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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