Weakness of Toyota

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Weakness of Toyota

By | November 2008
Page 1 of 5
Japan's smooth operators:But does lean production damage the brand? Strategic Direction. Bradford:2007. Vol. 23, Iss. 4, p. 10

Abstract (Summary)
This paper reviews some of the advantages and potential disadvantages of lean production in the Japanese automotive industry. This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments. According to the experts, 2006 saw Toyota become the world's largest automobile manufacturer in the world, knocking General Motors (GM) off the top spot. It is a big leap from the situation in 1950, when Toyota produced 11,706 units per annum compared to GE's 8,000 units per day. The cause of this switch in position? Smooth operation. Heavy operating losses have forced GM to downsize, whereas Toyota has its highly efficient manufacturing system to thank for its ongoing rise. The paper suggests that adopting practices of lean production in the automotive industry reaps considerable financial and environmental rewards, but poses difficulties in making an impact on buyers in the prestige market. The paper weighs up the virtues of lean production in terms of the environment and costs against the potential negative impact of lean production on brand image. It thus provokes thought on how the best of both goals might be achieved.

Full Text (1360 words)

Copyright Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2007

According to the experts, 2006 saw Toyota become the world's largest automobile manufacturer in the world, knocking General Motors (GM) off the top spot. It is a big leap from the situation in 1950, when Toyota produced 11,706 units per annum compared to GE's 8,000 units per day. The cause of this switch in position? Smooth operation. Heavy operating losses have forced GM to downsize, whereas Toyota has its highly efficient manufacturing system to thank for its ongoing rise.

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