Toyota sales shake up Big Three

Posted: May 5, 2006 in lean
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The “big three” auto manufacturers have been studying Toyota and the Toyota Production System since the early 1990s. They have had 15 years to either do as well as Toyota or to figure out how to do better than Toyota and, unfortunately, neither has happened.

Once again the “experts” who get quoted in the media (money.cnn.com, May 3, 2006) think that Toyota has some kind of secret weapon or crystal ball:

“I don’t think it’s temporary,” said Dave Lucas, vice president at the auto sales tracking firm Autodata. “Toyota at this point just has the product lineup and continues to pump out the volume.”

Part of Toyota’s strength, according to Lucas, is having a line of vehicles that boast fuel efficiency, such as the Toyota Camry and the hybrid Prius, at a time when gasoline prices are flirting with record levels.

“Toyota seems to have the product available when people want them,” said Lucas.

American business leaders, automotive and other industries, need to wake up and start thinking systemically. They need to start understanding why the corporate culture of Toyota is the true advantage that will make Toyota a leader in whatever industry they choose.

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