Tokyo — Toyota is stepping up cost reductions to shore up its money chest, as it looks to ramp up investment in new technologies, but cautioned a stronger yen would chip away at its operating profit and higher annual sales. Toyota’s plans to spend ¥1.08-trillion ($10bn) on research and development in 2018 comes at a time when global car makers are sharpening their focus on electrification and automation to stay competitive amid rising demand for vehicles powered by cleaner technologies. As a buffer against currency moves and to ensure there were funds for research and development, Toyota "will prioritise sticking to its roots, the Toyota production system and cost cuts", president Akio Toyoda said, referring to a strategy to co-ordinate with suppliers to make cars when needed, minimising inventories. A recently introduced production system based on more standardised parts that can be used across different models would also continue to help deliver cost cuts, he said. Cost reductions...

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