Toyota Motor Corporation in 2003

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTA053
Case Length : 24 Pages
Period : 2004
Organization : Toyota Motor Corporation
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Japan
Industry : Automobile

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), Japan's largest and the world's fourth-largest automobile manufacturer offered well-known car models like Camry, Corona, Corolla, and Lexus. Though a late entrant, compared to General Motors and Ford, Toyota had become one of the strongest players in the automobile industry. In an industry, generally considered to be mature in terms of technology, Toyota had continued to set new benchmarks for providing value to customers more effectively than competitors. Toyota had also redefined the rules of the game in various areas - product development, manufacturing, vendor management and human resources management. A recent Business Week1 issue had Toyota on the cover with the caption "Can anything stop Toyota?"


Early History

Sakichi Toyoda, born in 1868, founded Toyota. He showed little interest in the family's carpentry business. Instead, Toyoda concentrated on improving the handloom machinery used in textile factories. These efforts led to the Toyoda Automatic Loom.

In 1926, Sakichi founded Toyoda Automatic Loom Works (TALW) to make looms. He entrusted his son Kiichiro with the task of using the profits from the textile machinery business to develop a motor car. In 1933, Kiichiro opened an auto department within the loom works and began copying US engine designs.

After Sakichi died in 1930, Kiichiro faced stiff competition from Ford and General Motors, who had set up their manufacturing units in Japan. Family members including brother Risaburo showed little interest in Kiichiro's plans. In spite of these difficulties, the articles of association of the company were amended in 1933 to permit automobile manufacturing...

Excerpts >>

1] 17th November 2003.


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