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Connection between Toyota’s success and 1,400 critical parts, by global director



In a recent conversation with Leila Aridi Afas, the director of global policy at Toyota Motor North America she gave insights into the global success of the auto brand, including, crisis management strategy.

Indeed, she stressed that Toyota’s focus on 1,400 critical parts out of about 30,000 parts and getting them ready had kept the supply chain going.

According to her, the first step to solving any gigantic problem is to gather information. A team in the company worked around the clock to map out the entire supply chain—not just one supply chain for the company, but chains for nearly every single part it takes to make nearly every single one of their automobiles. The team identified about 1,400 critical parts (out of roughly 30,000 parts total) that had relatively long lead times. If any one of those 1,400 critical parts was not available, the entire production line could be forced to a halt.
“The team identified their suppliers, their suppliers’ suppliers, and their suppliers’ suppliers’ suppliers,” Leila explained. Over time, Toyota worked to increase inventory and manage lead times for these critical parts. Listening to her explain the database, you get the sense that if anyone so much as sneezes in a plant where one of those 1,400 critical parts is coming from, a red-alert button lights up. While that’s not literally the case, Leila described several ways in which Toyota worked to safeguard its supply of critical parts:

A team within the company worked to diversify its presence in multiple geographic regions while ensuring that it could procure the necessary parts to keep building vehicles if one particular region were unable to produce.
Toyota began standardizing parts across different vehicle models. Now, if one supplier shuts down for any reason, another plant is able to increase production of the standardized part to meet demand.
When standardization wasn’t an option—as is the case for the 1,400+ critical parts Leila’s team identified—Toyota increased inventory to maintain a supply in case of emergencies.
Leila identified several takeaways from Toyota’s experiences in dealing with supply chain problems.

She said, “In my view, the most important part is the trust and respect between Toyota and our suppliers, who are truly partners.”

She also emphasized the importance of staying in close and constant communication with suppliers.

Following the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Toyota created a new database called the Rescue system, which suppliers update in real time and which Toyota tracks consistently. “It’s crucial that the information is always up to date,” Leila said, adding, “You never know when a crisis will strike.”


Innoson makes history, exports Nigeria-assembled vehicles to Sierra Leone 



Nigeria’s indigenous vehicle manufacturing company, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Ltd, has delivered the first set of vehicles manufactured for the Government of Sierra Leone as ordered by the country’s Ministry of Defence.

This is in fulfilment of a promise made during a working visit to Innoson Vehicles by top hierarchy of the Sierra Leone Defence Ministry led by Mr. Edward Soloku, the Minister of Internal Affairs as well as Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) led by its President Mr. Isaac Ken-Green.

Head of Corporate Communications, Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, said in a statement that various models of vehicles bought within that dispensation were for the present administration.

Osigwe explained that subsequently, the Government of Sierra Leone led by President Julius Maada Bio placed an order for the manufacturing of Innoson Vehicles valued at $4.7Million for the officers of Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).

The first set of the vehicles supplied from Nigeria to Sierra Leone were as Monday leaving Queen Elizabeth 2 Port (Sierra Leone’s sea Port “Water Quay”) in Free Town for distribution to military officers across the country.

Reacting to the development, the people of Sierra Leone have been commending their President, Julius Maada Bio, for acting in line with the spirit of the continental agreement by opting for an African (IVM) brand of vehicles for the use of the country’s Armed Forces.

In one of the many reports in the local media on the purchase of the made-in-Nigeria vehicles, a popular blog in Sierra Leone, Focus News Blog, hailed President Bio for believing “that our Army Officers deserve better.”

The post, which showed a line-up of the IVM products from Nigeria, informed Sierra Leoneans that the vehicles would soon be “ready for distribution to military officers across the country” by the government

“Innoson Group has penetrated the vehicles market over the years. It is currently serving as one of the few wholly African car assemblers.

One of the effusive commendations for President Bio by a Sierra Leonean, Francis Ken Samu, remarked, “We are on top of the situation in times of security. Bravo HE President Bio. Keep the Military Colour Flag going up higher than ever before in de history of Sierras Leone.. God bless you, HE President Bio for equipping the RSLAF.”

This development is indeed a step towards the acceleration of intra-African trade as facilitated by the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).

With the arrival of the Innoson vehicles in Free Town, Sierra Leone has become the first country in West Africa whose armed forces are using the IVM products outside Nigeria.

Four years ago, the Nigerian Army signed a partnership agreement with the Nnewi auto plant for the supply of purpose-built vehicles for its personnel.

The agreement also includes identifying requirements for the production of the armoured fighting vehicle in Nigerian Army Central Workshop in Kaduna and enhancing the capacity of Nigerian Army personnel to actively participate in the successful implementation of these joint ventures

The export of Innoson is coming two years after President Mohammadu Buhari signed the AfCFTA agreement in July, 2019.



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Auto industry bouncing back soon, review bill ready – NADDC DG (+ photos)



Abuja Auto fair officially opens

Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Jelani Aliyu, has said a review of the nation’s auto policy is ready and will soon be sent to the National Assembly as an executive bill for speedy passage and thereafter forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

He stated this in Abuja on Wednesday at the opening of the 22nd edition of the annual Abuja auto fair.

The policy known as National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) introduced in 2014 by the Federal Government to encourage local assembling of vehicles became contentious as Buhari failed to give his assent even though the lawmakers had passed the bill. It was sent back for a review.

Jelani, who also represented Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said all stakeholders including relevant government agencies and private sector players were allowed to make input in the latest review.

“This bill now at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment will be going back to the National Assembly as an executive bill and it is expected to receive express passage and president’s assent.

“It is a holistic review; we’ve asked all stakeholders to make input.”

The NADDC DG said the auto industry remained crucial to the development of the nation’s economy, adding the agency was on course with the NAIDP to a tool to transform the industry, despite its implementation challenges.

According to him, many automakers including Toyota and Volkswagen have agreed to set up plants in Nigeria after their conviction in the merits of the auto industry plan.

He said over 30,000 Nigerian youths had been training in modern auto technology, just as he disclosed that 18 auto training centres were established across the country for this purpose.

He urged Nigerians to patronise Nigeria-assembled vehicles to increase job creation and boost auto business in Nigeria.

Chairman Organising Committee for Abuja auto fair and Managing Director of BKG Exhibition Limited, Ifeanyi Agwu, said the annual event has played a major role in the development of the nation’s auto sector and Abuja as a viable business centre.

“About 98 per cent of auto companies in Abuja today were brought into the city through the motor fair.”

He lamented the prolonged neglect of the industry by the government despite its importance to the national economic growth.

“I don’t know how the auto companies are able to stay afloat in the face of high exchange rate among other challenges,” he said.

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Kojo Motors introduces CNG-powered Yutong buses, with return on investment



Kojo Motors says it is introducing cost-effective Yutong passenger buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) to the motoring public.

Kojo says the introduction of the CNG-powered Yutong buses is coming at a time the pump price of diesel has hit the roof top and petrol price creating dip holes in the balance sheet of transport operators and logistics providers.

The buses, according to the firm, guarantee return on investment for transport operators.

The CNG is a natural gas under pressure that remains clear, odourless and non-corrosive.

Although vehicles can use natural gas as either a liquid or a gas, most vehicles use the gaseous form, compressed to about 218 kg/cm2.

The CNG can be used as an alternative to conventional petrol and diesel fuels.

According to the manufacturers of  Yutong, the 10 metre CNG inter and intra-city compressed natural gas commercial passenger bus is coming into the Nigerian market with a numerous advantages. CNG is about 50 per cent cheaper than petrol.

Under test conditions (no congestion, good road condition). Without air conditioning, when the speed is 24km/h, the 100km gas consumption is 41 cubic meters. At 32 kilometres per hour, the gas consumption per 100 kilometres is 31 cubic metres.

“With air conditioning on, gas consumption increases by 10%. This is experimental data, specific gas consumption will be affected by road conditions, congestion, driver’s driving habits and so on, we do not promise gas consumption,” The company said.

In December 2020, the Federal Government rolled out its National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), which involves the conversion of fuel-powered cars and generators from petrol to gas.

The programme which is expected to deliver at least one million vehicle conversions by the end of 2021 aligns with the government’s plan to make gas the first-choice source for cheaper and cleaner energy.

The need to switch from petrol to gas was necessitated by the deregulation of petrol by the government, which has led to increment in the domestic pump prices in recent times.

President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2021 Africa regional heads of government commonwealth roundtable chaired by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, reminded the world of Nigeria’s plan to replace petrol with CNG.

While reiterating Nigeria’s commitment to a just transmission to net zero-emission, the President who was represented by the vice president, Osibanjo, said, “We also have our Natural Gas Expansion Programme. This is where we are using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in order to replace the use of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol), and this is going on now, we are actually trying to fit and retrofit existing petrol stations so that the use of cleaner fossil fuels will replace it”.

Furthermore, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is encouraging Nigerians to embrace the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) in their automobiles as alternative to petrol.

The DPR says the CNG, which is cheaper, safer, environment-friendly and in abundance in the country, will reduce the reliance on petrol.



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