The WSJ article commented:
“The news underscores the company’s willingness to sacrifice short-term profit to maintain its torrid pace of growth. Still, it will disappoint Wall Street critics, who have called on Toyota to invest at a more measured pace and return more profit to shareholders.”
That’s certainly in keeping with Principle #1 from the book The Toyota Way. I would imagine that Toyota has enough of a track record at this point to “do the right thing” for their business and not worry about investors and shareholders jumping off their bandwagon. I bet this is a challenge for companies starting the lean journey — not yet having enough credibility with “The Street” to hold to lean principles and focus on the long term.
Part of that long-term Toyota investment is aimed at growth, particularly in hybrids:
Toyota Motor Corp. is aiming to sell 600,000 hybrid vehicles a year in the U.S. by early in the next decade, a goal that implies a bigger surge in hybrid sales than some other car makers have been expecting.
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