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Biz Terms

In: Business and Management

Submitted By SolitarySilence
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Toyota and Why It Is So Successful
Robert B. Austenfeld, Jr.
(Received on May 10, 2006)

1. Introduction
The purpose of this paper is to describe one of the most successful companies in the world and explain the reasons for that success. Fortune magazine’s February 20, 2006 edition featured this headline on its cover: “The Tragedy of General Motors” and a story of GM’s woes by Carol J. Loomis. Two weeks later, Fortune’s next edition on March 6, 2006 had this headline on its cover: “How Toyota Does It: The Triumph of the Prius.” This stark contrast is typical of the stories circulating in the media these days. At a time when a company that was once admired and for many years held the lofty position of the world biggest automaker appears on the brink of bankruptcy1), Toyota is about to overtake it in global sales this year (O’Dell, 2005). Why is Toyota continuing to thrive at a time when other carmakers are struggling to survive? At the outset I would like to acknowledge the main source for much of the information in this paper: The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer by Jeffrey K. Liker (2004). This paper is organized as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. Introduction The history of Toyota The Toyota Way Summary and conclusion

1)

As of May 2006 GM was still struggling to stay out of bankruptcy.

Papers of the Research Society of Commerce and Economics, Vol. XXXXVII No. 1

2. The History of Toyota
For organizational convenience I will discuss Toyota history as follows: • The start • The 1940s • The 1950s • Etc. The start. The Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) had its beginning in 1933 when it was established as a division within the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. The founder of Toyota was Kiichiro Toyoda (1894–1952), the son of Sakichi Toyoda (1867–1930). The values that have underpinned Toyota success started with Sakichi who was…...

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