I find the quote “2007 has been a difficult year for Toyota” found in The Dings and Dents of Toyota a bit amusing. Toyota has had some problems as the article notes like product recalls and losing a handful of employees to Ford and Chrysler. They are about even with GM in worldwide sales and posted a profit of nearly $14 Billion (I believe maybe 20 companies have ever earned that much in any year) in the year ending March 2007 and continue to make huge profits this year (Toyota reported their best quarter ever in August). With difficulty like this who needs success 🙂
He is right that the problems are exaggerated. I agree that Toyota has to maintain a laser-like focus on improvement. I don’t agree that they need to rethink their purpose in life (I have a feeling that is taken out of context). They need to maintain and maybe even increase their commitment to their purpose in life.
In our post New Toyota CEO’s Views in 2005, we quote the new CEO, Katsuaki Watanabe:
He was right then and that is true now.