Capability Building in oversea subsidiary - Comparison between first & second generation of IMV in Thailand

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2016)


IMV, regional headquaters, Thailand, toyota


Capability Building in oversea subsidiary
Comparison between first & second generation of IMV in Thailand

Shinya Orihashi
Tohoku Gakuin University

Toyota Motor Corporation launched its second generation IMVs (International Innovative Multi-purpose Vehicles) in 2015. First generation IMVs were launched in 2004, with its core manufacturing hub in Thailand, and sold more than five million vehicles worldwide (as of 2012). All IMVs were produced and sold outside of Japan. IMV was the first model series for Toyota that is never produced in Japan. Until then, Japanese multinational automotive manufacturers, including Toyota, have produced and sold only derivative products in overseas. First generation IMV has been regarded as a successful project.

Carrying out this project (first generation), needless to say, Japanese employees (both expatriates and business traveler) continued to play core role, including the chief engineer; while all their production was outside of Japan. However, non-Japanese employees, mainly Thai nationals, also played certain role. This experience contributed to their upskilling very much. (Orihashi, 2008)

Since then, Toyota established regional headquarters of manufacturing and engineering function in Thailand, called Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Engineering and Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TMAP-EM) in 2007. (Technical center in Thailand, Toyota Motor Technical Center (Thailand) Co., Ltd., commenced its operation in 2005, and it merged existing engineering department of Toyota Motor Thailand.) Toyota have experienced several model changes and new model launches of passenger cars, all of them were derivative products though.

Then, “Toyota Thailand” (This includes both Toyota Motor Thailand and TMAP-EM) headed to second generation IMVs that put into sales in 2015. I would like to investigate capability building at Toyota Thailand in the past decades through comparison between the two generation IMVs projects. I performed several interviews about the first generation in 2000s as the part of my PhD thesis. I will perform interview with key person about the second generation IMVs in March, 2016. I will look into both engineering and manufacturing dimension.

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