The Manufacture of Dashboard by Toyota Company


In the modern world, cars have become a necessity in life in addition to providing a great state of comfort. Car manufacturing industry play a vital role in the economy of developed countries. In the interior of a car, a dashboard, which is a crucial part of a car, is used to control different activities both inside and outside the car. The functions also provide comfort to both the driver and the passengers. There are several functions in the dashboard of a car that includes; fuel gauge, oil gauge, music system, speed meters, navigation system, video device and control, control and different holders in the centre console. For a company to achieve its goals, it must be in a position to understand the customer needs and predict the changes required for an existing or a new product to offer in the market. (Soota et al., 2008).

A firm in any industry should improve the customer’s satisfaction by reducing the margin between internal standards and external customer requirement (Lin 2007). Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a customer-based tool that is used in the design of a new product or improving an existing product so as to achieve the maximum customers’ satisfaction (Wang, and Chen, 2012). Referring to Kapferer (2012), it is used in various stages such as prototype analyses, marketing strategies, engineering design, quality management and sale of a particular product. The idea of QFD was first gestated in the late 1960s (Shukla, and Chauhan, 2016; Akao, 1990). It was adopted by various companies to evaluate the voice of the customer and translate into a product requirement or an engineering design so as to produce a higher quality product that meet the customer’s need. This paper focuses on QFD by use of house of quality(HOQ). In this paper, a QFD for establishment of a motor vehicle for Honda and Toyota cars is discussed. By use of questionnaires, the voice of the customer is heard, translated into customer needs and then converted into technical characteristics. From the house of quality, useful concepts are selected and generated for use.

Collecting information

Information concerning customer needs on a product can be collected by administering questionnaires, observations, field reports, focus groups or one-on-one interviews. According to Neuman (2013), individual questioning and evaluation is more effective than focus groups. The interview should involve at least 30 customers so as to achieve the desired goals. In addition, mailing and telephoning can also be used though they are less effective. Information is delivered in customers’ own phrases. To achieve this, data is collected and arranged in a tree like diagram with three to four levels. Selection is done at appropriate levels to fit the customer needs. For bulk qualitative data, affinity diagrams can be used to group and arrange them into subgroups according to their similarity (Bryman 2015). Customer needs can be formed and structured using Cluster analysis.

In this process, a group of customers owning cars, technicians in the car repair centres of Toyota, lecturers and students of NWFP were selected. Two surveys were carried out to investigate the multipurpose cup holder on the centre console of a car. The first survey was to come up with a way of improving a car’s dashboard. The second survey involved knowing the voice of the customer on functions of results from survey 1. Data collected was analysed for the purpose of identifying the customer needs. The needs were given a scale rating of between 1-5 according to their level of significance. This information was vital in building a House of Quality for the car dashboard.

Upon identifying the customer needs, development of a house of quality begins. This involves a series of processes as shown in the flow chart.

 Pinpoint relevance of customer requirements.


 Evaluate technical features and product specification according to customer needs


 Establish relationship between customer requirements and product characteristic


 Check the prior generation products and fierce products


 Benchmark customers conception


 Establish interactions between product characteristics technical requirements


Figure out the important and difficult rating


 Scrutinize the matrix and finalize the plan strategy


Stating and grouping customer requirements


Affinity diagram

            Affinity diagrams are used to categorise customer requirements into three groups. Information concerning customer requirements is generated through a brainstorming process. Grouping customer requirements help in identifying customer satisfactions. Affinity diagram gives a clear picture of detailed requirements.

 Impressive appearance
 Material quality
 Noise and vibration
 Smart design
Good finish
Proper fixing
Rigid material
Appealing design
Smooth finish
User friendly
Unfading material
Fine texture
Ease of cleaning
Environmental friendly






Description of WHATS.

The process of highlighting customer needs is a critical section of quality function deployment. It involves various processes such as concept creation, selection, benchmarking and coming up with the desired features. This process involves collecting raw data from the customers, interpreting the data collected and assessing the results and processes. Results from the survey which are the voice of the customers are converted to customer needs which are then ranked according to the level of importance as shown in the table.

The voice of the customers Needs Importance
The car should maintain constant internal temperatures through an integrated system Integrate a forced exhaust system 5
Should create room for attachment of cups Multifunctional container 4
The system should not have any adverse effects on existing features. No obstruction of car operation 1
The system should respond quickly Systematic operating system 5
The system should be user friendly Functional design 1
Easy and secure operation of the system Comfort design 2
Good appearance Attractive design 5
System should be operated automatically Automatic operating system 2
Good budgetary Cost effective 3
System should be long lasting and authentic Authentic design 4
Cup holder should be compatible with different cars Adaptable design 4
The system should have a smooth finish Fine polish 3
The system should produce little noise Minimised noise 3
The system should have an air freshener compartment Fresh air 4

Description of HOWs

In the automobile industry, there are several competitors such as Toyota and Honda. Competitive comparison between the two companies was conducted through questionnaires administered to various customers to access the importance of each requirement. The customer investigates the contentment acquired by the use of a particular product. The HOWs comprises of technical description of the product as represented on the table.

Need No. Metric No. HOWs Units
2, 3, 6, 7, 11 1 Container diameter Millimetres
2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10,11 2 Number of components Instinctive
1, 8 3 Weather conditions instinctive
1, 3, 4, 6, 10 4 Blower area mm2
3, 5, 6, 7 5 Distance between controls and the user mm
1, 4, 8, 10 6 Time of operation seconds
3, 5, 6, 7 7 Dimensional aspect mm
6, 10 8 Container depth mm
4, 6, 10 9 Duct area mm2
1, 4, 7, 13 10 Air freshener compartment mm2
2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 14 Force required for clamping Newtons
2, 7, 9, 10, 11 11 Adjustable base instinctive
1, 4, 8, 10 12 Blower speed rpm
5, 9, 10 13 Stiffness of the spring N/m





The HOQ for Toyota Car Dashboard.

This is a vital tool that is widely used by companies in producing an end product that suit customer needs. According to Borjesson and Jiran (2012), HOQ is a theoretical structure that provides a multifunctional design and communications. It has seven elements that includes:

Customer needs (WHATs)

These are commonly known as voice of the customer and are highlighted on the left side of the matrix. They form the customer aspects, requirements and the desired quality. They can be easily captured by use of an all-round and comprehensive report on customer needs. These is done by a group of experts in the design team through a process of brainstorming. Nevertheless, brainstorming process suffers challenges due to disagreements within the design team. Bhatti (2017) notes that the use of special procedures can result to a fruitful brainstorming without the interference of voice of the customer. Once the customer needs are recognised, they are sorted into groups and subgroups. A sample size of 30 customers was selected and relative weight of each outcome calculated as a percentage of the total scores. VOC are arranged in order of priority. In our case, forced exhaust system had the highest score of 5.

Product Technical Requirements(HOWs)

These are design characteristics, product features, engineering characteristics and attributes and quality attributes demanded by the customer. They describe the product using engineering language hence also called voice of the company. According to Sullivan (1986), ‘Engineering characteristics are the product requirements that relate directly to the customer requirements and must be selectively deployed throughout the design, manufacturing, assembly, and service process to manifest themselves in the final product performance and customer acceptance.’ For the HOQ in this project, the size of the blower has the most scores of 143. This satisfies the customer’s need of having a forced exhaust system, affordable design, easy to use, reliable, appealing and adjustable.

Interrelationship matrix.

This is the link between the customer requirements and the design parameters. These parameters are design dependent and their contributions vary with customer requirements. The correlation between the customer needs and the parameters are represented by use of symbols (strong 9 medium 3 and small 1).

Customer important requirements.

These are selective requirements that usually affect each sceptically. For example, a customer may require a larger diameter of cup holder and at the same time desire small dimensions of the dashboard parts. This bring conflict between the two needs. Hence the necessity of assigning priority to the preferences. Priorities can be allocated to customer needs by use of analytical hierarchy process or cost technical factors (Gharakhani and Eslami 2012)

Benchmarking customer perception. (planning matrix)

This section of the QFD establishes how well the design team has met the customer requirements in competitors in the same sector of operation. It displays the level of necessity of each requirement that the design team and its competitor’s desires to achieve. Under each requirement, a company gives customer rating of between 1 and 5. A combination of these ratings and the weighted progress of each need gives an overall scale of a company performance. Each VOC for both company is calculated and relative comparison done to assess competing needs in the industry.

Technical correlation matrix

This is the roof of the HOQ. Conflict subsists within the present designs. Technical correlation matrix establishes a relationship between product requirements and design requirements so as to reduce the conflict. They are represented by symbols. ( Strong Positive, + Positive, X Negative, Δ Strong Negative).  These symbols are keyed in where a connection exists.

Technical properties and targets.

This section gives priorities allocated to technical requirements. It is an indicator of progress made in coming up with a particular requirement. It also gives the target value met by a particular design. Desired achievement in design may not be met due to financial and technological challenges encountered by the firm.

Outcomes, recommendations and conclusions

This project focused on coming up with a QFD model for improving the design and features of a car dashboard. Addition of features with specifications matching customer requirements leads to achieving customer satisfaction among other competitors. Through Competitive Technical analysis, customer needs can be satisfied by critical consideration of competitive and affordable cost, attractive design, automation among others. Hence, there is need to focus on these areas so as to satisfy the customer.

It is recommended that the firm develops a more modern dashboard to suit the first growing digital world. Through experimentation and simulation, the firm should come up with an automated system such as temperature regulation system to aid maintaining favourable temperatures within the car. The design should also be user friendly as most customers would prefer a less complicated dashboard. Firm should also design an affordable dashboard to easy the burden of repair or replacement cost. Parts of the dashboard should be minimal since a complex design would be inconvenience customer’s use. Material used to make the car dashboard should be durable and resistance to wear and tear. Material used for the dashboard should be rigid and strong so as to minimise the effect of vibration and reduce noise. Accurate dimensioning should also be considered during design of the dashboard. In addition, the design should encounter few problems during start-up. These problems are faced during manufacture, distribution and installation.

In conclusion, QFD has been developed and is being used widely in the automobile industry. This project focuses on two developments that includes; a multiuse cup holder and forced exhaust system. The “Voice of the Customer” are identified through questionnaires. WHATs are then converted into product requirements(WHATs). These requirements are then converted to engineering descriptions(HOWs). A house of quality establishes a connection between these two. The customer requirements are rated with a scale of between 1 and 5 and importance allocated according to the level of importance.





Reference List

Akao, Y., 1990. Quality Function Deployment: Integrating Customer Requirements into Product         Design, (English translation).

Bhatti, W.A., 2017. Identifying Customer Needs through Knowledge Sharing in Inter-Firm Relationships. Journal of Promotion Management, pp.1-13

Borjesson, F., and Jiran, S., 2012. The general of modular product architecture deploys a pragmatic version of quality function deployment.

Bryman, A., 2015. Social research methods. Oxford university press.

Gharakhani, D. and Eslami, J., 2012. Determining customer needs priorities for improving service quality using QFD. International Journal of Economics and Management Sciences1(6), pp.21-28.

Kapferer, J.N., 2012. The new strategic brand management: Advanced insights and strategic thinking. Kogan page publishers.

Lin, W.B., 2007. The exploration of customer satisfaction model from a comprehensive perspective. Expert Systems with Applications, 33(1), pp.110-121.

Neuman, W.L., 2013. Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Pearson education.

Shukla, M.K. and Chauhan, B.S., 2016. Quality function deployment in India: A Review. International Journal4(2), pp.587-591.

Soota, T., Singh, H. and Mishra, R.C., 2008. Developing strategies fostering product development using multicriteria analysis. International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 3(1), pp.87-103.

Sullivan, L. P., 1986. Quality function deployment, Quality progress pp 39-50

Wang, C.H. and Chen, J.N., 2012. Using quality function deployment for collaborative product design and optimal selection of module mix. Computers & Industrial Engineering63(4), pp.1030-1037.


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