Toyota’s Quality Will Suffer With Their Growth?

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Toyota is on track to top GM sales:

There are more articles today, including the WSJ, about the possiblity that Toyota will become #1 in auto production volume next year.

“Industry experts also worry about quality problems if the company expands too quickly.”

The WSJ also attributes this fear to Wall Street investment analysts, but what do the investment people know? Are they viewing Toyota like a mass production company, where there typically would be a tradeoff between volume and quality?

From the WSJ:

Real Tanguay, the French Canadian president of Toyota's expanding production facilities in Ontario, Canada, says the company maintains a strict hiring process that tests for qualities such as team spirit, patience and the ability to accept constructive criticism, a process that screens out vast numbers of applicants. “I don't think my son would make it,” Mr. Tanguay said at a recent auto industry event in Tokyo.

Toyota can't keep up with current demand, hence the growth, while General Motors is considering closing three plants due to excess capacity. Isn't anyone wondering what impact THAT will have on GM's quality?? Plant closures lead to poor morale, and poor morale won't do anything to improve quality or the drive of GM's employees to make improvements.

Updated: Maybe it's four plants, not three.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. 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 book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. His latest book has been released as an "in-progress" book, titled Measures of Success.

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