Toyota Tops GM in Sales

Toyota topples GM as global sales leader – USATODAY.com

It’s been long expected, but the day is finally here: Toyota is now the global sales volume leader:

Toyota Motor sold more cars and trucks worldwide than General Motors in the first three months of 2007, marking the first time that Toyota has outsold GM.

Most auto analysts have predicted that Toyota will surpass GM this year as the world’s largest automaker — a position the Detroit behemoth has held for 76 years. Toyota’s global sales for the January-March quarter rose 9% to a record 2.35 million. GM reported last week that its global sales rose 3% to 2.26 million vehicles.

Does this help us in the Lean world? I’m not sure. Does it do anything more to validate the Lean/TPS approach? Not really. Does it validate Toyota’s success? People already knew Toyota was successful and that TPS.

It *may* be helpful if the articles about Toyota’s new #1 position emphasize, or at least mention, that Lean and the Toyota Production System are a major part of their success. I’m guessing that the articles might focus more on what GM has done wrong or the excuses that GM makes. Toyota long ago passed GM in profitability. That’s really the measure that matters.

Here is a roundup of some articles on Toyota’s new #1 sales position:

As a Lean practitioner, does this day matter to you or is it a “who cares?”moment?

Update: Great minds think alike, Kevin Meyer just said “who cares?” on Evolving Excellence

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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