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NY Times Magazine on Toyota – Part 1

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From 0 to 60 to World Domination – New York Times

From yesterday's New York Times Magazine, this is a very long, meaty article about Toyota. It's probably worth breaking this down into multiple posts dedicated to different topics from the article. Go grab/print/save a copy of the article now, since I think the articles are free only for a short period. I'll refer back to it many times.

The article sets the stage by talking about Toyota's success and domination in the market:

By any measure, Toyota's performance last year, in a tepid market for car sales, was so striking, so outsize, that there seem to be few analogs, at least in the manufacturing world. A baseball team that wins 150 out of 162 games?

Looking at inventory metrics:

As of November 2006, according to the Power Information Network, a division of J.D. Power & Associates that tracks such sales data, Toyota's cars in the U.S. (including its Lexus and Scion brands) had an average turn rate of 27 days. BMW was second at 31; Honda was third at 32. Ford was at 82 and G.M. at 83. And Daimler-Chrysler was at 107.

And from a financial value standpoint:

By year's end, Toyota would record an annual net profit of $11.6 billion, and its market capitalization (the value of all its shares) would reach nearly $240 billion — greater than that of G.M., Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, Honda and Nissan combined.

Toyota's story is the success of a business system, of a management philosophy. Over the next week, I'll highlight different sections of the article and the different Toyota practices that have led to its success.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and 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 an anthology 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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