Toyota #2 on Fortune’s "Most Admired"
Toyota: America's Best Car Company – March 19, 2007
Toyota is the only foreign-based company in the FORTUNE top 10 “America's Most Admired Companies.”
Good article, a few tidbits:
Toyota decided to build a brand-new plant dedicated to this model in San Antonio. Far from normal transportation routes, the location is difficult logistically, but it did plop Toyota in the heart of truck country – and in a big, powerful state.
Interesting to see that PR and marketing (particularly here in Texas) overruled the location and logistics issues. Toyota has suppliers in a belt from north of Austin down to their San Antonio supplier park. Considering that I-35 (running through San Antonio) is one of the key corridors from Mexico… if Toyota was chasing cheap labor, wouldn't they push their suppliers to Mexico? I guess this tells you that they value response time and being close to the factory.
The article also focuses on Toyota, the politician:
Beginning in 1988, when it started production in its first assembly plant in Georgetown, Ky., Toyota has been careful to locate each new assembly plant in a different state, partly to maximize congressional clout. “It is better to be spread as broadly as we can be spread,” says Josephine Cooper, who runs Toyota's Washington, D.C., office. Toyota has no political action committee, but it has built an effective lobbying operation.
While they might portray themselves as farmers from rural Japan, nobody has accused Toyota of being dumb.
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There is no question that Toyota has the best PR machine in the business. And they have the product to back it up, too. The combination has been lethal for U.S. automakers.