Toyota Again Get Positive Press

Toyota Eyes Chance to Pass by Anthony Faiola, Washington Post:

The mainstream press continues to note the success of Toyota.

Toyota has been toying with hybrid engines for the past 20 years. But the company began to seriously pursue a mass-producible hybrid in 1993. Ogiso, 45 years old and now the chief engineer on the third-generation Prius still under development, said the edict came from Eiji Toyoda, the patriarch of the Toyota family who headed the company until 1994.

Ogiso said Toyoda had grown increasingly concerned that gas-engine auto manufacturing would eventually become a sunset industry given the limits of global oil supplies and increasing pressure to curb emissions. Focused more on a long-term advantage than the short-term gains that U.S. automakers are under pressure from Wall Street to produce, Toyota put hundreds of engineers to work on creating a new engine that would double average gas mileage and cut emissions by 80 percent. Conventional engines were quickly ruled out. “We found that the only way to achieve that goal was building a whole new type of car,” Ogiso said.

This shows several of Deming’s ideas which are part of the Toyota Production System (lean manufacturing) most importantly: constancy of purpose. Several of the seven deadly diseases are also seen in the collapse of GM, such as: emphasis on short term profits, mobility of top management and excessive medical costs.

The relentless push for efficiency often takes shape in small ways. Two years ago, the company came up with a new process in which parts for specific models were presorted into blue boxes that travel down the line as each car is assembled. Though low-tech and inexpensive to put into effect, it significantly sped up the product line and saved space by doing away with the need for workers to seek out different auto parts from storage bins. It was one of roughly 600,000 small improvements Toyota makes annually.

Toyota continue to execute on many fronts continual improvement, innovation and strategic planning.

Related posts:

This entry was posted in Deming, Lean thinking, Management, Toyota Production System (TPS) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.