• Kyodo


Toyota Motor Corp. and 13 other Japanese automobile and motorcycle makers have set up a joint panel to study the idea of unifying parts specifications to reduce costs and improve international competitiveness, sources said Thursday.

The automakers are targeting parts that are widely used, such as steel sheets, resin and semiconductors, the sources said.

The panel was established under the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. The 14 participants include Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., Hino Motors Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Co.

The firms would also like to set standards for radio transmissions as they develop technology to automate driving.

Creating standard specifications for components with broad utility would make life easier for parts makers, reducing procurement costs for car and motorcycle makers.

Automakers in Europe have been promoting similar efforts, according to the association.

If successful, the cost-cutting efforts in Japan would free up funds to develop advanced technologies and achieve a competitive edge against foreign rivals in areas including fuel-cell vehicles, the sources said.