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Toyota has announced that it will open six new product quality field offices (PQFOs) in different regions in North America next month, as it continues to reclaim its long-standing reputation for building quality vehicles. Earlier this year, Toyota opened its first such field office in New York and is set to open a second one in July in San Francisco.

Additional facilities are earmarked to be located in Jacksonville, FL to study heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues; Houston, TX to focus on trucks and chassis components; and Denver, CO to examine high altitude performance and SUV models. In addition two Canadian centers will be opened, with one in Calgary and one in Toronto.

Located with Toyota Motor Sales offices, Toyota wants to use the new PQFOs to investigate consumer complaints, with trained engineers and technicians working with local dealers and reporting to Toyota HQ. Toyota also says that the data it obtains from these new centers will be used in future quality improvement.

More: Toyota Opens Six Product Quality Field Offices to Bolster Image, Address Customer Concerns on AutoGuide.com
 

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It is interesting and good to know that they are taking, what appears to be, action in the right direction. But, how did they get here to begin with? Let's see, they have been cutting corners for how long now? They have admitted that they want to cut cost on their parts suppliers by 20%? I think that was the percentage in recent article. Which will end up sacrificing quality. So, now they can afford to build, staff and equip six facilities to address consumer issues and work with local dealers; did I get that right?

What ever happened to just simply building a quality product using quality parts from the get go? My guess is that it is still cheaper to employ more people, build new centers and supply lower quality products to the masses and increase the bottom line at the same time; if not, then why wouldn't they return to the days of better quality parts, interiors etc.? Do they really need a additional informational infrastructure to know what is breaking down? Do they not know based on dealers already what is failing? If this is to be used for "future quality improvement" then at what point in the future are they going to change the AIP's on the Tundra? At what point are they going to return to a better quality a/c compressor etc. etc.? When does this "future" begin? I don't see a commitment to return to quality in this article; I see an effort to get the public to shift focus from the true and simple reason of poor quality and allow time to stall real change in quality improvement. When Toyota continues to loose customers to companies like Hyundai then you can ask yourself how much did the cheapest bidder on those parts truly increased my customer loyalty. Let's not kid ourselves here, they make triple the profit selling parts so the bottom line is this, it's more profitable for them to sell more parts than it is to build a better quality product that needs less parts replacement. That is another reason I don't see real change because I see dollar signs behind these changes instead of real change that could and should have already begun. Please Toyota, tell me again when does that "future quality improvement" begin and how much information and people do you need to talk to to start buying and building better quality? Hey, the 2011's are coming out soon, if not already, I guess we will know very soon if the cries for the last, how many years already, have fallen of deaf ears? Time will be the judge, that is for sure and I hope my cynical view is proven wrong because I sure would like to continue buying Toyota but the verdict is unclear if this would be the best choice at this time.
 
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