is expected to have six wheels and be capable of transporting two humans (four in an emergency) a distance of 10,000 using solar power as well as fuel-cell technology being developed by Toyota.

“At JAXA, we are pursuing international coordination and technological studies toward Japan’s participation in international space exploration. We aim to contribute through leading Japanese technologies that can potentially generate spin-off benefits,” JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa said in a prepared statement. “Having Toyota join us in the challenge of international space exploration greatly strengthens our confidence…

“Through our joint studies going forward, we would like to put to use Toyota’s excellent technological abilities related to mobility, and we look forward to the acceleration of our technological studies for the realization of a manned, pressurized rover,” Yamakawa continued.

Size-wise, the rover will be around the size of two minibusses and will have 13 square meters of habitable space for astronauts to move around inside while they’re exploring the moon’s surface.

The vehicle will be sent separately from the humans that will ride in it and will meet the astronauts once they arrive on the moon.

Toyota bags four awards at the the ASEAN NCAP Grand Prix 2018

By Deepak Arora

BANGALORE, Nov 15: Toyota has bagged four awards at the the ASEAN NCAP Grand Prix 2018. The awards include ASEAN NCAP Excellence Award for the Most 5 Star Brand (2017-2018), ASEAN NCAP Excellence Award- Continuous Safety Improvement for the Toyota Vios and the Toyota Rush and the Best Adult Occupant Protection Award for the Toyota C-HR.

The New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP) Grand Prix commemorates the achievement of vehicles that have participated in the ASEAN NCAP assessment over the last two years.

The third bi-annual awards ceremony, the ASEAN NCAP Grand Prix 2018, was held at Karawang in West Java, Indonesia.

Recognising its excellent standards for safety, Toyota was presented with the Most 5 Star Brand Award (2017-2018) for its efforts at enhancing safety standards in the ASEAN region with its vehicles. Toyota is the only brand to have received the highest number of 5-Star vehicle safety rating in evaluations conducted by the ASEAN NCAP in 2017-2018.

The Toyota Vios and the Toyota Rush were presented with the ASEAN NCAP Excellence Award of Continuous Safety Improvement. The previous generation models of both the Vios and the Rush had received 4 stars. However, with the addition of new and enhanced safety features, both the Vios and the Rush have been able to receive 5-star rating from ASEAN NCAP in the year 2017 and 2018, respectively. This achievement stands a true testimony to Toyota’s continuous efforts to improve the occupant protection and associated safety standards offered in the vehicles.

The Toyota C-HR was also presented with an award for the Best Adult Occupant Protection among all other vehicles evaluated by ASEAN NCAP in 2017-2018. This evaluation is based on frontal and side crash tests conducted by ASEAN NCAP on vehicles which are fitted with crash test dummies that represent adult occupants. During the crash test, the damage sustained by the vehicle and the crash test dummies are carefully assessed and quantified. This assessment is then translated into a numerical score. Based on this, the vehicle with the highest score is awarded the Best Adult Occupant Protection (AOP). Toyota is proud to achieve these awards from ASEAN NCAP and will continue to work with its stakeholders in the ASEAN region.

Toyota considers safety as one of its top priorities. Be it vehicle safety or road safety, Toyota is fully aware that safety does not rely solely on the quality of vehicles on the road but on a host of other interrelated components of road traffic safety as well. Toyota’s holistic view to safety stems from its Integrated Three-Part Initiative: Vehicles, People & Traffic Environment.

In terms of vehicle safety, Toyota has been developing safety features and conducting extensive R&D which involves crash tests and simulations on its own, and then analysing the results to continually enhance its safety features. In addition to that, Toyota has also been raising public awareness about safety in the region. To take its commitment to safety a step further, with its first ever global corporate initiative, Start Your Impossible (SYI), Toyota is working towards its ultimate goal of zero traffic fatality. It is through these initiatives that Toyota is committed to achieving a safer, more sustainable and mobile world for everyone.

In India with Yaris, Toyota Kirloskar Motor [TKM] has underpinned commitment to safety by being the first in the segment to offer 7 SRS airbags – (D+P airbags, Side airbags, Curtain Shield Airbags (CSA) and knee airbag) across all variants in the new Yaris. Loaded with other best- in-class safety features such as Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Start Assist control, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Disc Brakes on all 4 wheels, Tire Pressure Monitoring System & ISOFIX Child Seats, yet again set new safety benchmark in the Indian car industry.

Testament to its unbeaten safety features, Toyota Yaris recently received 5-star safety ratings from the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP).

The Made-in India Etios bagged 4-Stars at a crash test campaign organized by Global NCAP the international body that is involved in new car assessment in association with AA South Africa in 2017. It has also been recognized as “Most Dependable Car” in the Entry Mid-Size Segment award by JD Power 2017 India Vehicle Dependability study, for three consecutive years.

Aligning with Toyota’s global philosophy - Toyota Kirloskar Motor being a Safety Leader, have implemented various safety initiatives by engaging with our stakeholders – Employees, Dealers partners & Supplier partners through a 3-dimension concept of Manufacturing Safe Cars, Developing Safe Drivers & Building Safer Environment.

Toyota aids to boost 'Skill Excellence' in Karnataka

By Deepak Arora

BANGALORE, Nov 20: Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) in continuation to its sustainable efforts towards Skill Development, inaugurated the Toyota Centre of Excellence at Global Academy of Technology located in Bengaluru. The concept of establishing Toyota Centre of Excellence at various colleges and institutes are well aligned to enhance the skilled workforce to meet the growing industry requirements.

To aid far reaching knowledge-base of engine composition at the grass-root level, Toyota handed over one cut section of the vehicle engine and an assembled engine. The key focus is to enable comprehensive learning opportunities for the students, offering them a first-hand experience of the vehicle engine.

The engine cut section will showcase the component set-up in an engine and its related functioning. While the engine assembly section enables the students to gain an insight of the real orientation of the assembled engine including the dismantling and re-assembling techniques, thus achieving high quality skill sets in engine operating mechanism.

This initiative is basically incorporated to pursue Toyota’s main objectives to promote, setup, monitor, govern and regulate institutions and academies for skills excellence for development of core employability skills, competency standards and for promoting technology that meets the demands of various industries globally.

The event was graced by Lepaksha S, Secretary, National Education Foundation; Venkatappa, Additional Secretary, National Education Foundation; and Ms. D.K.S. Aishwarya, Secretary, National Education Foundation.

Also, present at the event were B. Padmanabha, Vice President and Naveen Soni, Vice President, representing the senior management team of Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

Commenting on this initiative, Dr. N. Ranapratap Reddy, Principal – Global Academy of Technology [GAT] said, “Toyota has always stood for Quality and Excellence through the years, pioneering in manufacturing cars with global standards. We are delighted to partner with Toyota through for this great initiative in imparting quality education amongst engineering students. Through this program, we are confident that the students would gain a better insight of the high-level skill techniques associated with the engine, which is an essential part of a vehicle, while enriching their learning experience at our Academy of Technology.”

Speaking on the occasion, Naveen Soni, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said “Through our established Centre of Excellence in association with various colleges and institutes across the country, we are striving to aid comprehensive learning among the students at the base classroom levels in our mission to provide India an highly skilled workforce to match with evolving skill demands of the automotive industry. As a responsible corporate citizen, we at Toyota design to aid the students to be industry ready with desired skill sets while contributing to the nations’ growth and Industry’s employability scenario.

We believe such practical exposure would enable the students to cope with different levels of operations associated with functional mechanisms.”

The company has been tirelessly working towards enhancing the employability quotient in the automobile manufacturing industry across India, by promoting unique skill sets.

As a part of its commitment towards developing world class skilled workforce for the emerging Indian Auto Industry, Toyota in 2007 established the Toyota Technical Training Institute (TTTI) which offers a three-year rigorous full-time training in – Automobile Assembly, Automobile Paint, Automobile Weld and Mechatronics (a combination of mechanical and industrial electronics) to financially challenged students hailing from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families from across Karnataka. This institute exclusively emphasizes on over all development of the trainees as per industry requirements & towards “Perfecting people” and there by contributing young multi skilled, energetic, ideal students to the nation.

Training Curriculum is a unique blend which focuses on the holistic development of Knowledge (16%), Skill (34%), Body and Mind (50%) of the students. Last year Toyota’s TTTI institute accomplished a key milestone of being selected for “Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme” under the MoU signed by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Government of Japan (METI) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Government of India (MSDE).

Tesla Partnering With Mercedes for a New Vehicle?

LONDON, Nov 20: There's been a low-key buzz -- a hum if you will -- around Mercedes-Benz and Tesla potentially partnering in the future.

Of course, whether a partnership will ever unfold remains a big question mark. And if one does come to light, the scope of that partnership would be an even larger conundrum.

Last month, Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler (DDAIF) gave the pot a gentle stirring when its CEO Dieter Zetsche said he wasn't opposed to working with Tesla in the future. Daimler sold its 4% equity stake in Tesla in 2014 and while Zetsche says he doesn't regret selling the position, he noted that it "does not exclude a cooperate in a future," when speaking at the Paris Auto Show.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk added another gentle nudge on Twitter a few weeks later. After someone inquired about the need for a "tough as nails" electric van, Musk replied with, "Maybe interesting to work with Daimler/Mercedes on an electric Sprinter. That's a great van. We will inquire."

In a follow-up tweet, Musk explained that one of two things would have to happen for there to be an electric Tesla van. Either a partnership with Mercedes where Tesla provides the battery, powertrain and "compute tech" while Mercedes produces the rest of the car, or Tesla goes at it alone and produces the vehicle later.

In the latter case, Tesla has a "lot on our plate," Musk said, explaining that the present priority list goes as follows: The Model Y, Solar Roof, Tesla Pickup (which he's most excited about), Tesla Semi and the Roadster.

Of course, none of this solidifies a partnership or equity stake with Mercedes-Benz or Daimler. But the fact that the leaders for both companies have openly expressed their willingness to work together within just a few weeks of each other does show some potential for the future.

It likely helps that Tesla's situation continues to improve, both operationally and financially. As the company continues to improve vehicle production -- both from a quantity and quality standpoint -- and as its financial situation improves, automakers are more likely to show willingness to work with it. Why? Because no one wants to partner with a company that could go bankrupt at a moment's notice.

So as these situations improve, companies like Mercedes are more likely to consider working with Tesla.

Other factors include Tesla's electric car capabilities and its Supercharger Network. As it stands now, German luxury car makers are starting to get serious about electric and hybrid alternatives. Porsche and Audi, two Volkswagen (VLKAY) brands, along with BMW (BMWYY) and Mercedes-Benz have several electric vehicle offerings coming to market over the next several years.

New Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class next chapter in SUV luxury

NEW YORK, Nov 20: The new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class is seriously futuristic. With a mild-hybrid powertrain, a flashy touchscreen interface and semiactive suspension, the 2020 Mercedes GLE-Class modernizes the luxury crossover in a big way.

As is the trend of nearly all new vehicles, the 2020 Mercedes GLE is longer and wider than its predecessor, and rides on a longer wheelbase, too. Visually, the new GLE doesn't depart too far from its predecessor. It's more of a nip-tuck than a redesign.

Most notable are the reshaped front fascia, with big grille and swept-back LED headlights, the slightly more sloped rear window and the somewhat "pinched" look to the liftgate that leaves the model-designation badges sitting at an angle. It's a rather handsome SUV. It can be further dressed up with options like wheels ranging from 19 to 22 inches in diameter and silly touches like illuminated running boards.

The new design, along with tricks like a fully covered underbody, help lower the GLE's drag coefficient to a slippery (for an SUV) 0.29, versus 0.32 for the outgoing model. That plays a significant role in improving highway fuel economy and reducing cabin wind noise. There are also retractable shutters ahead of the radiator that can close to reduce drag, and the outside-lower vents on the front fascia are closed off for the same reason.

If you've seen the inside of other new Mercedes-Benz models, the GLE-Class won't look unfamiliar, with its very horizontal dash design, stylish drilled-metal Burmester speaker vents and minimalist center-stack physical controls. The inside of this luxury SUV is impeccably assembled, with everything you could conceivably touch feeling delightful. The leather is plush, the controls operate with a satisfying click-click and the various optional wood veneers all look wonderful.

Back-seat room is generous enough. Because the new GLE has a 3.1-inch longer wheelbase, there's an extra 2.5 inches of second-row legroom. Power-reclining second-row seats are available as an option -- an incredibly luxurious option that will undoubtedly spoil your children. The available panoramic sunroof has a larger glass area than before, helping keep the cabin bright and airy. Cargo space is plentiful, too, with a power liftgate making for easier access.

Another new option for the interior of the GLE-Class is a third row of seats. Mercedes promises the way-back can comfortably fit an adult up to 5 feet, 10 inches tall. The BMW X5 -- the GLE's key rival -- also offers an optional third row.

Two 12.3-inch screens are standard, one for the instrument cluster and the other for the infotainment system. The former is, as in other Mercedes models, infinitely customizable to show myriad graphic arrangements and pieces of information. It's all easily accessed and configured via a thumb controller on the left-hand side of the steering wheel. But there is so much info displayed at all times, all in different colors and graphics, that it can often be a little overwhelming. Fortunately the big, color head-up display provides a simple, legible look at key data like speed, navigation info and so on.

The infotainment system is the same MBUX -- that's pronounced em-bee-you-ex -- touchscreen from the new A-Class sedan. Of course, in addition to touching the screen you can operate the menus with a touchpad controller on the center console, a thumb controller on the right-hand side of the steering wheel or by saying, "Hey, Mercedes" to activate the voice-recognition tech.

BMW focusing on growth in the Indian market with new products

MUMBAI, Nov 19: India is currently seeing a trend shift in the purchase of SUVs. Nearly 30 percent of overall industry volumes go to this segment. Aiming to make the most of this trend, BMW has announced that they will be introducing 12 new vehicles into the Indian market. Seven of these will be SUVs while the remaining will include sedans such as 8-Series, which BMW will be introducing for the first time.

BMW, which is second in the luxury car segment only to Mercedes, stated that India is one of the “most strategic” markets in the world. Recently, BMW said that more than just trying to cash in on this opportunity, they are also trying to bring in new technologies and perceptions to the way Indians understand the brand.

BMW has revealed that among the new products to be launched, the X4 and X7 will make their debut here. The X4 will be a Sports Activity Coupe while the X7 will be the flagship SUV to take on the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes GLS. BMW will also be rolling out the next generation of the X5 and X6 SUVs.

The company is also working on new variants of the X1, X3 and the X4. The German multinational, which has been in India since 2007, has sold 9800 cars. Nearly half of these were SUVs. The 8-Series, which BMW is planning to launch among the 12 new launches is set to take on the Mercedes-Maybach.

With this opportunity of growth in the SUV segment, local and luxury brands are both looking for a chance to lead this market. BMW is planning to take on all the major SUV makers in India with this “machine-gun fire” of SUVs. This competition will be against Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover.

They are hoping for a significant push in India with the launch of their new SUVs, since Indian customers are now looking for vehicles with higher ground clearance and the prowess to take on rough roads.

India-bound Audi e-tron Electric SUV revealed

MUMBAI, Nov 16: Audi has finally taken the wraps off its first-ever all-electric vehicle, the e-tron SUV. The e-tron is Audi’s answer to the Tesla Model X, the Jaguar I-Pace and the recently revealed Mercedes-Benz EQC.

In terms of design, the e-tron looks similar to Audi’s current Q range of SUVs. Like the flagship Q8, the e-tron features Audi’s latest octagonal single frame grille, which is mostly enclosed to aid aerodynamics. Compared to the Matrix LED headlamps on regular Audi models, the units on the e-tron receive four horizontal ‘struts’ on either side. This feature is likely to be limited to Audi’s all-electric vehicles.

The e-tron also features fatter haunches around the front and rear fenders, like newer Q SUVs such as the Q8 and the Q3. The rear portion of the SUV features wraparound LED tail lamps which echo the graphics of the daytime running lights seen at the front. Further, the tail lamps are connected by a thin red LED strip at the centre which helps enhance the width of the SUV. Being an all-electric SUV, the e-tron does not possess tail pipes at the rear.

Like its exterior, the interior too is reminiscent of the 2015 e-tron quattro Concept. The e-tron’s cabin has an air of minimalism about it and features a driver-focused dashboard. You can opt for up to five high definition screens, including four touchscreens. It even gets the 12.3-inch Nvidia-powered, fully-digital instrument cluster first seen on the new A4, A5 and Q5.

There are twin touchscreens on the central console - a 10.1-inch screen featuring Audi MMI touch infotainment system and an 8.6-inch touchscreen display which houses controls for the air-conditioning system and other comfort functions. The e-tron offers a 705 Watt Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium Sound System with 16 speakers and an amplifier.

Apart from these displays, the e-tron’s equipment list boast of two 7-inch OLED touchscreen displays for the optional camera-based ‘virtual exterior mirrors’. Yes, Audi has replaced the regular outside rearview mirrors (ORVMs) with sleek camera-equipped units.

Audi promises ample space for five passengers and their gear on the e-tron thanks to a wheelbase of 2928mm, which is only 16mm shorter than the latest version of the Audi A6. The overall cargo capacity of the Audi e-tron is rated at 660-liters.

Being an electric vehicle, the e-tron will presumably be silent on ignition. However, the e-SUV will emit a sound to inform that you’re ready to roll. Powering the electric SUV are twin motors placed on either axles for a total system output of up to 408PS (300kW) of power and 664Nm of torque. The 0-100kmph sprint is covered in 5.7 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 200kmph.

Audi says the e-tron has a combined range of over 400km on a single charge under the latest WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure) test cycle. The electric SUV packs a 95kWh battery pack that can be juiced up to 80 per cent within 30 minutes using a 150kW DC fast charger, which Audi claims is a first for a series production vehicle. Needless to say, e-tron customers will be able to control the charging processes as well as pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin via their smartphone with the myAudi app.

Mercedes-Benz CLS launched in India for Rs 84.7 lakh

NEW DELHI, Nov 16: Mercedes-Benz has launched the new-generation CLS sedan in the Indian market. This CLS will be the third generation of the CLS model. Mercedes already bought the first two generations of the CLS to the Indian car market. The CLS luxury sedan will battle it out with the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A7, Porsche Panamera, and the Maserati Ghibli.

The design of the CLS is all-new with the signature AMG-GT LED headlamps, aggressive front, and a longer bonnet. The CLS gets a swooping roofline which is similar to the earlier CLS models. The roofline has a coupe-ish feel to it and extends to the fastback-designed rear side. The tail lamps are also new but the rear end looks unmistakeably CLS.

According to Mercedes, the CLS' tail lamps, registration plate slot, and the logo between the tail lamps are in sync with the design of current Mercedes coupe models.

On the interior, the E-Class and S-Class inspired dual 12.3-inch display graces the center and driver console. The center display also doubles up as an infotainment display alongside driver instruments, flanked by turbine-like vents alongside swathes of leather, wood, and metal which takes the luxury quotient of the interior to the next level.

In terms of safety, the new CLS gets a host of driver-assistance technologies brought in the S-Class flagship sedan. The CLS gets autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane assist, speed limit assist, pre-safe occupant protection, pre-safe sound technology, adaptive cruise control, active steering assist, active speed limit assist, and active blind-spot assist.

The CLS is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4, turbocharged diesel which churns out 245bhp and 500Nm.

Mercedes has launched the CLS in India with only a single diesel engine on offer - CLS 300d, which is the same BS6 compliant powerplant available on the recently updated C-Class.

Mercedes Launches Fuel Cell Hybrid For Customer Tests

FRANKFURT, Nov 13: Daimler's Mercedes took a step closer to bringing a fuel-cell hybrid to the market when it announced the handover of the GLC F-CELL vehicles to selected customers in Germany to test on the road.

The GLC F-Cell features both fuel cells and a battery drive which can be charged externally using plug-in technology.

The first customers include Deutsche Bahn, the German railways. Later this year Air Liquide, Shell, Linde AG and also the cities of Stuttgart and Hamburg will join the test.

Other business as well as private customers in Germany will also be able to access the GLC F-CELL from the spring of 2019 using Mercedes-Benz Rent.

Mercedes said the GLC F-CELL is a unique plug-in hybrid because it can run on electricity and pure hydrogen. The vehicle emits no CO2.

“The interplay between battery and fuel cell, a long range and short refueling times make the GLC F‑CELL a vehicle which boasts high everyday practicality,” Mercedes said in a statement.

The hydrogen supply can be refuelled in three minutes, as quickly as when refuelling a combustion-engined car. The battery can deliver about 30 miles of range on its own. The overall power of 208 hp provides ample power.

Mercedes said there are four operating modes:

HYBRID: the vehicle draws power from both energy sources. Power peaks are handled by the battery, while the fuel cell runs in the optimum efficiency range.

F-CELL: the state of charge of the high-voltage battery is kept constant by the energy from the fuel cell. Only hydrogen is consumed. This mode is ideal for steady cruising over long distances.

BATTERY: the GLC F-CELL runs all-electrically and is powered by the high-voltage battery. The fuel cell system is not in operation. This is the ideal mode for short distances.
CHARGE: charging the high-voltage battery has priority, for example in order to recharge the battery for the maximum overall range prior to refuelling with hydrogen or to create power reserves.

In all operating modes, the system features energy recovery during braking or coasting.

Mercedes said the launch is limited to areas where hydrogen is available, and this includes Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and Cologne.

Mercedes didn’t reveal the price of the fuel cell hybrid, when it might go on general sale to the public, or in what numbers.

Toyota’s 'Challenge the Impossible' builds on skill levels to enrich customer delight

By Deepak Arora

BANGALORE, Nov 3: Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), with its constant endeavour towards developing skilled workforce across its dealer network in the country, recently conducted the National Skill Championship 2018. An annual initiative for dealer personnel, the event serves as a platform to reward exceptional sales and service skills and highlights best practices setting advanced skill standards in the industry.

In line with the company’s focused commitment towards the Skill India initiative, the Skill Contest is another step by the company in the development of manpower to meet the skill gap in the dynamically changing automotive market. The event was held at three levels – across dealership, regional and national levels, the contestants were evaluated on various parameters such as knowledge, process demonstration, soft skills and role plays in providing premium customer experience and human touch among others.

The event finale was attended by Yashitaka Nakamura, General Manager (Service Management Division), Toyota Motor Corporation; Sabari Manohar, General Manager (Technical Service Division), Toyota Motor Asia Pacific; David Goldberg, Senior Manager (Sales Operations), Toyota Motor North America; Erik Fischer, National Manager (Sales Operations Support), Toyota Motor North America; Saju Thomas, Dealer Principal, Nandi Toyota along with the senior management executives of Toyota Kirloskar Motor - Yoshihiro Horinouchi, Deputy Managing Director; N. Raja, Deputy Managing Director and Vedaprakash S. Tiwari, General Manager.

Themed ‘Challenge the Impossible’ this year, the event witnessed 7,000 plus dealer participants from Sales and Service Divisions. A total of 689 candidates participated in Regional Skill Contest. And 102 regional-level winners contested in National Skill Championship held today.

Toyota always looks beyond the best in enriching the consumer experiences aligning with its global challenge with its ever-better product offerings and services to cater to each one of its customers choices. The company aligning with its “Customer first” philosophy, continuously evaluates the customer preferences and feedbacks to deliver notch-above the expected through its dealer networks, which the brand stands for.

Customer choices are fast changing. The human resources need to gear-up with right skill sets to deliver in such dynamic environment. This Skill Championship represents all new skill parameters which are extremely challenging. The contestants need to think beyond the boundary and showcase the right attributes of skill sets, attitude and knowledge.

Better methodologies and adopting new approaches will define one’s perspective to make impossible a possibility. The challenge is to positively respond to newness with the attitude of learning and break the mental block as we progress into the future of evolving consumer and market behaviour.

A total of 18 winners, three from each category were honoured by the leadership team of Toyota Kirloskar Motor who were present at the event held in Toyota plant premises – Bidadi [Ramanagara District, Bengaluru].

This year, the categories were Team Leader [New Car Sales], Customer Assistance Center Officer, Procurement Officer [Used Car], Service Parts Category, Service Advisor Category and General Technician Categories. The final winners and runners were recognised for their specialised skill levels and awarded cash prizes, rolling trophy, winner plaque and gold medal.

Sharing his views at the performance of the contestants this year, N Raja, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said “My heartiest congratulations to all the contestants from the Sales and Service teams for exhibiting exceptional enthusiasm, dedication and performance. The accomplishment of this milestone is immense as we see the standards rising year-on-year, thus underlining our relentless efforts in measuring skill levels and evolving new strategies to develop Human Resources to deliver ever-better customer delight. We have been closely working with the dealer partners in honing the skills of the dealer staffs to offer best-in-class experience to our customers.

Under this year’s theme of ‘Challenging the Impossible’, we have essentially redesigned unique skill standards to identify & develop the on-ground skill capabilities of our dealer workforces to exhibit their deliverables beyond what customer expects, which makes Toyota one of the most trusted brands today.” He added.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor practically undertakes training initiatives for its personnel in areas such as dealer networking, marketing skills, customer voice, periodic reviews and coaching skills for team leaders and provide its sales & service personnel a comprehensive module on topics such as basic auto technology, products, sales SOP (Standard Operating Procedures), team development and value-added services to enhance overall customer satisfaction.

As a responsible organization, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd. (TKM) has embarked on a mission to bridge the skill gap divide through Toyota Technical Training Institute (TTTI), established in 2007, which offers a three-year rigorous full-time training in – Automobile Assembly, Automobile Paint, Automobile Weld and Mechatronics (a combination of mechanical and industrial electronics). Additionally, Gurukul, a well-equipped learning center at TKM imparts diverse training to employees at all levels which helps them to improve their operational abilities and thoroughly delivering high-quality target standards.

The manpower at Toyota experiences higher levels of skill development through on-the-job training and the real-time experiences serve as a driving force in developing the next generation of workforce. Ensuring highest level of automotive professional work on Toyota’s world-class products and service offerings across its dealerships, the company has partnered with industrial and technical training institutes across India to create the Toyota Technical Education Program (T-TEP). The program aims at providing technical know-how training to ITI students across India along with providing hands-on real-time experience within Toyota dealerships. So far, Toyota has partnered with 50 institutes since launch in 2006.

 

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