“2007 has been a difficult year for Toyota”

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 🙂

“Toyota’s short-term problems are exaggerated,” said James P. Womack, a manufacturing expert and co-author of The Machine That Changed the World… But Mr. Womack said he was concerned that Toyota might be losing its laserlike focus, just as it marked two important anniversaries this year: its 70th birthday as an automobile company, and its 50th year selling cars in the United States. “Toyota has to rethink its purpose in life,”

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:

We should never be satisfied with the current status. In each division, function, or region, we still have numerous problems to cope with. We need to identify each one of those tasks or problems and fully recognize them and pursue the causes. This needs to be done by all the people working for Toyota.

He was right then and that is true now.

Related: Reacting to Product ProblemsJim Press, Toyota N. American President, Moves to ChryslerToyota HomesRespect for People at Toyota

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One Response to “2007 has been a difficult year for Toyota”

  1. Michael says:

    Completely agree with your comment on Toyata's "need to rethink their purpose".

    As you suggest,most of the companires in the world would live to have Toyota's


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