Section 3. Development and Sales of New Models-Promotion of Comprehensive Product Lineup
Item 4. Celica and Carina
As motorization progressed in Japan, people began to want cars that suited their age, income, and taste, etc. and consequently it became necessary to offer an even greater variety of models. For its part, Toyota determined that strengthening its compact car offerings was crucial. The decision was therefore made to develop the Carina (TA10) and the Celica (TA20) simultaneously and sell them in parallel, and Toyota commenced the development work in early 1967.
With the Carina, Toyota aimed to develop a high-performance sporty sedan to function as a new family car in response to the era of high-speed driving. For the Celica, on the other hand, Toyota turned its focus to the specialty cars whose demand had been rapidly expanding in the United States, and planned the Celica as a Japanese-version specialty car. The key design requirements were refined styling and high performance, with a price tag that would be affordable to younger drivers.
Both the Celica and Carina were completely new designs, except for a few items such as the rear axle. The new 1,400-cc, four-cylinder, water-cooled engine (T) filled the gap between the K engine (1,100 cc) and the 2R engine (1,500 cc), and a 1,600-cc engine (2T) was also added during the development of the T engine. Both engines were highly reliable engines that boasted high-speed performance despite their small sizes, and, at the same time were designed with an emphasis on practical daily use. To achieve excellent high-speed driving performance, Toyota developed a new, low-cost five-speed transmission and used it in a wide range of models.1
The distinct advantage attained in the mass-production of the Carina and Celica was that, despite having two distinctively different styles, they could be produced on the same line because they shared major parts such as the engine, transmission, and chassis. While the body styles were completely different, the underbody was the same. The engine and the transmission were also identical. Additionally, many of the same parts used in the four-speed transmission were also used in the five-speed transmission to lower its cost.
Furthermore, many parts, such as the engine, transmission, and front suspension, were also shared with the Corolla 1400, which was a completely different model. Additionally, the key parts comprising the body, such as the door panels and front pillars, were shared with the Corona.
On October 30, 1970, the Celica and Carina debuted at the 17th Tokyo Motor Show. The Celica possessed an innovative style reminiscent of the EX-1, which became popular at the 16th Tokyo Motor Show, while the Carina boasted a sporty style characterized by vertical taillights. The Celica's style became a sensation among users who were not satisfied with a simple hardtop.
Sales of the Celica and Carina commenced on December 1 of the same year at Corolla and Toyota dealers, respectively.
In marketing the Celica, Toyota further expanded the existing wide selection by adopting the Full Choice System, in order to cope with diversifying demand and offer cars that reflected its customers' individuality. The Full Choice System addressed the increasing trend toward individuality by allowing customers to freely combine parts and features to create exactly the car they wanted. There were 27 possible combinations among the engine, exterior, and interior alone. Combining them with the transmission, paint color, and various other optional parts resulted in several million variations.
To handle the orders received through the Full Choice System, Toyota adopted the Daily Order System for the Celica. Each day, dealers throughout Japan telexed the orders they received that day to Toyota. Based on the orders collected, Toyota created a daily assembly sequence plan, taking into consideration order priority and production leveling, and sent it to the body plant. The body plant then issued production instructions to the various processes based on the Assembly Line Control System.2
The Daily Order System reduced the time from order receipt to vehicle delivery by half.
With the conventional 10-day Order System (in which orders were processed every 10 days), it took at least 16 days before a vehicle could be delivered. In contrast, with the Daily Order System, the time was reduced to 10 or 11 days on the average and to as little as eight days in some cases. Use of this Daily Order System, which was a step ahead of what competitors were doing, greatly helped streamline Toyota's sales operations and enhance its competitiveness in sales.3