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 â€” 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:
- NPR (audio and text)
- NPR analysis with Micheline Maynard, New York Times Detroit bureau chief
- MLive.com (GM says profitability is more important than sales volume)
- ABC News
- NY Times
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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