LIFE Magazine August 1980 – Auto Manufacturing

    I ended up having the chance to flip through a LIFE magazine from August 1980 and, given that was also a major recessionary period, it wasn't huge surprise to see articles about joblessness and the decline of the auto industry in Indiana and the Midwest. Come back tomorrow for some “things remain the same” illustrations that magazine about the state of healthcare.

    You can click on any of these for a larger view that should be readable.

    Although that recession was of the more normal cyclical variety, it was clear there were problems ahead in the U.S. auto industry that weren't being addressed. One of those threats was, of course, Toyota and their high MPG vehicles:

    The Corolla was getting 41 MPG highway, which is just about what my company car Prius was getting. It's a bit of an aside, but I drove a Prius for two years in my previous job and I was NOT impressed — that will be addressed in a future blog post.

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    Mark Graban
    Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


    1. yeah, I don't really like the prius either.

      a major driver to the decrease of mpg over the years in japanese cars is crash protection. mpg is adversely affected by designing cars that stand up to crash testing. that old corolla would get destroyed (and the driver with it) in a head-on, but you could most likely walk away from a head-on in the Prius.

      plus, that corolla was way noisier to drive than the prius. sound insulation is heavy.

    2. Totally right,
      the enemy of high MPG is the the Weight: Noise insulation, ABS, crash equipment, air-con, electric windows, bigger batteries for all electric equipments, bigger electric consumption… In addition hybrid car are not lighter. 1 fuel engine + 1 electric engine + power electronic + batteries…


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